Swiss citizens voted against three environmental laws on Sunday, rejecting proposed initiatives that aimed to improve their long-term quality of life.
The first initiative aimed to ensure clean drinking water and safe food by eliminating subsidies for the use of food pesticides and antibiotics. The second initiative proposed to ban all synthetic food pesticides. Nearly 61% of voters rejected these two bills.
The third proposed environmental initiative was a CO2 law with measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. To achieve this goal, the Federal Council and Parliament would increase gasoline taxes and add a tax on airline tickets. Part of the taxes would be redistributed to the public and the rest would be invested in climate-focused projects, such as solar-powered public buildings, efficient vehicles and electric buses. The Economic Committee argued that the CO2 law was “expensive, ineffective and anti-social”. They believed that this law was unfair because it would target people with low or middle incomes.
Although more than two-thirds of National Council members voted for the CO2 law, the measure narrowly lost the popular vote with 51.6% of voters rejecting it. Swiss Federal Councilor Simonetta Sommaruga said the vote was not a rejection of climate protection, but rather a rejection of the law they voted on.