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Executive Summary

Some abbreviations are used in this chapter. You can find explanations of all abbreviations in the glossary.


The idea of avoid, shift and improve should be in the center of a new understanding of traffic. The most sustainable traffic is one that does not even exist. Less traffic is not a loss in quality of life; indeed it has to be seen as a gain for the society, environment, climate and oneself. Less traffic does not imply less mobility. The idea of striving for more and faster, is replaced by putting humans and quality of life for all beings in the center. Switching to active forms of mobility has many positive effects besides a reduction in GHG emissions - people are healthier, happier and it uses less space. Certainly, there is little individual traffic that will also in the future have to rely on motorized forms of transport. For that remaining individual and public motorized traffic, we envision a radical decarbonization and a more efficient use.


By 2030 a drastic modal shift has taken place. Individual mobility highly decreased and the remaining means of transport are fossil-free and decarbonized. A convenient, safe and fast network of pedestrian routes, bike lanes and public transportation is developed on national and international scale. People choose to walk or go by bike as often as possible. This will lead not only to a decrease in GHG-emissions, but also to happier and healthier citizens. We imagine a sharp reduction in road traffic through different means, like adaptations of the public space or more efficient use of cars. The business sector is localized to reduce transport distance wherever possible and else acknowledges the vast potential and advantages of digitalization and move from physical meetings to telephone and video conferences. In many ways we already started to see the benefits of a decelerated life.

Specific needs are taken into account to ensure the diversity and characteristics of all regions: There is no single solution, but an intelligent mix of the required means of transport. Technical solutions facilitate car sharing, and multi-modal use of means of transport. Transportation becomes a collectivized public service and the era of private oversized cars is over. The remaining motorized means of transportation are light and powered by renewable and sustainable energy sources. Car traffic was slowed down on every level, which encourages people to travel less far. When still travelling long distances, one travels by train, since that is faster or more convenient than motorized individual mobility. Furthermore, people gain productive time, by being able to work or relax whilst being on the move and not having to steer a car.

The full price for transportation will be paid by the people who are moving, including emerging costs from possible environmental damage. This will lead to a decrease in traffic in general. There should be no incentives that possibly cause more traffic. If public transport was free, people might be encouraged to use it more or use public transport in the cities instead of biking or walking. Therefore, initiatives such as lowering the price of public transportation or subsidized general abonnement are not included in the policies. Nevertheless, social justice is an important issue and people who struggle financially must be supported sufficiently in general in order to have a budget that allows them to buy regular tickets for their journeys.

In air traffic, we imagine a massive reduction. Intra-European flights will be forbidden, and airlines do not benefit from any kind of financial advantages (like tax cuts, etc.). Flights are replaced by trains or technical solutions, such as video conferences and calls, whenever possible. The flights that are inevitable run on synthetic fuel, produced from renewable energy. When traveling to remote destinations, people take trips of multiple weeks and make the most of the experience instead of taking weekend trips.


In Cities there will be almost no individually owned cars and City-Centers are mainly entirely car-free. With a close-mesh net of public transport, including automated vehicles, bike and foot lanes, there is in general no need for cars within cities for the transportation of passengers. These changes bring more advantages than disadvantages. Imagine a city, where the only sound is children laughing while playing in the streets and birds singing from trees, which could grow on all the space saved by reducing individual motorized traffic. There will be air as clean as in the mountains, as combustion engines are banned from ground transport. A prioritizing organization of public transport and its infrastructure and semi-centralized localization of mobility-hubs at the outer boundaries of cities make intermodal mobility possible.


People conveniently use an efficient system of public transportation. Within walking or biking distance or by public transit they reach a train station connecting them with their place of work or leisure. Furthermore, commuting by bike is safer and often faster than by car, due to a better cycling path network. Multimodal systems with hubs lead to an optimization of connections and more efficient transportation. The roads used for cars are reduced to give more space to pedestrian, bike lines and public transport.

Rural Areas

In rural areas, technical solutions smartly using digitalization can be the key to sustainable mobility. Shared cars, small (maybe autonomous) busses are conveniently available on demand. With these means of transport, people living in rural areas can reach a train station connecting them with their place of work or leisure. Since mountain regions face specific challenges, and they should not be cut off, using a car might be unavoidable in some cases. Those cars will be electrical, whenever possible shared, and ride sharing should be introduced.

Travelling abroad

The number of trips is reduced, people choose closer destinations and take more time for travel. The time efficiency is not the main driver but rather the minimization of the carbon impact of the travel. Flights will no longer be preferably used, as the differences between the prices for travelling with different means of transport will reflect the differences in environmental impact, and alternatives are sufficiently convenient. Hence, people will prefer the train or a public bus.

Leisure: The journey is part of the travel experience. Modest, socially and environmentally responsible tourism will prevent mass tourism from spoiling global hot spots. Longer travels allow a deeper, more meaningful and more personal engagement with other cultures and places. Short vacations are spent close to home.

Business: The hectic air-commuter life is replaced by digital solutions. Instead of spending evenings at security checks, one will be at home with family or friends.

Europe: Europe is connected by a vast network of railways; thus, all travel is carried out with trains. Night train connections lead to more comfort, and convenience in travel. There are no flight connections between European cities, they are unnecessary.

Intercontinental: Overseas travel is seen as a once in a lifetime experience with sufficient time to stay in the destination. Therefore, they are mostly taken by ship, since the trip there is seen as part of the experience. Cross-ocean ship lines are re-opened with energy efficient decarbonized boats that are considered as means of transportation and not means of leisure. Leisure cruise ships are forbidden due to their disastrous carbon emissions and impact on the sea biodiversity.


The challenges for cargo transportation are overcome by a change in consumption and a modal shift.

Consumption: The total tons of goods transported in Switzerland has been reduced, since people tend to see value in quality rather than quantity and a shift in the consumer behavior is taking place to a more sustainable use of goods. Goods will be produced long-lasting, durable and whenever possible with local means. Therefore, people are more connected to the production of their goods. We are satisfied without instant delivery and very limited products coming from the other side of the planet or depending on raw materials from other continents. Consumption of locally produced goods is encouraged by policies that increase the price of goods coming from further abroad and labels with their carbon impact on every product are implemented to raise awareness to the consumers. Over-consumption is stopped, and people become aware of what they consume. A circular economy is established through upcycling of goods, secondhand shopping, repair cafés, and by product design that keeps the whole cycle in mind.

Modal Shift: By 2030, a drastic modal shift has taken place in the Swiss cargo sector. Rails become the main mean of transportation in the conveyances of goods for medium and long distances. Central sorting stations in cities connect rails, underground cargo routes and bikes are key points in the developed conveyances sector to make the system efficient. Railways are built to directly connect the factories and storing facilities with the railways. Cargo-bikes play an important role in transportation within the cities. Bicycles are the most efficient and sustainable means of transport and in the future their full potential will be used for the transportation of goods. With smart technologies and digitalization, systems have evolved to create an interplay between bikes and trains. Furthermore, heavy goods will be transported by electric or hydrogen and fuel cell powered trucks. Efficient systems and specific policy measurements result in economically attractive conditions for decarbonized freight transportations. Because of policy measures and rise of the fuel price, carbonized freight transportations are becoming economically disadvantageous.

Current Situation

Ground Transport

Mobility continually changes due to lifestyles, new business models, and technological progress. Agglomerations, rural, and urban areas demand different solutions, to ensure their access to the traffic system (FOEN 2018). A well-functioning traffic system is the basis of our society. Over time the means of transport have gotten faster. The passenger car has transformed modern life. It led seemingly to a gain of reachability. No matter where one lives, places get accessible more easily. The increase in speed, basically through the introduction of passenger cars and the acceleration of street-infrastructure - mainly from the 60ties up to today - as well as the improvement of railways’ supply, allows people to get further in the same time. For many people in Switzerland today, living, working, leisure, shopping, family, and friends often are wide apart. As the means of transportation got faster the travel distances simply got longer but the time spent on mobility stayed constant (Knoflacher 2013). Spatial planning has supported this trend. Small-scale, local structures are lost. The build-up of transport infrastructure is an essential driver of urban sprawl, between 1970 and 2017 the Swiss road network of national roads almost increased by a factor of 3 (FSO 2018).

The implications are varied. The quality of stay in cities has lowered, as well as a sense of belonging. The increase in speed has led to a decrease in quality of life. Beautiful town centers have become dormitory towns.

While mobility has stayed the same, traffic has increased. Next to high emission rates, road traffic has a negative impact on air quality, and high noise levels. Cities are clogged with traffic and air pollution. We are facing a complex challenge that needs taking into consideration different aspects, finding reasonable solutions that are tailored to different regions, and setting priorities consistently.

Mobility in Switzerland

Traffic is the area that accounts for the most significant share of total GHG emissions in Switzerland. Of all inland emissions (international air transport excluded), traffic emits 32% of Switzerland's GHG emissions (Frischknecht et al. 2019). That fact makes ground transportation an area of major concern.

In contrast to the sectors industry and building, the traffic sector has not shown decreasing numbers of GHG emissions. Even though energy efficiency has risen, the increase in traffic volumes has overcompensated this gain—the average kilometers driven by car increase every year (Akademien der Wissenschaften Schweiz 2016). Moreover, the fleet of vehicles is increasing (FOEN 2018). Of the 32% GHG emissions caused by traffic, 98% is due to road traffic ( BAFU 2019). That makes road traffic the single largest source of GHG emissions in Switzerland.

The average Swiss person covers a distance of 24'489 km (13'754 domestic, 11'095 abroad) per year (ARE, 2015). On average, per day, a person is commuting 90.4 Minutes and 36.8 km, with cars being the main means of transport (65%) (FSO 2017b). The purposes for which these distances were traveled vary. While most cars were built to transport five people plus luggage, on average 1.6 people sit in a car, during rush hour it is only 1.1 people (FSO 2017b). The most significant shares consist of leisure travel with 44% and work commute 24% (FSO 2017b).

The choice of means of transport and daily km depend on the level of urbanization. In general, people living in the city have a shorter daily distance covered than people living in agglomerations. The most extensive daily distances are covered by people living in rural areas. Figure 1 illustrates that the more urbanized the place of living is, the less km are covered by motorized individual transport, and the more on foot, or by bike. Moreover, the choice of means of transport also varies between gender, age group, language region, and income (BFS, 2017).

However, figure 1 states that cars are the means of transport used for the most significant share of the daily distance (BFS, 2017).

Figure 2-1: The difference in modal choice between age, gender, level of urbanization, monthly income per household and language region. Means of transport are: by foot, bicycle, bike, car, public transport (excluding trains), trains and others (BFS 2017).

A Comparison of Means of Transport

Life cycle assessments studies show comparable high greenhouse gas emissions for all fossil energy operated powertrain technologies and comparable low greenhouse gas emissions for renewable energy operated powertrains.

Figure 2-2: The emitted GHG emission per person-km [kgCO2-eq/pkm] in Switzerland compared between the different means of transport. Included are the GHG emissions produced through the provided infrastructure, the production, and the operation (including maintenance and disposal). Based on ESU-Database 2020. Electric vehicles were modeled with green power as energy sources (ESU 2020).

Cost of Transportation

The Federal Office for Spatial Development presents precise numbers concerning costs and benefits of traffic (FSO 2017b): In 2016, the external costs of mobility (air pollution, noise, GHG-emissions, accidents) in Switzerland accounted for 13.3 billion (FSO 2017b). The transportation of people causes 81 % of external costs of traffic in Switzerland. Moreover, the ARE assigned ⅔ of the external climate-costs by traffic to road transport (FSO 2017b).

However, it is unconscionable to fix a monetary cost for the effects of traffic. While accidents and noise can be estimated, it is impossible to price the impacts of an emitted ton of GHG reasonably. Firstly, how could we rate damages to human well-being and loss of life beyond reduced economic output? (Stern 2016) Secondly, as the effects of climate change accelerate with every further emission, the marginal cost of a ton GHG must increase as well. Furthermore, since climate change does not linearly depend on the amount of CO2eq in the atmosphere, the cost of each ton CO2eq emitted is not constant but increasing. Nevertheless, if there is a reasonable price for a ton of GHG emissions, it would be the price for effectively removing and storing it for 10’000 years, including the risk of overshoot.

It is difficult to estimate the cost of emissions. But the relation between household income and the expenses for public and private mobility are well known (Figure 3). Although road transport is responsible for the majority of the external costs, it has become significantly cheaper in recent years. However, prices for public transportation have increased steadily. This means incentives are currently set towards private mobility and against less emissions intense alternatives like public transport.

Figure 2-3: Development of prices for public transport and private mobility, set in relation to the income of households. Since 2010, the trends of the different parameters are diverging (BFS 2018).

Parliamentary Procedural Requests

There had been several attempts to tackle the tremendous GHG emissions from the transport sector. However, the federal council proposed the rejection of a recent request that would align swiss road traffic laws with the Paris agreement (DETEC 2019). The board argued that it would propose long-term goals to the parliament for the strategy after 2030. So far, the federal council neglected calls to Act-Now and take responsibility in the current crisis, as he had set all goals for 2050. Moreover, a primary goal of cost-benefits analysis conducted by the Swiss government in road infrastructure projects is a reduction of the commuting time(DETEC 2019). In the past, a reduction of the commuting time resulted in longer distances travelled by individuals and the actual time spent for mobility stayed constant (Knoflacher 2013). Hence, an increase in traffic volume is promoted. At the present state, the government rejected all attempts to substantially reduce traffic and tackle emission issues in the transport sector. Although, the mobility sector is the key driver in missing the Swiss climate goals of 2020 (SRF).

Freight Transport

Figure 4 illustrates that nowadays, 19% more goods are transported on roads and rail in Switzerland compared to the year 2000. The increase in commodities is predominantly carried by transportation on roads (FSO 2019b). Since, the majority of the growth in the transport sector has taken place in the private motorization division, the GHG emissions increased substantially.

Figure 2-4: The amount of goods transported on roads and rails plotted over time. On roads, domestic and foreign heavy vehicle goods and domestic light vehicle goods are represented. The graph does not include the tare weight of containers into the amount of goods transported on rails (FSO 2019c).

For freight transport, the majority (61%) is transported on roads and 39% on railways in 2016 (FSO 2019c). Between 2000 and 2016, the share of goods transported on the road increased three times more compared to the share transported on the railway (FOEN 2018). Consequently, the number of trucks and delivery vehicles in Switzerland is increasing drastically (60% increase for delivery vehicles and a 41% increase for articulated trucks since 2000). The rise in delivery vehicles (363,000 in 2017) can be strongly correlated to the enormous growth in the domestic transport sector (nearly 5 percent increase in 2018) (FSO 2019c). Moreover, trends of the ARE reference scenarios (2015) consider growth of 37% in the tons of goods transported by 2040. Compared with the population growth of 22% until 2045 (BFS 2015)this would lead to a substantial increase in the transport volume per person. Furthermore, the ARE scenario suggests that the split between road and rail transport will be nearly identical to the present, with road transports dominating the sector by covering 84.2% of all conveyances. Thus, if nothing changes the transport sector will list a considerable rise of GHG emission.

Waterborne Transport

Traffic is not only caused by bringing people from A to B. The transportation of goods takes up a big share in the traffic sector. Therefore, the way we consume and the journey our goods take plays a crucial role in the discussion about the mobility sector. By only focussing on inland traffic, we do not get the whole picture. Both travelling abroad and importing goods have to be included. Thus, water transport has to be looked at next to air and land transport, even if on the first glance it seems to be neglectable in a landlocked country like Switzerland. In our highly connected global society, it truely can not be left aside. 90 percent of all goods consumed are being transported by ship (Delestrac 2016). But transparency for consumers is missing. Finding out how far a product has traveled and what it means environmentally and socially is not easy. Big ports are outside city centers and therefore invisible to the public. Today's cargo ships are bigger than the Titanic, and keep being bigger and bigger. The economic incentives for producers support long transportation ways, regardless of the environmental or social costs. Economically seen it is favourable to transport goods around the world, as long as somewhere labour costs are so cheap that they outweigh what is needed to be spent on transporting the goods to the country where they are consumed. The low transportation costs are only possible if people are exploited (poor working conditions) and the environmental consequences are neglected (and costs are not paid by consumers). The consequences of current shipping practices on nature and humans are various: Inhumane working conditions lead to accidents with freight ships that lead to leakage of fuel and as a consequence destroy maritime habitat and cause pollution - as laws and regulations of the country under which flag a ship is run are applicable, “western” environmental and social standards do not apply. Pumping ocean water in and out to stabilize the ship and the massive noise level ships cause, have a drastic impact on the ecosystem ocean and the fish. Dirty fuel (residual fuel, which is not allowed for cars) causes air pollution that leads to health issues for people living near ports. For the customer ordering/buying a product it seems to be clean and simple: It takes a mouse click and a few days waiting or going to a store and buying it cheap. In Switzerland 10% of imported goods arrive by ship (FOC 2016). The most important (and practically the only) entry points are the “Schweizerischen Rheinhäfen” in Muttenz-Au (BL), Birsfelden (BL) and Kleinhüningen (BS).

Just as convenient as it is to buy goods that have been produced far away, is to go on a cruise. Hopping on a ship and enjoying two weeks of all inclusive travel on a floating hotel entertainment island. Ship motors cause not only greenhouse gas emissions but other environmental impacts. A Swiss study shows that the most important criteria in environmental friendly travelling are how the destination is reached, the relation between travel distance and time spent in the destination as well as renouncing environment damaging activities such as cruises (Büsser, Stucki, and Jungbluth 2010).

Summing up, the transport sector accounts for 27 percent, international shipping accounts for 2 percent of all global GHG-emissions (FOEN 2018). The International Maritime Organization has recently updated its own estimate and has found that international maritime activity emitted a total of 1,120 Mt of CO2 – more than twice the IEA estimate for 2005 (IMO) and more than emission produces by global aviation industry (Marine transport and CO2 emissions)

Beside GHG-emission, shipping also contributes to climate change by emitting “black carbon” produced by combustion of heavy fuel oil. Black carbon accounts for 21% of CO2eq emission from ships, making it the second most important driver of shipping’s climate impacts after carbon dioxide. No regulations are controlling these black carbon emissions (Transport and environment, 2020).

Moreover, another aspect of which shipping impacts climate change is the by transporting living organisms (though ballast water taking up to stabilize the boat) from different ecosystem creating invasive species that are responsible for destroying marine ecosystems and threaten the life of endangered species. Shipping accounts for 60-90 % of the introduction of exotic species into new territories (Sardain, Sardain, and Leung 2019) and approximately 42 of threatened or endangered species are at high risk due to invasive species (The National Wildlife Federation 2020). Another aspect that is threatening for marine wildlife is the low frequencies emitted by the freighters, they are causing severe earring defects, communication problems and difficulties to orient themselves (Southall et al. 2017).

Even if the share of shipping is globally seen not the biggest, and in Switzerland's CO2-emission analysis transport by ship is even only mentioned in the category “others” (IEA, n.d.), it is a sector that has a lot of potential for improvement and needs to be taken in consideration not only for this fact but as it has various other negative environmental and social impacts and can be assumed to increase in the future.

Figure 2-5: World Seaborne trade carried by container ships from 1980 to 2017 (in millions tonnes loaded). Statistica 2020.


Airplanes are the means of transportation with the highest emissions per passenger kilometer (see Figure 2‑6 below) and an extreme intensity of emissions per time unit. Moreover, airplanes do not “only” have CO2 emissions, in addition they also produce non-CO2 emissions which may have similar heating effects than CO2 emission. With multiple passengers per car, an electric car or even a bus or train, the emissions are much lower. Moreover, by being much faster, air travel gives people the option to travel longer distances than they would by car and so considerably increase their travel-related emissions in absolute terms.

Figure 2-6: Global warming potential per passenger kilometer for planes, cars, coaches and trains (Jungbluth and Meili 2018). The BBC reported comparable statistics (Timperley 2020).


Aviation in Switzerland:

The aviation sector is growing faster than any other sector in mobility (see Figure 2‑7). About a third of the distance is traveled by airplane, 8’986 km of 24’849 km to be exact (FSO 2019d). Aviation leads to climate change through two different pathways. One pathway is through the emission of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion. In Switzerland, at least about 12% of CO2 emissions are from aviation, worldwide only 2-2.5% (BAZL, n.d.)(Die Bundesversammlung 2019a). The second pathway is from short-lived greenhouse gases - primarily water and particles – coming from high altitude combustion. These can combine to form persistent contrails, which may have a significant warming effect. There are, however, great uncertainties when it comes to analyzing the impact of non-CO2-factors of aviation, which makes it difficult to quantify the total impact of airplanes on the climate. In 2015, the WWF attributed to aviation 18% of climate warming effects in Switzerland (WWF, n.d.).

Figure 2-7: Growth Flight Passengers (FSO 2019d). The number of flight passengers has grown by over 60% in the last two decades, much more than the population and other modes of transport have increased. The decrease in aviation from 2000-2003 was due to the 09/11 attacks.

In 2018, aviation fuel made up 9.7% of Swiss energy consumption, a total of 1’858’000 tons aviation fuel (SFOE 2020), resulting in 5.74 million tons CO2 annually, on average, about 0.8 tons per person (Die Bundesversammlung 2019a). This has to be compared with the total current emissions of 5 tons per citizen (not including imports, which are adding another 6 tons), and the federal target of 1 to 1.5 tons per person by 2050 (FOEN 2018). As a reference, an economy return flight to New York produces about 2 tons CO2 (myclimate, n.d.).

In 2018, 77% of air passengers had destinations in Europe (FSO 2019d); the most prominent reasons are fast travel time and convenience (FSO 2019d). Hence, very often people choose flights over alternatives, even if they are available. Swiss citizens take about 0.8 trips a year, split into 0.1 for work and 0.7 for leisure/holidays. People with higher income fly much more than poorer people (FSO 2019d), meaning privileged people cause much more harm with their lifestyle than the rest of the population.

Technological Options

At the moment, there are very limited technical possibilities for making flying carbon dioxide neutral. Due to its high energy density, kerosene will probably continue to be the primary energy source for aviation. Since electrical batteries are too heavy and biofuels cause additional problems such as land conflicts and deforestation as well as hydrogen fuel cells use too much space in airplanes. Synthetic fuels made from renewable energy is the most promising option for the next decades. However, it is a technology that has to be still tested and implemented in the coming decades. One of the biggest global challenges will be to produce enough surplus renewable energy to synthesize such fuel. It is unlikely that significant quantities of synthetic fuel would be produced in Switzerland, due to relatively weak solar and wind resources, and issues of land availability.

Change in Consumer Behavior

Flying has become very affordable. While it used to be a privilege, flying is now seen as a necessity to maintain a particular lifestyle. The decreased cost of flights in the past decades, triggered a significant increase in flights for leisure as well as jobs requiring flying multiple times per week. A deep change in the consumer behavior will be needed to achieve the goal of net-zero CO2 emission by 2030.

The reasons for aviation’s low cost are its speed -- which reduces labor and capital costs per passenger kilometer -- and its efficient infrastructure requirements relative to ground transportation, for which road and rail networks need to be built and maintained. Moreover, flying benefits from fiscal exemptions and other indirect subsidies. The long-term goal is to make aviation clean. In the meantime, there is a need to drastically reduce aviation and long-distance transportation in general.

Policy Measures: Ground Transport

Policy 2.1: Re-Prioritization of the Traffic System

An adjustment of Art. 88 in the federal constitution accompanied by the establishment of local planning processes should be established by 2021 in order to ensure pedestrians and cyclists will get the infrastructure they need to move safely and fast.


The most sustainable ways of transport are walking and biking. Even if just in 2018 article 88 (Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft 2016) was adjusted in favor of cyclists, it does not at all go far enough. It is crucial to have a network of safe, fast and direct connections on national, cantonal and communal levels for both pedestrians and cyclists. Today the car is often first in planning. First comes the road, then the space left is divided amongst pedestrians and cyclists.

The constitution should ensure that there is a re-prioritization in planning for the traffic carriers as following: 1. pedestrians, 2. bike, 3. public transport, 4. rail, 5. road, 6. air. An adjustment of article 88 (Foot, hiking and bicycle paths) supports a development so that cycling and walking will be given the value it deserves. Such a change needs to be binding not only on national, but on cantonal and communal level. The above mentioned prioritization should be the basis of all projects (construction site, reinstatement work, new construction, crossroads, traffic lights, traffic concepts, traffic space design). The process needs to be adjusted to local needs and include the specific needs of the people.

Besides framing a change on a high level, locally adjusted solutions are crucial in order to make change happen. By realizing local planning processes on communal level, traffic space should be redesigned to spaces of living for humans. As each commune, each city is different there is no single solution that can be adapted anywhere. Not regarding how to design the process, nor what needs to be done. The above described re-prioritization may serve as a guideline. Furthermore, all political and legal frameworks and programs treating traffic (Cantonal constitutions, municipal constitutions, federal sectoral plans, cantonal/communal structure plans, mission statements, projects) need to be adjusted towards a re-prioritization of traffic modes.


The National Roads and Agglomeration Fund (NAF/FORTA/FOSTRA) will be adjusted as suggested in policy “Freezing federal road capacity”. Money no longer used for building road capacities for motorized individual traffic, will partly be used in order to finance a safe, fast and direct network for pedestrians and cyclists.


A re-prioritization of the traffic carriers is necessary on all levels: in cities, neighborhoods, single streets and so on. Thereby quality of stay and quality of living can be increased tremendously. By re-allocating space that has been taken up by cars, and making it available to people, new livable city centers, neighborhoods and residential areas are developed. It can be expected that people tend to stay in their surroundings more often and satisfy more of their needs within their close surroundings. The energy demand for and the impact of mobility will decrease. Cycling and walking will be safer and more attractive. People will switch to these modes of transport.

Social Compatibility

Changing mobility habits are favorable for everyone. To name some examples: On an individual level, more physical movement leads to healthier and happier people, as well as lower health care costs. An increase in the quality of stay leads to busy streets and enlivened cities and therefore is also good and favorable for local businesses. Neighborhoods with more public, more green space and slower forms of mobility are safer for children and are inviting to relax.

Policy 2.2: Reallocation of Existing Infrastructure

The introduction of a legal regulation on cantonal and communal level to reallocate 50 percent of the existing infrastructure for private cars in public spaces to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport and car sharing until 2030, should lead to a traffic revolution.


Rolling and standing motorized individual traffic uses a lot of space. Imagine a person walking around carrying a wooden frame of the size of a car. Silly, no? Often people sit alone in their car, claiming a ridiculous amount of space for themselves. Naturally. Cyclists often do not have separate lanes to comfortably ride from A to B. Pedestrians wait at crossroads and face high curbstones with a walking frame or pushchairs. Here and there you find a tree, or some square meters of lawn in cities. Green spaces are rare. During rush hour public busses queue in line with private cars. Kids play between parked cars. By introducing a legal regulation that obliges communities and cantons to reallocate space, this could be changed. The goal is:

  • Elimination of legal obligations for building parking-space.
  • Introduction of the principle of equidistance (distance to reach a private car, needs to be no shorter than to public transportation).
  • Less space for motorized individual traffic, more space for foot, bike and public transport.
  • More green space, recreational space, public space.
  • Separate lanes for bikes, public transport (also on highways), car sharing.
  • Provide charging infrastructure for e-mobility (bikes and cars).
  • Central car parking facilities, replace scattered parking spaces taking up public space.
  • Parking spaces for motorized traffic are charged everywhere, always from the first minute on.
  • Covered and sufficient parking facilities for bikes are provided.
  • And more.


Expected costs are moderate, as the principle is not to build more and new infrastructure but reuse the existing one.


A new mobility is possible. The basis will be laid for a green mobility. People are being expected to switch to other forms of mobility. Cars parked further from home (exception for people with limited mobility) will induce an increase in use of public transport but reducing convenience of having car parks right in front of our place compared to public transports that often require a few minutes walking. Living areas will be liberated from parked cars and traffic. Traffic caused from seeking a parking lot will be eliminated. Thus, in densely populated areas this will lead to more space for people and a higher quality of life.

Social Compatibility

The elimination of the dominance of the car in all areas of our lives leads to new qualities. Kids can play safely in the streets, people meet outdoors. People reclaim the streets.

Policy 2.3: Introduction of a New Smart Multimodality for People and Cargo

Two key offers can lower the barriers to switch from the private car to a way of combining different means of transport in the best way possible. The introduction of a hub-system all over Switzerland and a close-mesh of car- and bike-sharing offers, make it easy to change. In freight transport the introduction of hub-systems will supersede road transport.


Public transportation is already today more convenient than driving a car - on certain routes. Indeed it is often not faster or cheaper. The variety of different means of transport should be utilized, in order to always use the best option climate wise and at the same time increase passenger comfort to facilitate switching. Mobility will be seen as a whole, and offered as public service. Owning a private car is no longer necessary. By introducing a close-mesh offer of car-sharing possibilities, it is more convenient to share and it is cheaper than owning a private car. The advantages of digitalization can be used in a smart way, in order to make sharing more easy.

Today there is more or less a net of roads/ways for each mode of transport. There are roads for cars, lanes for busses, ways for pedestrians, lanes for bicycles, tracks for trains. These systems are mostly planned besides each other. If the different modes of transport would no longer be taken each on its own, but seen interrelated, each one could be used there where it makes most sense. Cars are of little use within a city, but might be the best choice for remote places. A hub-system would allow people to switch from one to the other mode of transport easily, and always use the one that is the smartest choice. A journey must not be made with one single mode of transport, but switching between is easily possible. Following preconditions are necessary for a functioning hub-system and support multi-modality:

  • Compatibility of public transport and bike: There needs to be attractive and enough offers to transport the bike with public bus, or train.
  • Smart use of Digitalization: Use of booking systems, apps to reduce climate impact: e.g. bus on demand/reservation.
  • International connection: Switzerland is no island. One needs to think mobility across borders. There need to be connection points to neighboring countries.
  • Cargo sorting stations and direct railway access: What applies for people, applies for cargo. It needs to be reloaded: from road to rail / from road to bike (inner city). Infrastructure to connect central sorting and storage factories to railway network.
  • Parking infrastructure: Parking outside city centers with rental bike stations/ access to railway.

Sharing needs to be more attractive than owning. The private car slowly loses importance for younger generations. The convenience of using and owning a private car needs to be reduced, as this comfort for one person today comes at the cost of the society as a whole. Where a car still makes more sense, than keeping up capacities of public transport that are not utilized efficiently, car-sharing is key. These offers need to be placed at sparsely populated areas where few people live and at hub-stations. In urban areas foot, bike and public transport are favorable. Moreover cargo bikes have a great potential, when it comes to short distances that need to be covered transporting for example groceries or kids. However not everybody needs to own a cargo bike. The availability of a cargo bike sometimes renders the use of a car unnecessary. The same applies for bikes in general. There is big potential especially in urban areas to complement public transport with an attractive bike sharing offer. In order to foster (cargo-)bike-/ and car-sharing and introduce it at the right spot the following preconditions need to be given:


  • Close-mesh offer: The offer needs to be big enough in order to be more attractive than a private car. For a transition phase cars can be placed within cities. In the Long term, shared cars should also be banned from the city centers and be placed where it makes most sense to have a flexible offer. Either there are fixed stations, or a free flow system combined with an app, showing where the next available car is.
  • Important role in mountain regions: The private car often seems indispensable in mountain regions. Especially in mountain villages car-sharing this could be a smart way to reach public transport and simply switch at the next station. This offer needs to be supported in the form of a public service.
  • Framework: This system needs to be set in place by communities, cities and cantons. Private public partnerships are an option, especially energy suppliers (synergy peaks energy supply and demand, combined with the storage in e-vessels).


  • Lower entry-barriers: The offer needs to be visible, handy and known. People have to get used to cargo bikes. It might take offers for free trials, or even guided courses.
  • Easy-access: Cargo-bikes need to be placed where they are needed. This can be near shopping facilities or where many families live.


  • Where there is little or a lot of public transport: Bike sharing can be useful either in dense areas (cities) to complement the offer of public transport, or where there is little offer of public transport (remote, mountain areas).


User pays principle.


A different mobility culture is being fostered. Cars are less frequently privately owned and are shared effectively or replaced by bikes or cargo-bikes (Less cars, lower use of space). Moreover, smart multimodality results in less GHG intense forms of transportation for commuting, leisure and goods.

Social Compatibility

Maintenance is divided (less time per user, than private car/bike) meaning more free time per person.

Policy 2.4: Car-Free Cities

From 2025 all major cities in Switzerland are car-free. The already existing offer of public transport in the city and the proximity of everything allows it to cover all mobility needs by foot, bike and public transportation. The distribution of goods will largely be handled by cargo bikes.


Individual motorized traffic should be banned from cities' urban areas. Alternatives (foot, bike, public transport) taking less space for traffic and leaving more space for life, take over. Motorized traffic is only applied for the exceptions of supplies for the population and businesses, keeping up public services, public transportation, as well as mobility for people with disabilities. Communal constitutions need to be adjusted accordingly. Whilst the public transportation for people in many cities already is on a high level, the system for a non-motorized distribution of goods needs to be expanded. Cargo bikes play an important role. Today trucks and delivery vans drive right into the city. In the vision of a car free city, all goods possible are reloaded at hubs at the city border. These hubs ideally are also connected to the railway system. Trucks and trains are unloaded there, the goods are loaded onto cargo bikes, which overtake the fine distribution within the city.

Imagine a city that is no longer built around streets for cars, but built for humans: Clean air, little noise, save surroundings, a space where humans meet.


No financing required.


Space is being reclaimed by the people. New utilizations of the space are open for collaborative processes.
Cities will be safer for bikes and pedestrians.
Increase in air quality and sound pollution leading to higher quality of life.

Social Compatibility

Quality of life for inhabitants and quality of stay for visitors in cities increases tremendously. Exceptions (e.g. for people with disabilities) allow everyone to participate.

Policy 2.5: Suspension of Federal Road Construction

In the chapter cross-sectoral policies a moratorium on new infrastructure until 2030 is being proposed (see Policy 1.1). This general moratorium on new infrastructure includes buildings and roads and targets the emissions from construction work. A suspension of federal road construction for motorized individual traffic, would also break the vicious cycle of more roads leading to more traffic. The establishment of a suspension of federal road construction (including new motorway junctions) by 2021 in the federal constitution by an adjustment of Art. 83, is therefore an important step that needs to be established as soon as possible.


The motorized traffic leads to more than 30 percent of total GHG emissions in Switzerland (FSO 2018). Traffic showed an increase in the past and can be expected to increase strongly in the future if nothing changes. The increase in traffic cannot simply be explained by population growth. Numbers show that traffic grows stronger than population (FSO 2018). Especially on federal roads (DETEC 2018). Current federal politics foster an expansion of road capacities. The problem: More roads lead to more traffic. Motorized individual traffic has more than quintupled since 1960. Meeting that fact by building new roads and increasing capacities is a vicious cycle. Therefore, financing for planning and extension of federal roads through the National Roads and Agglomeration Fund (NAF/FORTA/FOSTRA) should be suspended immediately. A reassessment and adjustment of the STEP (Strategisches Entwicklungsprogramm Nationalstrassen) is necessary.


The NAF/FORTA/FOSTRA was established in 2017, in order to secure financing for maintenance, extension and elimination of traffic bottlenecks of federal roads, as well as supporting projects such as new tram lines and pedestrian and bicycle lanes. In total 3 billion CHF are available. Maintenance will be even more expensive than included in the budget. A big share of this money will not be used for the initial purpose, if a suspension of federal road construction is being decided, therefore it could be invested in climate-conscious forms of mobility (see policy “Improve capacity for walking and biking” and “Introduction of foot-/ and bike tax release”) and projects for noise remediation.


A suspension of federal road construction leads directly to a decrease in GHG emissions (road construction, which is CO2-intense, will not be done), in the long run a switch to more climate-friendly forms of traffic can be expected. The most important impacts are in fact that the growth of supply driven traffic (infrastructural induced traffic) as well as further soil sealing and the loss of green space can be avoided.

Social Compatibility

There is a positive overall effect on quality of life (noise, air quality) to be expected, of which all people and especially residents near roads profit.

People working on road work might face higher unemployment rate, therefore accompanying measures will be taken to facilitate professional reintegration. These measures are described in the chapter on economic and political structures (see Policy 9.1)

Policy 2.6: Prohibition on the Sale of Fossil Vehicle Fuel and Fossil Electricity

The sale of fossil vehicle fuels and fossil electricity will be prohibited by 2030. This policy assures that only renewable energy will be used in mobility and provides an additional incentive for people to avoid purchasing new ICE vehicles prior to 2025.


A prohibition on the sale of fossil-based light vehicle fuels will aid the decarbonization of road traffic and support the transition to electric cars. The ban of fossil electricity assures that electric mobility will be fueled exclusively with renewable energies. Thus, the CO2 intensity of electric vehicles will be reduced drastically (PSI, 2018). As we describe in Policy 2.7, sales of new ICE vehicles will cease in 2025. Five years later, a prohibition on the sale of fossil fuel will go into effect.

For heavy vehicles and industrial and agricultural vehicles, there are no technological alternatives to liquid fuels yet. Thus, waste based as well as biofuels and synthetic fuels from renewable energy sources that have proved at least a 50% reduction on GHG, will be used for such vehicles. This is an interim solution until other technologies such as hydrogen-powered or heavy BEV that achieve higher GHG reductions are available on the market. We expect that the price of the fuels for the interim solution will raise the demand and speed up the development of these better alternatives (hydrogen and BE).

The result of this policy will provide an additional incentive for people to avoid purchasing new ICE vehicles before 2025. It will also result in an accelerated retirement of ICE vehicles still on the road in 2029. It can be predicted that the cost of non-biogenic synthetic fuels (from renewable energy sources) will be quite high, making it unattractive. Hence, an innovation friendly competition of different powertrain and energy carrier technologies is established.


Renewable energy has a higher price than fossil energy. Thus, to manage the shift from fossil to renewable energy in the mobility sector, the stakeholder may for example use levies on their fossil fuel or electricity to subsidize renewable energy. Therefore, mobility will become more expansive.


This policy will accelerate the transition to electric cars and fossil-free fuels. Moreover, the transport sector has to become more efficient and find alternative transportation systems than heavy vehicles, since these fuels will be more expensive. Furthermore, with the shift towards renewable energies, more than 70% of the CO2 emissions are reduced.

Social Compatibility

It is expected that the acceptance for a shift from fossil to renewable energy in the mobility sector is high, because the pure energy costs are low, and the individual mobility or specific applications are not prohibited. Only CO2 emissions are prohibited.

However, the accelerated phase-out of ICE vehicles will have a negative consequence for people purchasing new ICE vehicles in the final years they are available. However, by announcing this in 2021, the effects will be mitigated, as it will allow car buyers to avoid this consequence by purchasing a BE vehicle even as ICE vehicles are available. The ICE cars bought before the policy is put in place will have to run on alternative fuels beyond 2030.

Questions and Uncertainties

The synthetic fuels for heavy vehicles need to be produced from renewable energy sources. Moreover, the factories to produce synthetic fuels still have to be built and further developed.

Policy 2.7: Prohibition on the Sale of New Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles

In Switzerland, by 2025, light vehicles (weighing less than 3.5t) with internal combustion engines (ICE) will be banned from the market. It will be prohibited to sell new vehicles with ICE. Heavy vehicles (>3.5t) with ICE will be banned by 2030, supported by an interim quota system starting in 2025.


The sale of new internal combustion engines, including hybrid electric (HEV), plug-hybrid electric (PHEV) light vehicles and buses with ICE, will be prohibited. This policy is going into effect in 2025; this would match the timing of a similar sales prohibition in Norway and allows for further market developments of battery electric vehicles (BEV) in the next five years. Nowadays, BE vehicles already cost only slightly more than comparably equipped gasoline cars, with total ownership costs that are already lower. The high-speed charging network is being rapidly developed, making it currently possible, for example, to drive from Zurich to Geneva, take a half-hour break, and return to Zurich.

In contrast, 2025 is probably too soon to mandate an end to the sale of heavy diesel vehicles, first because the market for electric local heavy vehicles has developed more slowly. Second, for heavy long-distance vehicles, there is still technological uncertainty concerning choices between batteries, fuel cells, and overhead wires, since the sector has to date developed far more slowly. For these reasons, the technology prohibition on new heavy ICE vehicles should go into effect in 2030, rather than 2025 as with light vehicles. Because 2030 may be too far in the future to stimulate immediate investment, it should be supplemented with an interim quota. Starting in 2025, each company selling heavy vehicles would have to sell at least 10% of those vehicles that are either battery-electric or hydrogen-powered. The quota would rise by 10% each year, reaching 50% by 2029, and then jump to 100% in 2030.


This policy leads to low-costs for the government. The consumers need to put up with higher vehicle prices. However, the combined sale, operating, and repair costs of BE are already lower than for ICE cars.


Passenger cars are responsible for 75% of the domestic CO2 emissions of the mobility sector. On average, passenger cars in Switzerland will be exported or turned into scrap after 14 or 15 years of driving. Hence, after this period, the vehicle fleet will be mostly renewed. Moreover, a functioning circular economy for batteries and vehicles must be established by 2030.

Social Compatibility

The most substantial current barrier to electric car diffusion turns out to be the limited availability of overnight residential charging. People who rent their parking space, or park their car on the street, face a significant convenience barrier, and so far have been extremely reluctant to purchase electric vehicles (Marc A. Melliger, Vliet, and Liimatainen 2018). However, with less ICE on the roads, traffic noise will be substantially reduced and promotes the quality of life.

Policy 2.8: Prohibition of Heavy and Overpowered Passenger Cars

Reduce the number of large SUVs and overpowered passenger cars by limiting curb weight and maximum power to values of 1.5t and 100kW.


Progress in fuel consumption of passenger cars often is at least partly compensated by heavier vehicles with more powerful powertrains. Moreover, comparing the new registered Swiss and European vehicle fleets, we see a difference in 20% standard CO2 emissions. This gap reflects the more reasonable motorization of European passenger cars. To stop this development, curb weight and maximum power of passenger cars in Switzerland will be limited to reasonable values, e.g. 1.5 t and 100 kW. This still allows companies to build mid-size passenger cars, family vans but reduces the number of large SUVs. Such vehicles should only be allowed with a special permission and a corresponding additional CO2 reduction measure.


The amount of gCO2/km of newly purchased cars in Switzerland will be substantially reduced.

Social Compatibility

Since, mid-size passenger cars and family vans can still be built there are no restrictions for bigger cars if needed

Policy 2.9: Implementation of an Environmental Steering Levy and Road-Use Tax

The current gasoline and diesel tax will be supplemented by a road-use-tax. Annually, this tax will be levied individually, based on vehicle weight and kilometers driven.


Currently, taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel provide the funds for road construction and maintenance, whereas electric vehicles pay virtually no tax. There will be a major revenue shortfall with the switch to electric mobility.

Hence, we propose a road-use tax, based on vehicle weight and kilometers driven per year, and phased in over five years, from 2022 to 2027. It is to be collected each year and enforced through the regular vehicle inspections for both electric and the remaining ICE vehicles. To match an adequate cost of car driving, the tax should be based on the cost of building and maintaining road infrastructure (which will significantly decrease due to the moratorium on infrastructure (Policy 1.1), suspension of federal road construction (Policy 2.5) and a general shift in transportation) and the external costs of driving an electric vehicle, i.e. from the particulate matter coming from tire wear, and from added congestion. The Swiss Federal Office for the Environment will assess these costs.

On top of the road-use tax, an environmental steering levy would be raised, for fossil-based gasoline and diesel vehicles (including boats and ships). This environmental steering levy is intended to aid in this transition and set a monetary incentive to reduce fossil fuel usage. The price of the steering levy is aligned with the cross-sectoral GHG pricing (see

Policy 1.2

One additional benefit of the road-use tax is that it will avoid the so-called “fueling-tourism”, whereby Swiss drivers go to neighboring countries to fill their tanks. Fuel prices will be comparable, since the proposed environmental tax will at most match the road-tax on fuels in neighboring countries, removing the incentive to cross the border for fuel.


The road-use tax will fund the maintenance of the road network, in continuation with the current gasoline tax. The revenues of the environmental steering levy will be used to finance other climate mitigation measures or be redistributed to the population and the economy. Regions would receive different sums, depending on their potential for adaptation. Hence, rural and mountainous areas would receive higher rebates (Filippini and Heimsch 2015).


An environmental tax on its own is likely to do little to halt the growth in light vehicle use, as we know that demand is highly inelastic (Havranek, Irsova, and Janda 2012). Therefore, the tax is supplemented by other policies making the alternatives to light vehicles use even more attractive than they are now.

Social Compatibility

Anyone driving an ICE is affected by this policy. Moreover, people living in rural regions and in the alps are substantially affected, since there are less alternatives to substitute cars (Filippini and Heimsch 2015).

Policy 2.10: Decrease the Number of Home Delivery Services and Switch to Bikes


Between 2000 and 2018, the number of motorized delivery vehicles has increased by 65%. In comparison, the number of heavy trucks has decreased by 2% (FSO 2018). The main reasons for the growth in delivery vehicles are an increase in home delivery and the low taxes for these vehicles. In order to limit the number of delivery vehicles, we suggest applying LSVA and PSVA (Heavy vehicle charges) not only to heavy vehicles but to all motorized delivery vehicles.

Moreover, we introduce a fixed delivery tax of 15 CHF for each consignment. This policy will decrease the number of consignments and encourage group distributions. Furthermore, this policy tackles single article deliveries and unnecessary consumption, if free delivery after a certain price is the case. However, companies are freed from this tax, if they deliver goods by bike and partially freed if they deliver with alternative GHG neutral means of transport.


The revenues should be used for other policies such as improving public transport or subventions for GHG free delivery services.


This policy will reduce the number of deliveries and encourage grouping deliveries. It will discourage single item orders. Furthermore, it will encourage customers and companies to group the deliveries and not send article per article. This will reduce the overall traffic and pollution created by delivery vehicles that have been drastically increasing in the past years.

Policy 2.11: Limitation of Commuter Deduction

A reduction of the commuter deduction (dt. Pendlerabzug) to a maximum of 2000 Swiss Francs coupled with a faveolization of foot and bike by 2022, as a clear sign that commuting in general but especially by private car will be less fostered.


In 2017 52% of all commuters in Switzerland have been using a private car (31% public transport, 15% bike or foot) (FSO 2019b). The choice of where to work and where to live is a personal one, influenced by personal preferences but also the affordability of housing, tax levels and reachability of working place. Wrong incentives need to be removed. The cost of mobility is assumed to play a role regarding the choice of how far to live from work for some people. Keeping the current situation on the apartment renting market in mind (high prices in city centers), people with low income face lower flexibility in terms of choosing where to live. Some can simply not afford, living e.g. in city centers. This problem needs to be tackled (see social compatibility).

Swiss people said yes to “FABI” (dt. Finanzierung und Ausbau der Bahninfrastruktur), this led to a limitation of tax deduction for commuting. Since 2016 there is a limitation at 3000 CHF of costs to plead in the tax declaration concerning federal tax. The regulations in the cantons vary strongly. This was a first step, but it does not go far enough. As a basic principle all incentives for a spatial separation of work and life need to be eliminated. From 2022 on the commuter deduction will be limited to a maximum of 2000 Swiss Francs per person and year in federal and cantonal tax. A general deduction of 1000 Swiss Francs can be made anyhow, another 1000 Swiss Francs can only be deducted if at least 80 percent of the ways to and from work have been by foot or bike. Walking and biking are climate-wise the most favorable ways of transport. The introduction of an additional deduction of 1000 CHF supports a climate-conscious choice for the journey to and from work. In order to claim this deduction a standardized confirmation of the employer confirming that the employee has at least 80% of the time chosen to walk or bike to work, is sufficient.


There will be a significant amount of additional tax revenues as overall less commuter deduction can be claimed. Tax revenues from people with high incomes, which will be used in order to support people with low income using public transportation (see social compatibility).


People living closer to where they work are rewarded, as well as the ones using foot or bike. Long ways to work will no longer be subsidized. Wrong incentives are eliminated. It can be expected that people tend to prefer working closer to where they live. This measure is expected to reduce emissions from commuting.

Social Compatibility

The deduction in the form of a fixed sum, leads to the situation that lower incomes profit more from the possibility to deduct commuting costs than people with high incomes. The abolition of this social balancing mechanism would need to be compensated elsewhere.

Today different exceptions for the use of a private motorized vehicle are granted (no public transportation, time gain of more than 90 minutes a day, use on demand of employer, public transport not possible due to illness or frailty (medical certificate). The possibility to deduct the full 2000 Swiss Francs will only be given for the exception of someone not being able to use a bike or walk to work (medical certificate) all other reasons drop out.

Policy 2.12: Reduction of Maximum Speed

A reduction of maximum speed in Swiss road traffic law by 2021 will lead to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions per km driven and changing mobility behaviors.


No other measure has an effect as immediate as this, is as cheap as this and bears such big potential for a reduction of CO2-emissions. The faster one drives, the more greenhouse gas is emitted. The air drag does not increase linearly but quadratic. This means the faster one drives, the more energy is needed. By a simple measure of reducing maximum speed, less GHG is emitted. The maximum speed will be reduced as following:

  • Highway: 90 km/h (today 120 km/h)
  • Motorway: 80 km/h (today 100 km/h)
  • Rural: 70 km/h (today 80 km/h)
  • Urban: 30 km/h (today 50 km/h)

This takes an adjustment of signalization, especially based on Art. 108 Abs 2 lit.d SSV (SR 741.21) respectively possible adjustments of legal fundamentals (SVG SR 741.01, SSV SR 741.21, VRV SR 741.11). It must be implemented for roads on all levels: federal, cantonal and communal.

Reducing maximum speed has not only the direct impact of less GHG per km driven, but also leads to a change in mobility behaviors. Over time, ways got longer, because moving around got easier and faster. The reason for this is an increase of travel speed due to the extension of road and rail infrastructure. Whilst travel time stayed the same, people cover longer distances. Meaning that people tend to live further away from their place of work and leisure. Lowering maximum speed is expected to reverse this effect.

Finally, lower maximum speed leads to more safety, meaning less and less severe accidents, less noise and traffic flows more smoothly therefore traffic jams and stop and go situations will be avoided.


Potential savings due to obsolete noise remediation and the reduction of economic damages regarding health (e.g., noise, fine dust), accidents, and deaths outweigh the cost of re-signaling by far.


People can be expected to change their behavior in the short and in the long run. In areas with a high flexibility such as leisure and shopping people will tend to look for proximal alternatives soon, place of living and working will take more time to adjust. There will directly be savings in the fuel consumption and lower GHG-emissions. Numbers of accidents, noise levels can be expected to decrease. A change of the modal split in favor of foot, bike and public transport can be expected. Existing infrastructure will be used more efficiently, with lower speed. The impact is complex, as the effects are complex. A mix of direct effects (less speed) and indirect effects (primary and secondary induced traffic) is expected. To give a number, a study by Pfleiderer and Braun (2012) found that in western Germany, new roads are leading to an increase of traffic by 1% each year, since the system gets faster. It might not seem like a lot, but over the years this number accumulates.

Social Compatibility

This policy is socially fair: no one has a financial advantage and the additional cost in time is distributed equally, everyone’s day has 24 hours.
The attractiveness of centers, and urban spaces might increase, due to higher costs of commuting. The pressure in the housing market needs to be well addressed by politics. A shift to public transport is expected, as well as people moving to closer places, which leads to more pressure on the housing market in places with a high density of working spaces.

Policy 2.13: Introduction of a Monthly Car-Free Day

One car-free day per month, breaks up mobility-routines.


By introducing one car-free day per month people get the possibility to break up their routines and explore other forms of mobility. A different mobility culture can be experienced, as a regular private car user, but also as a non-car driver. State, canton and communities should start to implement this together in 2021. Car-free days are rather a sign, as their direct influence on overall CO2-emissions are low. However, it is important to show that it is not only possible, but in many terms more convenient and favorable to use other means of transport. In combination with promotions for public transport, or free use of bike sharing offers, people get the possibility to get to know alternatives better. The first hurdle can easily be overcome and the way to make it a habit is open. The experience is being expected to be more positive on a Sunday and rather stressful on a working day. Therefore, it is favorable to start with one car-free Sunday a month.




While we predict a minor emissions reduction, this policy mainly aims to change people’s mindset and convey the possibility of a different future.

Policy Measures: Waterborne Transport

Policy 2.14: Stop the Expansion of the Rhine Ports in Basel


The expansion of the trimodal port basin 3 in Basel-Stadt should not be pursued further. In Basel, the construction of a new, trimodal terminal is planned, which will enable the container shipment ship-road-railway. The need for such a terminal is based on the assumption that container traffic to Switzerland will double by 2030 (Gateway Basel Nord AG, 2020). The Rhine ports will mainly be used for importing goods into Switzerland (FOC 2016), whereby logistics "is a growth industry due to the increasing international division of labor" (Canton Basel-Stadt 2020). The expansion of the port of Basel is also described as necessary in connection with the Rotterdam-Genoa axis, whereby the expansion of this axis serves in particular the goal of "promoting international competitiveness" (CODE24, 2014). The trimodal terminal will primarily serve road-rail transshipment and will therefore also take over the functions of the Limmattal gateway, which was once planned without a port connection. 

For various reasons, the expansion is not compatible with climate neutrality by 2030 and must therefore be stopped by the project sponsors:

  • It is justified with increasing (global) freight transport. However, this is fossil-fueled; it does not make sense to expand the range of services by expanding the infrastructure, since only this will create the conditions for further long-distance (shipping) traffic. Moreover, the existing port facilities have reserves, including in the container area, as the situation due to the low water of the Rhine and the discontinuation of shipping in 2018 shows.  
  • The main goods handled today are fossil fuels (56%), ores, stones, earths (18%) and consumer goods (12%) - together this makes up 86% (FOC 2016). None of these industries would lead us to expect large increases in transshipment volumes in a climate-neutral society. On the contrary, the production of (consumer) goods needs to be reduced rather than expanded, for example through more durable and socially actually relevant products; at the very least, the increasing production of short-lived consumer goods does not justify an expansion of the Rhine port infrastructure. Also, the (consumer) production of goods is more likely to be relocalized (short distances; climate workshops, etc.) rather than stimulated by global transport.
  • In terms of volume, imports dominate exports in the Rhine ports by far. However, it has declined in the period 1998 to 2015(FOC 2016).
  • Even the construction itself would be extremely concrete-intensive, without any climate policy urgency. There is no climate impact assessment with regard to the CO2 reduction paths required (see Policy 3.9).  
  • A no-committee points out further reasons against the trimodal terminal. (Committee No to Port Basin 3 2020).


Stopping the planning would mean that large sums of money could be used socially where they would have an effect on climate policy.  


No expansion of capacities for the import of global goods handled by ship. CO2 effect cannot be clearly defined; but the principle should be fairly fixed: Infrastructure for global transport enables and entails it

Social Compatibility

No conflicts. However, the Basel-Stadt urban development project (port and urban development) will not be able to be implemented in (essential) parts.

Questions and Uncertainties

The policy is already addressed by the moratorium on new infrastructure. Since this is an ongoing process, which is being conducted by the project managers with the arguments of a shift of freight traffic to rail and ship, as well as the expansion in favor of a "sustainable" shipping infrastructure, the policy is explicitly addressed here.

Policy 2.15: Introduction of Standards for Embarked Goods

The introduction of clear standards for embarked goods lead to an exclusion of goods being imported to Switzerland that have been transported by ships being either environmentally or socially unjustifiable.


Switzerland has little impact on the companies that operate cargo ships, as environmental and social standards of that country apply under which flag a ship is run (Delestrac 2016). By introducing clear standards for ships that unload at the “Rheinhäfen” in Basel it is possible to make sure there are no goods imported to Switzerland in a way that do not correlate with what needs to be respected as a minimum. The standards need to include at least: environmental requirements for the ships and practices on the ship, social standards for the workforce (salary, working hours, etc.). The standards for shipping imports need to be defined and need to pass through the political processes, in order to be set in place the latest in the year 2025.

Moreover some standards need to be apply on the age and condition of the ships, some studies show that new technology could save 30 40% energy


Consumers may pay higher prices for regulated goods. Enforcement of the standards is financed within running state budgets.


Unethical and environmental damaging practices in shipping will be banned as far as possible from Switzerland. This practice might be used as a role model for an introduction in other countries.

Social Compatibility

The workers on cargo ships will gain as they profit from better working conditions.

Questions and Uncertainties

If necessary, in addition, Research and Development for the design, building and operation of environmentally-friendly ships could be supported by the state.

Policy 2.16: Regulating Motorized Boats and Ships for Private, Public and Commercial Use

The steering levy is applied for boat as for car (Policy 2.9) and a ban on ICE boats is also applied (Policy 2.7). Boats not using energy carriers (wind and human powered boats) need to be preferred as well as boats powered by non-CO2 emission technology (e.g. electricity or hydrogen).

Policy 2.17: Cap on Tons of Imported in Switzerland


The quantity of imported products increased dramatically. The million tons of loaded trade has been multiplied by more than 18 in the last 40 years (Figure 2‑5). The category with the most imports is “consumer goods”. Most of these goods are transported overseas and have a significant climate impact. 

The goal of this policy would be to stop the increased quantity of imported goods and lower this cap years after years to reduce (and at least not increase) the emission produced to transport these products and reduce overconsumption.


No financing required 


This policy will impact consumers and companies that will need reduce their consumptions.

Questions and Uncertainties

The implementation of this policy might be tricky. There should be a priority on goods that are judged as essential. Moreover, since many parties are involved, it might be challenging to implement.  

Policy 2.18: Imposing Standards for Ships belonging to Swiss Companies


Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the world’s second biggest shipping company is based in Switzerland (headquarters in Geneva). However, the standards imposed on its ships are not swiss or European standards but standards of the country in which the ships are registered. In the global shipping network, most of the ships are registered under so-called “flag states” or “flag of compliance” (e.g Panama), states that allow lower standards on ship inspection, certification and issuance of safety and pollution (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development 2020; Swiss Ships 2020; Alphaliner 2020; MSC 2020). 


No financing required 


Unethical and environmental damaging practices in shipping will be banned as far as possible from shipping companies based in Switzerland. This practice might be used as a role model for an introduction in other countries.

Questions and Uncertainties

There is a risk that MSC change its headquarters to another country but it could be seen as an example so other countries apply the same legislation for shipping companies with headquarters in there countries. Moreover, we do not want to encourage this kind of practice by allowing such companies to pay low taxes without respecting ethical values.

Policy Measures: Aviation

Policy 2.19: No Subsidies and Tax Breaks for Aviation


There is a general VAT (MWST/TVA/IVA) exemption for international flights and for most aviation-related services, including food and other suppliers (ESTV 2016). Moreover, unlike car fuels, aviation fuels are mostly exempt from the petroleum tax, which means a tax break of about 1.7 billion CHF annually (Poletti 2018)(EZV 2018). And a part of the tax income collected is even used to subsidize aviation (BAZL 2016). Furthermore, aviation is exempt from the CO2-levy.

The department of defense (DDPS / VBS) finances many airfields, even those it no longer uses (Die Bundesversammlung 2019b). These tax exemptions and subsidies go against the Climate goals and provide an unfair advantage for aviation over alternative modes of transportation.

As a first and immediate measure, all such tax exemptions and subsidies must be cut immediately. Small airports not profitable without funding from the state such as Bern Belp, Lugano Agno and Altenrhein will be closed. The additional tax income should in part be invested in alternatives to aviation (Policy 2.28) and the development of renewable energy projects and the shift to synthetic fuels (Policy 2.20).


The VAT rate is 7.7% but might only apply to a part of current ticket costs (some fees might be excluded). Petroleum tax is 739.50 CHF per 1000 L kerosene. CO2-levy is CHF 96 per ton CO2.

For example, a flight from Zurich to New York with Swiss can cost CHF 1628, of which 1594 are taxable in principle, implying CHF 122 VAT. Per passenger, it consumes 132 L of kerosene, implying a petroleum tax of CHF 98. It emits 334 kg of CO2, meaning a CO2-levy of CHF 32. Hence, without these three fiscal exemptions the ticket would cost CHF 1880 instead of CHF 1628, which is 15% more. Some studies assume a price elasticity of flying at -1, others estimate that for low-cost transatlantic flying the value is higher.

Hence stripping these three fiscal exemptions would decrease the amount of flying between Zurich and New York between 5% to 15% (Leandros 2019).

Social Compatibility

The VAT is a regressive tax, and so are the current petroleum tax and the CO2-levy. They are all flat-rate taxes on consumption and as such hit lower-income individuals stronger, because they spend a higher share of their income than higher-income individuals. Hence the social effects of stripping these tax breaks would be slightly adverse. Therefore, to counterbalance, the measures needed to achieve additional reductions in flying must target higher-income individuals. These could be, for instance, progressive taxes.

Policy 2.20: Alternative Fuel - Synthetic Fuel from Renewable Energy

For the next decades, synthetic fuels made from renewable energy are the most promising to make aviation clean. While the technology is being developed and tested already, synthetic fuels will only be available at sufficient quantities around 2040. With a fuel quota the fossil fuels will gradually be replaced with synthetic fuels. Only synthetic fuel is allowed after 2030.


In the long-term, aviation must become emissions-free. Currently, aviation relies entirely on fossil kerosene. This means a total shift to renewable energy sources is required and a way to apply the energy in airplanes.

Battery electric planes face a fundamental challenge in the very low energy density (by weight) of batteries. While prototypes already exist, expert interviews suggest that battery electric planes are unlikely to be certified for commercial flights exceeding 500 km by 2040 (ICAO, n.d.). Hydrogen, by contrast, has a high energy density by weight, but an extremely low density by volume. A hydrogen fuel cell plane would need to look very different, with a very large hydrogen tank. Technically this is realistic, but the fact remains that there are currently no commercial prototypes and reaching a level of technological maturity for hydrogen planes so that they could begin to be used commercially would require at least 20 – 30 years.

For the next decades, synthetic fuels are the most promising. Currently, there are two technologies for synthetic fuel production: power-to-liquid and heat conversion. Power-to-liquid converts renewable electricity such as from solar and wind to split H2O and captured CO2 molecules. Heat conversion relies on concentrated solar thermal energy to split the molecules. Power-to-liquid is more mature and may currently cost as little CHF 2 per liter. Heat conversion is new, but more efficient because it avoids conversion to electricity and expensive electrolysis. While initial costs may be at CHF 2-10, it is likely to become the less expensive option within the decade, with projected fuel costs of roughly CHF 1 per liter. For comparison, jet fuel currently costs CHF 0.60 without taxes. The first two demonstration facilities have gone online in 2019, and one Swiss-based startup (Synhelion, based in Lugano) is planning the first commercial-scale demonstration plant to be ready by 2023 (Synhelion, n.d.).(Detz, Reek, and van der Zwaan (2018) discuss various synthetic fuels and their projected price. ZENID, another startup, plans to produce 500k liters synthetic fuel annually by 2030, at a price of about CHF 1.50.

Both Power-to-liquid and heat conversion technologies require large amounts of land for renewable energy collection, although far less land than would be required for comparable volumes of biofuels, or forest carbon offsetting. In the case of heat conversion, the ideal production sites would be in semi-arid or arid environments, where sunlight is stronger and there is less competition with agriculture and biodiversity. In other words, one should not view synthetic fuel production as something that would necessarily take place on Swiss soil.

The main challenge for carbon-neutral flying, then, is to stimulate investment in synthetic fuel production, making possible a complete phase-out of fossil-based jet fuel. It is unlikely that this can happen by 2030, simply because of the investment volumes needed, although 2040 would be realistic though ambitious, but not ridiculous. The current cost of synthetic fuel is also too high to be incentivized with an environmental tax. To stimulate such investment, then, the ideal policy instrument would be a rising fuel quota. Beginning in 2025, 10% of aviation fuel put into planes in Switzerland would need to be synthetic, and this would scale 25% a year to 100% by 2030. By 2030, it will be virtually impossible to produce enough synthetic fuel to keep up even with today's kerosene quantities. Hence, the quota will inevitably force a reduction in aviation until the production quantities scale up. This puts a strong incentive on the aviation industry to quickly develop and scale up synthetic fuel production.

A fundamental requirement is that the energy for fuel synthesis must be 100% renewable. To prevent competition for renewable energy with other sectors, new energy plants have to be built especially for aviation. Further, because the fuel synthesis is not yet at a commercial scale, there is a considerable amount of uncertainty about reachable quantities and prices over the next decades. But given the low initial percentage, the price should not be too strongly affected, and the fixed quota will give some planning certainty and encourage quick investment.


Mostly, the changes must be financed by the aviation industry, which will be paid through the tickets by the consumer. To accelerate the development of fuel synthesis, some of the aviation taxes can be used, but only for research purposes. We advise against a subsidy; the quota provides enough incentive.


This policy is the only long-term solution that allows aviation while being carbon neutral. Further, synthetic fuels are cleaner, they have fewer impurities because they can be made to be pure hydrocarbon with less particulate matter. While there is significant uncertainty, this could lead to about half as much cloud formation and thus reduce the non-CO2 heating effects.

Since it is a long-term strategy and the technology will not be available on large enough of a scale by 2030, other measures and policies are required. In fact, it is hard to meet the required quota without reducing aviation.

It is fundamental to only allow renewable energy for the synthesis and only allow new energy plants that do not compete with energy production for other sectors. If renewable energy is only shifted from another sector and the other sector then relies more on fossil fuels, the impact of this policy is compromised.

Social Compatibility

The cost of flying will increase, but since flying is mostly a luxury and not a need, this is justified given the enormous emissions of aviation with conventional fuels This policy is currently the most promising path to clean aviation, even if very ambitious.

Questions and Uncertainties

Since the technology for synthetic fuels is only just now ready for tests and will take years to be scaled up to commercial levels, it is possible that there will be delays or failures. For a net-zero path, aviation has to be included, even if zero-emissions technology is not available as fast as 2040. Thus, should the technology not be available in the required quantity or fail completely, then aviation has to be reduced or stopped accordingly.

Policy 2.21: Aviation Taxation

We discuss multiple ways for taxation in aviation. This policy taxes tons of CO2 progressively, over a 4-year period. The purpose is to discourage frequent-flyers which are often the one less affected by raise of prices and to use these revenues for research on synthetic fuel production.


Price mechanisms such as a tax make sense if one wants to achieve a slight reduction in demand or raise revenue. The more inelastic the demand, the less effect a tax can achieve. Generally, one needs high tax rates to have even a small impact on demand. Taxing fossil fuels alone would not be a sufficient measure to make the transition to synthetic fuels, as they are significantly more expensive. But a CO2 tax could at least make sure the price of flying better reflects the environmental costs. Further, it could raise revenue to be invested in renewable energy generation or other transportation infrastructure projects that would both lower environmental impact and benefit the population.

A flat tax has several shortcomings. Most flights are due to a small, rich and privileged percentage of the population, which will hardly be persuaded to fly less by such a tax. Unless of course the tax is massive, in which case, low- and middle-class people would be totally cut off from flying.

A Frequent Flyer Levy (FFL) (Fellow travellers, n.d.) or Air Miles Levy (AML) (Carmichael 2019)( progressively tax the number of flights (FFL) or total distance flown (AML) over multiple years. Exponentially taxing the amount of flights (FFL) reduces the number of launches which are especially fuel-intensive and can encourage choosing the train instead of a short-haul flight. Progressively taxing the total distance flown (AML) encourages people to choose closer destinations for holidays for example. The distance flown is directly related to emissions, therefore AML is more closely related to pollution than FFL. The tax is set over multiple years since one should fly at most once every few years, once a year is already too much. It goes without saying that the loyalty programs (air miles) will be prohibited.

We propose to measure emissions e in CO2 equivalent (tons), based on CO2 and non-CO2 factors, over a 4-year period. The tax is calculated per flight and added to the ticket price. The tax is determined as c*e*(e+1)/2 CHF. In the first 4-year period, let c=60, and increase it to 120 and 180 in the following periods. For reference, a return trip to New York produces about e=2 tons CO2eq, London about e=0.4 tons. A single NY trip would result in a 180 CHF tax, two trips 600 CHF, and three trips 1260 CHF. Note, that business and first-class seats produce more emissions and are thus taxed proportionally more than economy flights. In fact, business-class has about double the impact and first class three times that of an economy flight (myclimate, n.d.).

Figure 2-8: Custom plot for c=60

Compatibility with other policies: If taken in conjunction with an emissions cap policy (Policy 2.22), this policy only has to target frequent flyers. Without a cap policy, taxation may also have to limit the total amount of aviation emissions. This means the coefficient for the tax, c in the above equation, has to be adjusted every four-year period to reach a set goal. The tax may have to be much higher if it has to do all the heavy lifting of reducing demand. The target path is to reduce 10% of current yearly emissions by 2025, stepwise reach zero emission by 2030. Beyond 2030, only flights with synthetic fuel are allowed. It is important to measure emissions before any compensation measures. The goal has to be to make aviation zero-emissions in itself, or very close to it. Given the limitations and uncertainties of compensation technologies, we cannot rely on them.


Even today, people have to provide their passport-id when booking a flight. In addition, BAZL will have to keep a database with passport-ids and accumulate the emissions for each person. Then the tax can be calculated and added with the sale of each ticket automatically. This data has to be handled carefully to protect privacy, the database should store the minimal data necessary and only provide the current emission e of a passenger to the airlines for the calculation.


This policy will pay for its own overhead first. With the income, research and development of alternative propulsion (Policy 2.20) should be supported, and also alternative modes of transportation (Policy 2.28).


This policy allows to steer the amount of reductions through the coefficient for taxation. The impact can hence increase every four-year period. Its purpose is to tackle the disproportionally high environmental impact of the frequent flyers. It will reflect the unsustainable nature of a frequent flyer lifestyle in a financial manner.

Social Compatibility

This measure does not tax people going on a “once in a lifetime” trip very much. It would still be affordable to go on a trip every 4 years. The goal is to make flying exceptional, certainly as long as it creates unsustainable levels of emissions. There may be serious resistance from frequent flyers, but we expect that to be a rather small group, and the demand for frequent flying is not justifiable until zero-emission technology is available. Further, the tax is raised gradually, leaving frequent-flyers some time to adapt.

Policy 2.22: Emissions Cap

This policy sets an absolute cap on emissions for the aviation sector and is thus the most direct measure to ensure emissions reduction.


The most direct way to limit aviation emissions, is to set an absolute cap per year and hand out emissions permits. For every flight, the emissions have to be calculated and a corresponding emissions permits obtained. This has to include all types of flights, including airlines, charter flights and private jets. We envision an emissions path of a 10% reduction by 2025 and stepwise reaching zero by 2030.

There are multiple ways to hand out emissions permits. First, they could simply be proportionally distributed to airports based on current emissions, reducing their capacities. The scarcity drives up the ticket prices and will keep up income for the aviation industry despite lower passenger numbers. This may lessen opposition from the aviation industry. Second, the emissions permits could be auctioned by the states to airlines. This means the additional revenue goes to the state and not the aviation industry. These finances should then be used to further alternative propulsion (Policy 2.20) and alternatives to aviation (Policy 2.28). 

Compatibility with other Policies

It is important to measure emissions before compensation. If this policy is taken in conjunction with a Frequent Flyers Levy (Policy 2.21), demand may already be reduced slightly and reduce the auction price of emissions permits. This may have the benefit of making flying once every 4 years affordable while more heavily pricing frequent flying. Note that the zero-emission cap by 2030 will effectively only allow planes with synthetic fuel.


This policy has no direct costs, instead it generates revenue which can be used to finance other policy measures.


Emissions are directly controlled; reductions can be calculated in comparison to the projected emissions without the policy.

Social Compatibility

Ticket prices for flying would increase drastically if the limits are set as low as is necessary. Tickets may become unaffordable for many. However, in conjunction with a strong Frequent Flyers Levy (Policy 2.21), some pressure can be taken away from people flying very rarely and shift it to frequent flyers. To increase the acceptability, accompanying measures such as support for alternatives to aviation (Policy 2.28) should be taken.

Policy 2.23: Ban Short-Haul Flights


In 2018, 77% of air passengers had destinations in Europe, and the most common reasons for flying are time and convenience, but also a lack of alternatives and price play a part (FSO 2019d). Due to low ticket prices, alternatives on the ground such as night trains can hardly compete. While short-haul flights do save some time, the gains are not justified by the disproportionally high emissions, especially since launches make a significant emission contribution to these flights.

We propose an immediate ban of domestic flights and all flights reachable within 8h with alternatives such as public transport (e.g. Zürich-Berlin and Zürich-London). This ban radius should be increased to 16h by 2025 and by 2030 no short-haul flights in the radius of 24h by public transport would be permitted.

Many short-haul flights serve as connecting flights to long-haul flights. Going to an airport further away for long-haul flights makes sense economically but also ecologically, fewer long-haul flights have to be launched. But these connecting trips can also reasonably be taken by ground transport.




A significant amount of flights would not take place, some passengers would choose alternative transportation or avoid less important travel. Given that most flights are to destinations in Europe, the emissions reductions can be projected to be significant once the ban radius is high enough.

In some countries it may be more advantageous to use short-haul electric planes. They may be available around 2030 for distances less than 500 km. This is especially useful in less densely populated countries where the cost and emissions of the infrastructure of other modes of transportation could exceed that of electric planes. However, flying remains very energy intensive even in the case of electrification. This means that they risk displacing other uses for the limited supply of renewable electricity.

Social Compatibility

The policy is designed to limit emissions without making travel impossible, in fact it only bans flights that are reachable with reasonable alternatives. The ban radius is increased gradually to allow people to adapt and alternatives to be strengthened.

Policy 2.24: Ban Private Jets and other Forms of Luxury Aviation


Most private jets are smaller than regular passenger planes and, while they each use less fuel, they are less efficient in terms of emissions per transport capacity. Some very rich people even use normal-sized jets with hotel-like furniture for private transportation. Private Jets mostly fly below their passenger capacity and often even empty (Harvey 2019). An average private jet journey within Europe emits 10 times as much greenhouse gases as the same journey made by an economy class flight, and roughly 150 times more than an equivalent high speed train journey (Beevo and Murray, n.d.).

Unlike many other things, no one really needs private jets, in fact only a tiny fraction of the global elite gets to use them.

Therefore, we demand an immediate ban on private jets and expect their current users to switch to airline flights. The goal is to also ask the richest elite to take steps to combat the climate crisis and lower their contribution to it and therefore making the other measures more socially acceptable (Leandros 2019). A few exceptions may be made for non-commercial general aviation services in the public interest.

A similar logic applies to flights with helicopters or propeller machines for personal transportation or recreation. This includes taxi-flights, heli-skiing or flights to move mountain bikes uphill. We consider these flights luxury aviation because they provide services nobody really needs or can easily be substituted by less polluting alternatives. As such they should also be banned. Moreover, beyond climate change considerations, all these flights also produce noise and smog.




The emissions of CO2eq directly saved by this measure might seem marginal, however, put in relation to the low number of people affected, they are very high. Most importantly, enacting this measure would give legitimacy to climate policies that affect larger numbers of people. The indirect impact by virtue of its political messaging is big.

Social Compatibility

Since only very few are impacted, and only the richest elite, the policy should be very socially acceptable. It also sends a signal that everyone has to adjust, and even more so those with the largest emissions footprint. It is thus compatible with the idea of climate justice and makes the other policies even more socially acceptable.

Policy 2.25: Compensation of other Climate Change Effects besides CO2


As already explained, high-altitude combustion does not just emit CO2 but also short-lived GHG, such as water vapor and particulates from jet exhausts. There is considerable uncertainty as to the magnitude of the heating effect, but it could be as large as the effect of the CO2 emissions. Synthetic fuels can have less particulate matter if they are synthesized to pure hydrocarbon, potentially leading to less cloud formation.

To ensure a net-zero goal, not just the CO2 emissions of fossil kerosene but also the non-CO2 emissions for all aviation must be compensated with negative emissions starting from 2030. A government agency like BAFU or BAZL must calculate what aviation service has to compensate to what levels and the aviation service providers must finance the compensation projects. This will lead to a moderate increase in the ticket prices.

While there are safe ways to store CO2 from the air, there are some concerns with all methods of compensation. Therefore, it is important to rely on compensation as little as possible. In the long-term, compensation should only be used to offset inevitable non-CO2 heating effects in aviation. For a detailed discussion on negative emissions, and the guidelines for compensation within this CAP, we refer to chapter on negative emissions (especially see Policy 7.1).

There are multiple ways to implement financing of compensation: either the aviation service providers need to obtain sufficient negative emissions certificates of sufficient quality, or a tax is raised, and the state takes the funds to buy the certificate or invest in compensation projects.


The instrument internalizes the cost, the ticket prices will rise accordingly.


The CO2 emissions up to 2030 will be compensated and the non-CO2 heating effects offset beyond 2030.

Social Compatibility

Since it only has a relatively small effect on the ticket price, and internalizes the cost of emissions, this is a very fair policy.

Questions and Uncertainties

Given the uncertainty about the exact impact of non-CO2 heating effects, these effects must be further studied in order to make exact calculations for compensation.

While synthetic fuels burn a bit cleaner, it is not clear how much. They may be reduced as much as 50% or maybe not much at all (FOEN 2019b). This would continually require negative emissions, even despite CO2 neutral fuel.

Policy 2.26: General Efficiency Measures


There are many small improvements that can be employed to reduce fuel usage and hence reduce emissions. In a Nature article, Schäfer et al. (2016) list many such measures, and detail how much could be saved in emissions at what price.

Interestingly, many of the measures would actually save the airlines money. For example, electric taxiing, namely installing an electric motor in the wheels, could save about 2.8% of emissions and save money for the fuel used by the engines running currently. Running on a single engine between the gate and takeoff could save another 2%. Blended winglets and open rotor engines could save even more, as they reduce drag during flight. There is also a lot of potential in airport-management, for example better launch scheduling could allow planes to wait at the gate and only turn on the engines when they are allowed to launch. Better arrival scheduling could allow planes to fly slower instead to circle over the airport until they are given permission to land. Flying slower saves fuel.

Some measures cause additional costs for airlines. Reducing cabin weight can save 1-2% of fuel, thus the maximum luggage weight should be reduced, from today's standard of 20kg to 15kg. Unnecessary things, such as duty-free items should be forbidden.

There are studies showing that moderate changes to flight paths could significantly change the non-CO2 climate change effects. Sometimes the flight level can be changed by about 600 meters with a significant improvement of heating through contrails with only a marginal increase in fuel consumption (Katrin Schregenberger 2020). Some of these measures increase costs, for example flights would have to be routed over areas with higher taxes or marginally more fuel would be consumed. Regulations should be put in place to incentivize airlines to choose the flight path with the least climate heating effects.

One possible implementation of flight path adjustments is through climate-charged toll areas (Malte 2019). The proposal is to extend today’s area fees to include additional fees for climate sensitive areas. Daily, the fees are adjusted according to weather conditions. Some areas are zoned especially expensive to discourage flights over ice, where the condensation and cloud formation is more intense. Airways already calculate flight paths according to real fees to minimize cost, thus the proposal does not require them to change their software to optimize flight paths. The climate-charged toll areas thus leverage areal fees to monetarily motivate airways to reduce the heating effects of their flights.

The fact that many of these measures were not implemented yet, despite potential savings for the industry, suggests that external pressure may be required. For some items, higher fuel prices would be sufficient, which could be achieved with some of the other policies described above. For others, a regulatory approach has to be taken, for example changing procedures around the airport is not up to a single airline. We propose that BAZL has to decide what measures (listed here and more) would be sufficiently implemented due to higher fuel prices and what measures require regulation and put those regulations into law.


By airlines themselves.


Significant reduction in emissions for a relatively small financial cost.

Social Compatibility

The small increase in ticket prices is socially acceptable given the reduction in emissions they effect.

Questions and Uncertainties

The listing here is not intended to be exhaustive. While we do mention some sources, a more detailed list of required efficiency measures has to be produced, put into regulation, and implemented.

Policy 2.27: Support for People affected by the Decline in Aviation

Description and Impact

The purpose of all policies above is to cut the GHG emission of aviation. This is not possible without a reduction in aviation until sufficient quantities of synthetic fuels can eventually be produced. If only 10% of today's kerosene quantity is available in synthetic fuel by 2030, this may mean a reduction of 90% of the sector. This will have the consequence that jobs will be lost and aviation employees retrained for other sectors. To make the general strategy and the concrete policies socially compatible, it is crucial to make retraining available and provide financial aid to compensate the lost salaries.

We also expect some effect on the tourism industry, both domestic and globally.

Many companies have their employees travel by plane regularly. Here we expect that most will find alternatives (more teleconference, train ride, …) over the adjustment period.

Affected groups:

  • Aviation industry: Airport personal, pilots
  • Business travel: People living far from their workplace, consultants
  • Tourism sector

The groups listed above will face higher unemployment rate, therefore accompanying measures will be taken to facilitate professional reintegration. These measures are described in the public program for green jobs (Policy 9.1)


See Policy 9.1

Questions and Uncertainties

There is still an open point on the impact of the reduction of aviation on the tourism sector outside of Switzerland.

Policy 2.28: Support for Alternatives to Aviation


The vision is to have drastic reduction of aviation; therefore, we need to think about alternatives that could allow people to reach most places in Europe without requiring aviation.

The counterpart should not be that people use their car to drive to destinations they would have flown, for single passenger ICE vehicles the balance is not much better than for planes. To prevent this issue, a convenient public transportation and train system should be put in place to effectively connect major destinations. Travel time is the main reason (67%) (FSO 2015) why people choose aviation rather than other means of transport. Therefore, we should tackle this issue by improving efficiency of other means of transport (train, night trains, bus, etc.).

To achieve such goals, studies will be run to determine the major needs to reduce the need of aviation: which cities are not well connected, which destinations are more needed, etc. Based on these studies, investment will be done to support the more impactful measures.

Some of the measures could be:

  • Developing new night train rides
  • Developing railways for destination that are not well connected
  • Improving booking websites: harmonized European digital platform to allows easy planning and booking of train tickets, international train tickets can be bought 6 months in advance (today max. 3 months which is an additional barrier for booking train ticket rather than plane tickets)
  • Improving bus network for destination not reachable by train

Once flying will get more expensive (by taxing its environmental impact), everything else will fall in line. Making aviation less attractive might be enough to increase the demand for alternatives such as night trains without necessary need to promote it (we do not want to make it too attractive so people travel more, we want people to change the means of transport).


The financing of studies and impactful projects will be covered by the tax on aviation.


This policy will help to develop alternatives to aviation. The impact will be to reduce aviation by offering better alternatives to aviation. The impact will also be to improve accessibility of regions that are currently not well deserved.

Social Compatibility

This policy will improve the social compatibility of other aviation policies and improve transportation systems at an affordable price (cheaper than aviation) and therefore allow people to continue to travel even if the price of the aviation drastically increases.