5 May, 2015

Switzerland INDC: first in, but room for improvement


Niklas Höhne, Hanna Fekete, Markus Hagemann, Fabio Sferra, Marcia Rocha, Bill Hare, Michiel Schaeffer, Louise Jeffery, Kornelis Blok, Yvonne Deng

Switzerland is the first government to formally submit an INDC to the UNFCCC. It aims at halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, with at least a 30% reduction by 2030 domestically. The remainder of the emission reductions would come from “emissions reduction measures abroad”.

Switzerland’s proposal includes forestry accounting, which prevents an unambiguous quantification of its target, and will likely result in weaker emissions reductions across all other sectors. The INDC is in line only with the least-stringent equity proposals.

Switzerland’s INDC includes the option of fulfilling a substantial share of its 50% reduction by 2030 through emissions reduction measures undertaken in other countries. The expenditure to achieve this could range from virtually zero to USD$1.3 billion.

To bring Switzerland’s INDC in line with fair emissions reductions that are 2˚C compatible, it needs to increase its target and clarify and limit the role of abatement in its LULUCF sector.