Swiss review sustainable development progress

Government issues report on achievements since release of 1997 sustainable development policy

The Swiss environment ministry yesterday released a report summarising measures adopted since 1997 as part of the country's goal to achieve sustainable development. Energy, agriculture and transport policy have all seen considerable progress, according to the report. Work on ecological tax reform, greening public procurement and encouraging use of ecolabelling for consumer products are areas that need more effort, it says.

The report acknowledges that Swiss citizens voted against plans to tax non-renewable energies earlier this year and uses this as an example of how much effort will be required to achieve ecological tax reforms (ENDS Daily 25 September). On transport, the report points to the introduction of freight traffic charges as a good first step towards implementing the polluter pays principle, but warns that the charges on their own will not solve the problem on unsustainable traffic levels (ENDS Daily 1 July 1999).

Follow Up:
Swiss environment ministry, tel: +41 31 322 5511, press release and report.

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