This database provides information on environmentally related taxes, fees and charges, tradable permit systems, deposit refund systems, environmentally motivated subsidies and voluntary approaches used in environmental policy in OECD member countries and a number of other countries. Developed in co-operation between the OECD and the European Environment Agency.
This 2012 IEA review of Swiss energy policies finds that Switzerland has taken bold decisions to gradually phase out nuclear power and to reduce by a fifth its greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 with domestic measures only. These are challenging objectives, and the country now needs to identify the most viable ways to meet them at least cost and minimum risk to energy security.
In the absence of nuclear power, maintaining sufficient electricity capacity will require strong policies to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy. Such measures have already been outlined, but they will likely not be enough. For baseload generation, gas-fired power plants would be the simplest option. Treating their CO2 emissions the same way as in the neighbouring countries would be a strong positive incentive for investors.
Because Switzerland’s energy-related CO2 emissions come mostly from oil use in transport and space heating, action is most needed in these areas. Commendably, the country is making polluters pay by using a CO2 tax for financing decarbonisation efforts in space heating. Stronger efforts will be needed to reduce emissions from private car use, however.Since the 2007 IEA energy policy review, Switzerland has made clear progress in electricity market reform. Moving to a fully open market by 2015 would be a further positive step. The system of regulated end-user prices, however, is subsidising electricity consumption at a time when low-carbon power supply is becoming more constrained and expensive. It should be reconsidered. Switzerland should also continue to take an increasingly European approach to developing its electricity infrastructure, to its own benefit and to that of its neighbours.
By putting a price on pollution, do environmentally related taxes spur innovation? Does the design of the tax play a critical role? What is the effect of this innovation? In analysing these questions, the report draws on case studies that cover Japan, Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Israel and others. It also covers a wide set of environmental issues and technologies, as well as the economic and policy contexts.
This study is part of the OECD's “Taxation, Innovation and the Environment” programme and discusses the innovation impacts of the VOC tax in Switzerland.
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Links to websites from Switzerland on agri-environmental issues
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Agri-environmental indicators for Switzerland and data on the environmental performance of Swiss agriculture. Extract from the publication Environmental Performance of Agriculture in OECD Countries since 1990 (2008) .