Consultation opening for the new Climate Protection Ordinance

The Swiss Climate Protection and Innovation Act (“CIA”) was approved by referendum on 18 June 2023. The CIA stipulates that Switzerland must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. To enhance the management of this target, the CIA establishes interim targets for the periods 2031-2040 and 2041-2050, in addition to a target for the year 2040. Additionally, it establishes standards for decreasing emissions in the sectors of buildings, transport, and industry.

Article 5 CIA stipulates that all companies must achieve net-zero emissions by the year 2050. Both direct and indirect emissions must be considered. Companies have the option to proactively create roadmaps to facilitate the achievement of the objective. Several companies are already committing to achieve a net-zero goal according to voluntary regulations. In the context of large multinational corporations, this can be attributed to the requirement to disclose information on non-financial matters as mandated by the revised company legislation, or the obligations imposed by climate regulations in the countries where they are headquartered. Ultimately, companies may receive requests from their customers or suppliers, or they may willingly pledge to achieve reduction targets.

However, a mere commitment does not invariably result in a decrease in emissions. To achieve this, a company must carefully document its emissions in a comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory and establish specific strategies for reducing these emissions to a net zero level over different timeframes, including the short, medium, and long term.

Thus, the CIA’s roadmap mentioned above includes both a reduction target and a detailed plan that allows a company or sector to strategically plan their decarbonisation process. Nevertheless, the roadmap specified by the CIA must be concretised by an official ordinance by the Federal Council. Thus, on 17 January 2024, the Federal Council released the draft of the Climate Protection and Innovation Ordinance (“CIO”), along with an accompanying report, and initiated a consultation process. The draft additionally encompasses revisions to the CO2 Ordinance and the Energy Ordinance.

The CIO stipulates the specific criteria that must be met to create roadmaps for companies and industries. Industry-specific roadmaps aim to provide small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the chance to develop a shared plan of action within their respective industries, thereby reducing unnecessary effort. According to the CIA, the development of roadmaps is essentially discretionary. Nevertheless, companies wishing to benefit from government support for innovative technologies and processes must create a strategic roadmap that meets the minimum criteria set by the CIA and the CIO.

The consultation period lasts until 1 May 2024.

These are the upcoming dates for our Annual General Meetings:

Thursday, 21 March 2024
Thursday, 20 March 2025