In a newly launched campaign, the Swiss People’s Party (UDC/SVP) is calling parties on the left climate devils (“klimateufel”) for their stance on immigration.
It argues that more immigration leads to greater strain on the environment, citing more cars, higher electricity consumption and more construction. The UDC, a party with a focus on controlling immigration, claims its immigration stance makes it the most environmental party of all.
In addition, they accuse the left of red-green lies (“Rot-grüne Verlogenheit”) for using climate and environmental policy as a trojan horse for their political ideology of wealth redistribution.
Most accept the mounting scientific evidence on human-induced climate change. Many also accept the logic that all other things being equal, more humans will lead to more human-induced climate change.
What is less discussed, is how moving from one place to another might change an individual’s environmental impact. For example, moving from Los Angeles to Zurich, without a significant change in relative lifestyle, would cut a person’s climate impact significantly – average per capita emissions in the US are 16.5 metric tons compared to 4.3 in Switzerland1. The same move in the other direction however, would add to human-induced strain on the planet.
Perhaps one day some might consider the environmental impact of their international moves. It might even become a factor in the competition for international talent. We might hear people say things like: “The salary was lower but cutting my environmental footprint by 50% more than made up for this”.
Finding solutions to climate change is a highly complex business with many trade offs, and few, if any, perfect solutions. Mixing political ideologies, on subjects such as wealth redistribution and immigration with the quest to find climate change solutions is unlikely to be helpful.
Campaign website (in German)