“Arena” on climate policy – Heated exchange on the climate judgment – News


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Switzerland receives a reprimand from Strasbourg: it is not doing enough to protect the climate. Days later, the climate ruling by the European Court of Human Rights continues to preoccupy politics – and relaunches the debate about the path to the net zero target.

It has been ten days since Europe’s highest human rights court made a historic ruling: Switzerland is not doing enough in the fight against climate change, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled last week. In doing so, she is violating the human rights of the senior women who are complaining – they belong to the Climate Senior Women Association.

The guests in the “Arena”:


Open the box
Close the box

Moderated by Sandro Brotz.

The verdict caused heated discussions for days afterwards. SVP National Councilor Christian Imark sharply criticized the ECHR in the “Arena”: “It’s about expanding the powers of this court. That’s not his place.” With this decision, the ECHR is interfering in Swiss politics.

It is about expanding the powers of this court. That’s not his place.

The leader of the Green Party, Aline Trede, sees things completely differently. The court only found that Switzerland would not achieve its climate goals with the measures decided so far. There can be no question of interference in Swiss climate policy.

Is Switzerland doing enough?

The ECHR ruling is based, among other things, on the Paris climate agreement. Based on this, Switzerland wants to achieve the net zero target by 2050. This means that from 2050 the Swiss greenhouse gas balance must be balanced. The population confirmed the goal with the adoption of the Climate Protection Act last year.

FDP National Councilor Christian Wasserfallen points out that Switzerland is one of the few countries that has managed to decouple economic growth from CO2 emissions. A lot is already going on. “Because it is economically interesting, socially acceptable and makes ecological sense.”

Parliament decides on concrete measures, including in the CO2 law. It is controversial how far these should go. Juso President Nicola Siegrist says: “With the CO2 law we now have, we are still a long way from achieving our goals.”

National Councilor Trede agrees with this. In addition to stricter sustainability regulations for the financial center, she advocates seeing climate protection as an opportunity. This does cause costs, but it will be much more expensive if you do nothing at all.

Christian Imark thinks little of sustainability criteria for banks. He warns that such an “investment police” will destroy the financial sector because companies will move abroad. Such suggestions are unrealistic.

Climate activism causes discontent

The ECHR’s climate ruling not only brings momentum to the political debate. Since then, climate activists have also increasingly made a name for themselves with their actions – including at Sechseläuten in Zurich, where members of the “Drop Fossil Subsidies” group emptied a black liquid over their heads and blocked the parade.

FDP National Councilor Wasserfallen considers such actions to be counterproductive: “I think the Greens’ election result was significantly influenced by this.”

I hope that no one has to take to the streets for the climate anymore.

Nicola Siegrist, on the other hand, is frustrated that the climate agreement is not being implemented despite the large international climate movement: “I hope that no one has to take to the streets for the climate anymore.” He is therefore calling for more speed and more courage in climate policy.

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