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Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in a Cost Effective Way in Switzerland

Author

Listed:
  • Anita Wölfl

    (OECD)

  • Patrizio Sicari

    (OECD)

Abstract

Switzerland has low greenhouse gas emissions per capita as compared to other countries, which reflects the strong reliance on energy sources emitting few greenhouse gas emissions, especially in electricity generation, and little heavy industry. Greenhouse gas emissions have remained almost the same since 1990, as emission reductions in the residential and industrial sector were offset by increases from the transport sector. It is estimated that, in aggregate, marginal abatement costs are relatively high in Switzerland and meeting the 2020 target of a 20% emission reduction below the 1990 level will necessitate more cost effective policies. In particular, more needs to be done in the road transport sector, the domestic sector with the largest potential for emission reductions at relatively low cost. The incentive for energy saving renovations in rented dwellings could be raised by a better design of existing policies. And the policies in the industrial sector could be made more effective with the transition towards linking the Swiss and the EU emission trading systems. Réduire les émissions de gaz à effet de serre pour un coût raisonnable en Suisse Comparée à d’autres pays, la Suisse émet peu de gaz à effet de serre par habitant, car elle recourt en grande partie à des sources d’énergie qui n’en produisent pas beaucoup, notamment dans le secteur de l’électricité, et son industrie lourde est modeste. Ces émissions sont à peu près stables depuis 1990, leur diminution dans les secteurs résidentiel et industriel ayant été compensée par une hausse dans celui des transports. D’après les estimations, les coûts marginaux de la réduction des émissions sont dans l’ensemble relativement élevés en Suisse et des mesures plus efficaces par rapport à leur coût seront nécessaires pour atteindre l’objectif fixé d’ici 2020, à savoir un retour à 20 % en dessous du niveau de 1990. Il faut en particulier accentuer l’effort dans le secteur des transports routiers, lequel présente le potentiel le plus élevé de réduction des émissions à un coût relativement bas. L’incitation en faveur des travaux d’économie d’énergie dans les logements en location pourrait être renforcée moyennant une meilleure conception des mesures existantes. L’action menée dans le secteur industriel pourrait gagner en efficacité moyennant le couplage progressif des systèmes suisse et communautaire d’échanges de crédits d’émission.

Suggested Citation

  • Anita Wölfl & Patrizio Sicari, 2012. "Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in a Cost Effective Way in Switzerland," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1002, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1002-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5k8xff3tgd32-en
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    Keywords

    agriculture; agriculture; carbon tax; CO2; CO2; congestion; congestion; emissions trading system; greenhouse gas emissions; industrie; industry; residential sector; secteur résidentiel; Suisse; Switzerland; système d'échanges de crédits d'émission; émissions de gaz à effet de serre;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy

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