Case-Study: CO2 Tax in Switzerland

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This case study is part of a series of six studies which show good practice examples for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the sectors covered under the Effort Sharing Legislation. It has been developed on behalf of the European Commission, DG Climate Action.

The CO2 tax is a carbon pricing instrument introduced to Switzerland in 2008. The tax covers approximately 35 % of all CO2emissions in Switzerland and applies primarily to the use of thermal fuels. The tax is not levied onto motor fuels, companies (and their installations) participating in the Swiss Emission Trading Scheme (CH ETS) and exemptions are available to other companies. Significant emission reductions can be attributed to the CO2 tax in Switzerland and lessons from the development and implementation of the instrument can be applied to other national contexts.

The case study provides an overview of the CO2 tax, including the key actors involved, primary objectives, and how it interacts with other schemes. The study then focuses on the implementation of the CO2 tax and finally offers an assessment of the tax. This examines both the successes and the limitations of the CO2 tax and considers its future potentials.