Swiss say no to climate and water protection

The Swiss rejected three draft laws for environmental protection on Sunday. They voted narrowly (51.6 per cent) against the CO2 law and by just over 60 percent against an initiative for improving the quality of drinking water and a law banning synthetic pesticides. The commentary columns are pessimistic about the results.

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Blick (CH) /

A field of ruins

Blick explains why the climate protection bill failed:

“It was well balanced, but it was also bogged down in red tape and bureaucracy, with billions going partly into a climate fund and partly back to all and sundry. And no one really understood exactly how or how much. ... This enabled the opponents to launch an effective fear campaign. The slogan 'Driving reserved for the rich?' is absurd because the price of petrol fluctuates much more than the maximum possible price hike of twelve cents - but it worked. And finally, some of the climate youth, of all people, helped to deliver the death blow because they oh-so-naively believe that this will pave the way for an even stricter law. ... Swiss politicians will now pick up the pieces and come up with something even more moderate. After all, our country signed the Paris Climate Agreement.”

Tages-Anzeiger (CH) /

A tale of two Switzerlands

The Tages-Anzeiger detects a widening gap in the population:

“Rural Switzerland is rising up. On the one hand, there was the fear that the farmers would lose business if the changeover was too swift and too radical. But there was something else, a deeper grievance. ... A section of the climate movement miscalculated. Painting doomsday scenarios, they called for the CO2 law to be rejected because it didn't go far enough - disregarding the highest Swiss political principle: if you're not prepared to make a deal, you won't win anything. ... After 'Super Sunday', two Switzerlands that don't understand each other, that talk past each other, are pitted against each other. It's remarkable that such a big rift could open up in such a small country.”