CO2 Law in Switzerland Rejected by Young Voters

The big surprise of the vote in Switzerland against the new CO2 law is that a majority of young people voted against it (cf. SAS 24/21). According to a survey commissioned by Tamedia and, and published on the latter’s website, 54% of those over 65 voted in favor of the law imposing new taxes and fees on greenhouse gas emissions, while 58% of those under 34 voted against it.

The leading Swiss weekly, Weltwoche wrote that the result signaled a “breaking point in international climate policy”, a “popular uprising” in which the Swiss electorate rebelled “against the dictates of the elites… The Swiss are going on a climate strike, just differently than what those in power intended. They want less government action against climate change instead of more.”

Contrary to a widely-circulated claim, only 2% of those polled said they voted against the law because they felt the measures planned were not strong enough to actually curb the emissions. Rather, the fear of higher costs was the main reason for the No vote — even among young people.

The leader of the Social Democratic Party parliamentary group, Roger Nordmann, commented that while the climate policy as such was not rejected, the No vote did show that the “the ‘green wave’ has ebbed, that’s clear. The rejected proposal has shown that the policy of big tones, of constant outbidding with even more ambitious climate targets, has had its day.” He called for a climate policy of small steps and not expensive and extravagant “wallet-regulated” ones.

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