Citing the economic effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, Switzerland’s Federal Council has decided to relax measures designed to curb the sale of the most polluting cars in Switzerland.
In July 2012, Switzerland introduced regulations on the CO2 emissions of new cars. The rules, which include average fleet emissions limits, apply to any vendor importing more than 49 vehicles into Switzerland. Any importer importing a fleet of 50 or more cars exceeding the permitted average emissions limit is required to pay a fine.
Until the end of 2019, newly registered passenger vehicles sold in the country were not allowed to exceed average emissions of 130g of CO2 per km. In reality the average in 2019 was 138.1 grams per km. In 2020, the average allowed limit dropped to 95 g of CO2 per km.
According to RTS, the Federal Council recently decided to reduce the pressure on car importers by allowing them to exclude the most polluting vehicles from the calculation. For 2020, the most polluting 15% of vehicles can be excluded. This percentage falls to 10% in 2021 and 5% in 2022.
The Swiss government decision to backtrack on car emissions limits flies in the face of the green stimulus plans hatched by various political powers in Europe. France’s president recently announced a 100 billion euro economic stimulus package that includes big spending on green energy and transport.
Damian Müller, a member of Switzerland’s Council of States and environmental commission, said the government had changed its mind under pressure from the automotive industry.