Greens and Social Democrats announce referendum for a Swiss Green New Deal

The announcement comes half a year after the Swiss people narrowly rejected a stricter CO2-law at the polls. [Shutterstock/elxeneize]

The presidents of two Swiss political parties announced on Thursday they would join forces to launch a popular initiative to amend the constitution focusing on climate.

The amendment aims at introducing a climate fund that would mainly fund public projects but could also offer subsidies and credits to private actors.

 The projects funded through this climate fund would need to support one of the following five goals: decarbonisation of the economy, renewable energy, reskilling of the workforce, negative emissions, or biodiversity.

Each year, the fund should be fed by funds of up to 1% of GDP. “It is completely justified to finance this mainly via public debt”, co-president of the Social Democrats Cédric Wermuth said in the interview with Wochenzeitung.

Additional financing should come from taxes on the wealthy, according to Balthasar Glättli, president of the green party.

The announcement comes half a year after the Swiss people narrowly rejected a stricter CO2-law at the polls.

The two parties need to gather 100,000 signatures within 18 months for the constitutional amendment to be put to the vote. To pass the referendum successfully, both a majority of the people and a majority of cantons have to agree to the amendment.

(Janos Ammann, EURACTIV.com)

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