Swiss voters supported a new climate bill designed to cut fossil fuel use in a referendum.
59.1% of voters backed green energy proposals that will see their government required to reduce dependence on imported oil and gas. The proposed law voted on during the referendum instead mandates a move towards the use of renewable energy.
The government supported the proposed law, saying the country needed to protect its energy security. It also noted that glaciers in the Swiss Alps were rapidly melting, causing ski resorts and businesses in the Alps to have a shorter tourist season.
Switzerland imports around 75% of its energy, with all oil and natural gas coming from abroad.
The right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) triggered the referendum, arguing that energy prices would skyrocket. Critics of the bill believed the proposals would push up energy bills.
Leading Swiss glaciologist Matthias Huss, who has closely followed the Swiss Alps glacier retreat, hailed the “strong signal” sent by Sunday’s vote, saying he was “very happy the arguments of climate science were heard”.
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