Day: October 3, 2023


Central European Affairs has recently dealt extensively with the EU overregulating essential oils. We had a podcast here at CEA Talks with the expert on this proposal, Dr. Emil Panzaru, who works at the Consumer Choice Center as Research Manager and also ran an op-ed with our magazine in which he explained the problems of the proposed legislation. Now, we are going after the story, and we want to see what happens on the EU level when there is a push from experts, stakeholders, and civil society to cancel the proposal or change it if possible. It is fascinating looking at how the “Brussels bureaucracy” operates when we experience every day that the Hungarian government would never give in to anything coming from other actors but its politicians.

CEA: Dr. Panzaru, when we last talked, you enthusiastically outlined why the proposal by the European Union Chemical Agency is terrible for the industry of essential oils and, in the long run, bad for the consumer. Can you update us on whether there are any developments regarding this issue?

Emil Panzaru: First, I would like to reiterate what I told you last time. Placing essential oils with other harmful substances is a big mistake. When we see such an example of overregulation, we have to raise our voices, especially when we know those who will be hurt the most are mainly SMEs, small farmers, and, last but not least, consumers.

CEA: Would anyone benefit from the changes to chemical regulations outlined initially by the European Chemicals Agency?

EP: Regulations change the balance of costs and benefits firms must make. As such, there are always benefactors and losers of every regulation; in this case, those who need not comply, for example, outside competitors like the Chinese, would overtake their European competitors and take over the market with their essential oils products.

CEA: Do you see any positive change in the run-up to the decision-making?

EP: Definitely. Just over a week ago, a new amendment was put forward, which suggests that water or stem-based extracts like essential oils are safe as they are organic botanic products. The proposal also recommends a new category for these substances apart from existing legislation on biocides and natural pesticide. 

CEA: Can the industry and consumers now be relieved that these products will continue to be produced as before?

EP: Not yet. This amendment still needs to be voted on and accepted. But I must say that this amendment is going in the right direction. Probably, some decision-makers finally realized that removing these products from the shelves just because one in a hundred substances might prove dangerous under laboratory conditions was not feasible and would have been downright economically harmful to European businesses and consumers. Based on the initial logic, anything can be labeled harmful. 

CEA: Speaking of which, would the original proposal bring about extra costs for producers?

EP: It surely would. This is a solid argument as well. When you look at the extra procurement costs that it would entail in an economic environment of high inflation, which you, as a Hungary-based outlet, must understand much better than in some other parts of Europe, you will see that a lot of producers would have to close operations or increase prices, which would then be unable to compete with producers who are not affected by the original proposal and further drive the price momentum of inflation. Due to this unnecessary supply problem, consumers will have fewer items to choose from and be able to afford fewer of them in the first place.

CEA: Following this note, could you share more insights into how this proposal affected countries that are the leading producers and what this amendment means for their industries?

EP: Before the amendment, these regulations were causing significant concerns for countries heavily reliant on essential oil production. For instance, Bulgaria is the world’s leading rose oil producer, and the threat of their business being wiped out by irresponsible regulations was a real threat. Italy, France, and Estonia also faced the potential loss of substantial export revenue due to the overregulation. Amendment 32 provides much-needed relief for these countries, ensuring their essential oil industries can thrive without unnecessary hurdles and economic losses.

CEA: What are your expectations for the EU’s future of essential oil regulations?

EP: Recognizing essential oils as organic and safe in Amendment 32 is a step in the right direction, but there’s still work to be done in promoting sensible, risk-based assessments in regulatory processes. My expectation for the future is that policymakers and regulatory agencies will employ a risk-based (rather than hazard-based approach) and continue to listen to scientific evidence. That means prioritizing common sense in their decision-making and ensuring that essential oils and other natural substances are regulated in a fair and balanced manner to the benefit of both consumers and industries.

Net Neutrality Rules Set To Be Reintroduced In The US

On September 26, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel spoke at the National Press Club and said that she is a supporter of net neutrality. She proposed the revival of the net neutrality rules which had been rolled back in 2017 and said that the FCC would invite public comment on how restoring net neutrality rules can help ensure internet access is fast, open, and fair. 

Under Rosenworcel’s proposal, the FCC would have the power to oversee broadband internet access as a “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act. Title II of the Communications Act gives the FCC clear authority to serve as a watchdog over the communications marketplace and look out for the public interest. 

What were the US’s net neutrality rules?

Net neutrality principles ensure that all online service providers are treated equally. The net neutrality rules that the US had pre-2017 said three simple things: 

  • No blocking: Internet service providers (ISPs) should not block users’ access to certain platforms/websites. 
  • No throttling: ISPs cannot single out internet traffic based on where its coming from or who it’s going to. 
  • No paid prioritization: ISPs cannot accept money to speed up access to a certain platform or service.

“I believe this repeal of net neutrality put the agency on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the public. It was not good then, but it makes even less sense now,” Rosenworcel said discussing the repeal of these rules in 2017. Her proposal claims that it will return to these rules and will ensure that “broadband service is on par with water, power, and phone service; that is: essential.” 

Read the full text here

Industry needs to highlight sustainability efforts

LETTERS: I read the report “CCC called for informed decision-making to counter negative palm oil perception” (NST, Sept 22) with great interest.

Most interesting was Consumer Choice Centre (CCC) representative Tarmizi Anuwar’s statement that “consumers and industries alike must also be diligent in ‘cutting through the noise’ to reveal the true value of products”.

Media platforms, like NST, play a critical role in informing consumers. 

I have followed the palm oil industry for over a decade.

As a conscientious consumer, it has not been an easy to shop for goods that do not impact the environment.

However, if media or social media is to be believed, then taking an anti-palm oil sentiment is easy considering the massive amounts of “noise” against palm oil.

Read the full text here

UK should not copy New Zealand’s Nanny State Policies

London, October 3rd, 2023 — Fred Roeder, Managing Director of the Consumer Choice Center, strongly condemns the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s recent proposal to introduce a generational ban on smoking, as reported by The Guardian. The ban, coupled with a blanket prohibition on disposable vapes, is a regressive step that threatens to fuel the black market and infringe upon the rights of adult smokers to make their own informed choices.

The UK has long been a champion of evidence-based policies, particularly in the realm of tobacco harm reduction. However, the proposed generational ban on cigarettes, combined with the ban on disposable vapes, marks a departure from this pragmatic approach. By depriving adults of their right to choose how they consume nicotine, these measures risk driving millions of consumers towards unregulated and unsafe alternatives, undermining public health objectives in the process.

Mr. Roeder emphasizes that the UK’s smoking rates have steadily declined thanks to a comprehensive strategy that embraces harm reduction policies. By promoting alternatives such as e-cigarettes and other reduced-risk products, the UK has successfully encouraged smokers to transition away from traditional combustible cigarettes. This approach has not only reduced the harm associated with smoking but has also respected adult consumers’ autonomy and personal responsibility.

The proposed generational ban on smoking and banning disposable vapes is not only a misguided policy but also a potential boon for the black market. Prohibition has historically shown that it drives the creation of illegal markets, leading to unregulated and dangerous products. This move risks undoing the progress made in reducing smoking rates and may even exacerbate the very issues it seeks to solve.

Mr. Roeder urges the UK government to reconsider its approach and instead focus on evidence-based policies that respect individual freedom and support harm reduction initiatives. The Consumer Choice Center calls on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the government to engage in meaningful dialogue with experts, stakeholders, and the public to develop policies that balance public health goals with individual liberties.

FCC, Now Controlled by Democrats, Wants To Reinstate Obama-Era ‘Net Neutrality’ Rules

An announcement from the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday proposing to reinstate “net neutrality” regulations could reshape the future of the internet — as well as further fuel the debate over government censorship of online speech. 

The debate over whether internet service providers, such as Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast, are a public utility that should be regulated by the FCC has been ongoing for years. Net neutrality rules, first imposed by the Obama administration and then rescinded during President Trump’s term, don’t allow internet providers to charge higher rates for faster speed and access to certain websites.

Now, a day after Democrats gained a majority in the FCC for the first time during President Biden’s term, the commission is beginning the process of restoring the Obama-era net neutrality rules.

“I believe this repeal of net neutrality put the agency on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the public,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said Tuesday. “So today we begin a process to make this right. This afternoon, I am sharing with my colleagues a rulemaking that proposes to restore net neutrality.”

The commission will vote on the rulemaking on October 19 and then open the regulations up to public comment, Ms. Rosenworcel said. 

Supporters of net neutrality say the rules are essential to ensuring that internet service providers — who may themselves own entertainment and content services — can’t discriminate against competitor’s content, while opponents argue the regulations may disincentivize companies from building out services to rural parts of the country and lead to government censorship. 

Read the full text here

Following the EU in banning key silicone components would ensure economic chaos

The European Union isn’t especially known for crafting well thought-out policy. More often than not, policy proposals from Brussels seem to have been drafted with horse blinders on, with no regard for the negative externalities. Usually that wouldn’t matter much for Canadians. If the EU wants to shoot itself in the foot with bad policy, that is its prerogative. Unfortunately, through an extra-parliamentary backdoor, bad EU policy could be making its way to Canada, threatening outcomes that could be economically disastrous.

The latest EU attempt to export its policies is via the Stockholm Convention, an international agreement meant to regulate the use of persistent organic pollutants or POPs. POPs are substances that persist in the environment over long periods and across vast distances. In order for a substance to be deemed a “POP” it has to be bio-accumulative, persistent and toxic. The convention itself isn’t controversial per se, but once a substance is added to the list, its import and export are prohibited in countries party to the convention, as Canada is.

The EU wants to add three variants of “siloxanes” (those classified as D4, D5, and D6) to the growing list of harmful POPs. Most of us have never heard of siloxanes, but they are essential building blocks of the much better-known silicones.

D4, in particular, is used to make the polysilicon wafers that are vital for the production of semiconductors. Siloxanes are thus critical to myriad consumer goods, from solar panels and wind turbines to computers and electric vehicles. If the EU has its way, global imports and exports would cease. The global silicones market was valued at $US18.5 billion in 2022, and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.8 per cent to $27 billion USD by 2027. The value of Canada’s imports of silicones was $241 million in June, while our exports were $173 million. If the EU has its way, this entire trade will evaporate.

And that is just the beginning of harm. Without these silicones it would be very difficult to produce semiconductors, mass shortages of which would mean higher prices and worse quality for consumers. We know how bad that can be because we’ve just lived through it. Semiconductor shortages in 2020-2021 drove the price of used cars up by as much as 25 per cent. Imagine that type of price chaos for everything that relies on semiconductors. Canada’s semiconductor industry is expected to be worth US$5.12 billion by the end of this year. But that’s just the value associated with the creation and sale of semiconductors. It doesn’t include the markets for goods where these chips are an input, which is everything from cars, to computers, to consumer electronics. The total cost of the impact is so large and complex that it is hard to estimate.

Of course, even economic chaos might be worth it if these substances were in fact so harmful they deserve to be added to the list. But the EU is the only entity in the world that has classified them as POPs and restricted the use of siloxanes in commerce. Our own government has investigated them and has concluded differently.

In 2018 a government assessment tested six different siloxanes, including D4, D5 and D6, and found no evidence of toxicity. They were also evaluated as part of Canada’s Chemical’s Management Plan (CMP), which concluded that these substances do not satisfy Canada’s criteria for being deemed persistent and bio-accumulative, which is why we have not imposed our own restrictions on their use. Most importantly, Canadian regulators concluded that realistic concentrations of these substances do not pose a threat to human health.

So what should Canada do? As a party to the Stockholm Convention, it should oppose the EU’s attempt to have these siloxanes listed as POPs under the Stockholm Convention. Doing so would be science- and evidence-based and, if successful, would spare Canadians from economic chaos.

Originally published here

FTC Goes After Amazon

Amazon is the target of a high-profile, high-stakes lawsuit, brought by the U.S. government through the Federal Trade Commission. Attorney generals from 17 states joined the legal action, contending that the retail behemoth is using unfair strategies in both its online supermarket market for shoppers and its market for online marketplace services purchased by sellers.

“Our complaint lays out how Amazon has used a set of punitive and coercive tactics to unlawfully maintain its monopolies,” explained FTC Chair Lina M. Khan. “The complaint sets forth detailed allegations noting how Amazon is now exploiting its monopoly power to enrich itself while raising prices and degrading service for the tens of millions of American families who shop on its platform and the hundreds of thousands of businesses that rely on Amazon to reach them. Today’s lawsuit seeks to hold Amazon to account for these monopolistic practices and restore the lost promise of free and fair competition.”

In the filing, the FTC and state attorneys general argue that other retailers and suppliers are excluded from competing with Amazon through its practices related to pricing, product selection and other business aspects. The lawsuit also calls out Amazon’s Prime service, alleging that the company conditions sellers to obtain Prime eligibility for their products using the company’s “costly” fulfillment arrangements.

Read the full text here

Proposed EU essential oils amendment is a relief for European consumers and businesses

Under its strict “better safe than sorry” hazard approach, the ECHA intended to modify existing Classification, Labelling, and Packaging (CLP) rules and group essential oils under the nebulous category of mixtures containing more than one substance. The original plan meant essential oils were wrongly considered on par with dangerous artificial substances and became open to potential market restrictions under EU regulation 2021/1902.

Introduced on the 21st of September as a correction to the CLP, Parliament’s amendment 32 now rightfully recognizes these water or steam-based extracts as organic and safe. The proposal creates a new rubric of multi-constituent substances of natural botanical origin not covered by existing rules (EU) No 1107/2009 and (EU) No 528/2012 for organic insecticides.

Consumers and producers have every reason to support this potential return to regulatory and economic common sense. Emulsions like rose or lemon oil are vital ingredients for bio-make-up kits, shampoos, deodorants, and other cosmetics. The 2.29 billion euro European clean beauty industry could not exist without them. Provision 32 reassures suppliers that their items will not be spontaneously removed from shelves just because one particle out of a hundred could prove dangerous in a hypothetical laboratory setting. It also guarantees that no frightening labels or warnings will be present on the packaging, which would have needlessly scared many consumers away.

Most importantly, it means companies do not have to incur extra costs when inflation is already driving prices up across the board. It is worth remembering that EU-wide inflation rates remain stubbornly high at 5.9%(jumping in Hungary to a whopping 14.2%). Now was not the time for a thicket of unexpected chemical regulations to make things even harder. Thanks to the Parliament’s intervention, consumers can still find their favorite items in stores at the usual prices.

EU member states should feel even more encouraged by the amendment. Bulgaria is the world’s number one rose oil producer, harvesting almost two tonnes of emulsions annually for exports worth 92 million euros. Bulgarian producers were understandably worried the ECHA might wipe their business out. Approximately 4500 family-owned small companies in Reggio Calabria generate 95% of global bergamot production.

The ECHA’s initial decision left their future uncertain, and Italy could have lost 174 million euros in exports. France’s renowned lavender business and 458 million euros were on the line. Estonia’s Tedre Farm, inventor of a novel carbon monoxide method for emulsifying raspberries, would have squandered the fruits of its innovation. Bulgaria,  Italy, France, Estonia, and other member states can now rest assured that EU regulations do not unfairly disadvantage them.

There is still work to be done, of course. The proposal has only been tabled and is pending formal adoption in a Parliament plenary. For all the reasons mentioned above, MEPs should move to approve the amendment at the first available opportunity.

More so, policymakers should strike at the root of the problem and urge the ECHA to consider a change in mentality. In light of the essential oils case, it has become clear that hazard-based thinking does not accurately reflect the dangers of substances. Such reasoning must be replaced with a risk-based assessment of emulsions and other compounds. A risk-based evaluation would operate with safe intended use levels and take realistic evidence seriously. Research has shown that essential oils are harmless to people, plants, animals, and the environment and preferable to artificial repellents like DEET and picaridin. Regulators should listen and follow suit. That would be the best news to look forward to.

Originally published here

Why does Ted Cruz want to empower Biden’s radical FTC?

Data privacy is an increasing concern for consumers and tech advocates alike. Lawmakers from both the Republican and Democratic parties know this, and it’s why the Informing Consumers about Smart Devices Act, being championed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), is receiving bipartisan support.

Cruz says this bill would “inform” consumers about smart devices with “spying” capabilities, but it is just another opportunity for politicians to expand their ever-growing paternalistic role in our daily lives.

Sure, users value their privacy, but only to a certain degree. Case in point: the smartphones that roughly 310 million people voluntarily keep on their person 24/7, even while they’re in the bathroom. Does it really matter if a smart refrigerator is equipped with the same technology as the smartphone present in your pocket (especially when the refrigerator has the added bonus of assisting with food management)?

Despite what Cruz may think, consumers aren’t dumb when it comes to smart products. We don’t need a warning label for the presence of audio-video software or internet-enabled capabilities. If a device needs to connect to WiFi or an app to function, clearly it is internet-enabled. If lights, thermostats, or music can be controlled by voice commands, then of course these devices have a listening function.

Many of us have come to accept the trade-off of data collection by companies we trust in order to use certain products, services, or websites. For some time now, internet surfers and online shoppers have become acquainted with pop-ups asking to enable cookies on their browsers. Digital cookies were always there, but what changed was the notification of them due to policy pressures. Have the cookie notifications really changed online activities? I doubt it. Have more pop-ups in the name of transparency improved online experiences? Also doubtful.

Organizations gather data to know their consumer base, not to stalk us and discover our dirty secrets. In fact, I’d appreciate it if my tech-enabled Traeger grill was “spying” on me — that way, I might receive some coupons based on my grilling history or suggestions on how to improve my barbecuing skills.

Firms are well aware that their reputation hinges on the comfort level of consumers when it comes to tech use and data collection: If consumers feel a company is infringing too much upon their privacy, backlash will surely ensue. As such, government deliberation over this matter is simply unnecessary.

If passed, the proposed bill will, at best, require warning labels to be affixed to the packaging of smart products and, at worst, place the Federal Trade Commission in charge of establishing disclosure guidelines and enforcement mechanisms. Any cost a company incurs related to regulatory compliance deemed necessary by the FTC will be felt in the marketplace, and manufacturers will take into account the potential for fines from the FTC when establishing their price points.

The expense of FTC interference will be borne by all taxpayers, and the cost to companies for new packaging and labels will spill over into higher prices for consumers.

It is unclear why members of the Republican Party would want to expand the regulatory mandate of the FTC, given that Chairwoman Lina Khan has proven her position as an anti-business ideologue ever since she was appointed by President Joe Biden. Our independent purchase decisions do not need to create an economic burden for all taxpayers nor serve as a means for furthering the FTC’s inquisition against corporate America.

At the end of the day, it is important to remember that every individual consumer has authority over what tech products are used within his or her home. Rather than increase the power of the regulatory state over our consumption habits, consumers concerned about their appliances having spyware capabilities should simply shop accordingly, and any nefarious activities should be handled by the court system.

The “Internet of Things” is meant to predict wants, persuade actions, and improve consumer experiences. Some in-home smart devices can even be literal lifesavers. Thanks to advancements in wearable tech and telehealth, real-time assessments can be transmitted to healthcare providers to allow for independent living at home. Take WalkWise, a smart mobility aid attachment benefiting those in need of senior care. Devices such as these shouldn’t be bogged down by FTC interference or government oversight.

Products that advance our well-being, and that we buy according to our preferences with our own money, should not be vilified by politicians and used to grow the nanny state. Although Cruz claims this bill to be “common sense legislation,” that assumes you (the consumer) have no common sense of your own.

Originally published here

La dangereuse transition énergétique envisagée en Suisse

La Suisse pourrait risquer une hausse dévastatrice des prix de l’énergie, que l’Allemagne a connue à la suite de sa sortie du nucléaire.

La prospérité de la Suisse est notamment due à son impressionnante capacité à produire, importer et fournir de l’énergie aux entreprises et aux ménages. Le pays possède le système électrique le plus propre parmi les 31 pays membres de l’Agence internationale de l’énergie, émettant la plus faible quantité de dioxyde de carbone pour chaque kilowatt produit. Malgré une population croissante, la Suisse a réussi à réduire ses émissions de carbone de 18,3% depuis 1990, tout en connaissant une croissance économique continue.

Une énergie peu coûteuse et suffisante est une condition sine qua non de la compétitivité industrielle et permet aux consommateurs de dépenser leur argent pour d’autres biens. L’indice semestriel « Country Index Family-owned Businesses » (en allemand) a attribué à la Suisse la quatrième place en matière de compétitivité énergétique en 2008, mais seulement la quinzième en 2022. Durant la même période, l’Allemagne a chuté de la 11e à la 18e place.

Cependant, le pays est confronté à des défis liés à l’impact de l’invasion de l’Ukraine par la Russie sur le marché suisse de l’énergie et aux exigences croissantes en matière de changement climatique. Pour faire face à ces problèmes, le gouvernement suisse prévoit d’adopter une stratégie énergétique visant à atteindre la neutralité carbone d’ici 2050. Parmi les politiques incluses dans le plan figurent de fortes subventions pour les énergies renouvelables et la fermeture des centrales nucléaires. Une erreur déjà commise par l’Allemagne.

Sortie du nucléaire

Jusqu’à présent, la logique des autorités de régulation suisses s’est appuyée sur le modèle standard du monopole naturel, dans lequel un fournisseur unique fournit de l’électricité à un coût décroissant, une fois les frais initiaux d’installation des lignes électriques et de construction des groupes électrogènes payés. L’industrie suisse de l’énergie est très majoritairement (90%) détenue par l’Etat et présente des barrières élevées à l’entrée ainsi qu’un nombre important de consommateurs captifs, tout en bénéficiant d’importantes subventions.

Le résultat de la votation du 18 juin dernier ouvre la voie à une politique énergétique prescriptive imposant des échéances pour la neutralisation des émissions de carbone dans certains secteurs de l’économie.

L’ES 2050 (le plan de transition énergétique suisse) préconise une sortie progressive de l’énergie nucléaire au profit d’autres sources d’énergie neutres en carbone, sachant que l’énergie éolienne, solaire ou hydroélectrique ne peut, au mieux, que partiellement remplacer le nucléaire.

Les combustibles fossiles étrangers sont indispensables pour couvrir les besoins énergétiques de la Suisse. Le pays consomme au total environ 225 térawattheures d’énergie. Les dérivés du pétrole utilisés pour le transport et le chauffage représentent la plus grande part de la consommation finale totale, avec 95,81 térawattheures, soit 42% de la consommation totale. A titre de comparaison, le gaz ne représente que 33,97 térawattheures, soit 15% de la consommation totale. Depuis 2022, le gaz suisse est importé via des plateformes de l’UE.

Ces mêmes sources d’énergie jouent un rôle essentiel dans les transitions énergétiques. Selon les données de l’Etat, la Suisse est déjà passée d’un exportateur net d’électricité en été à un importateur net d’électricité en hiver tout au long de sa transition vers l’objectif ES 2050, avec des importations nettes de 5,7 milliards de kilowattheures aux premier et quatrième trimestres.

Production inefficace

Le gouvernement est même prêt à introduire des centrales à cycle combiné au gaz ou au pétrole (qui représentent actuellement 9% de la production d’énergie, mais qui devraient progresser à défaut d’autres options). Malgré les ambitions élevées d’« énergie propre » de l’ES 2050, au moins un rapport de l’AIE prévoit que la Suisse importera davantage de combustibles fossiles, et non moins, en raison de ses objectifs climatiques.

Ainsi, tout plan d’autosuffisance est d’emblée voué à l’échec. La production nationale de tous les besoins devrait combler l’important déficit énergétique de 95,81 térawattheures, ce qui coûterait aux consommateurs ordinaires des dizaines de milliards de francs suisses rien que pour produire de l’énergie inefficace et plus polluante plutôt que d’acheter à l’étranger une énergie plus abordable et de meilleure qualité. Le reste de l’énergie totale consommée provient de la production intérieure : 56,8% de la production nationale d’énergie électrique provient des 682 centrales hydroélectriques et des 220 barrages du pays (la Suisse détient la plus forte densité de barrages au monde), l’énergie nucléaire comptant pour 34%.

Il convient de rappeler que la consommation énergétique suisse est déjà découplée de la population et de la croissance économique, écartant l’idée que la croissance économique est intrinsèquement liée à plus de pollution (et réfutent les affirmations empiriques des partisans de la décroissance). Bien que la population du pays ait augmenté de 15% et que l’économie a connu une croissance du PIB de près de 32% mesurée en parité de pouvoir d’achat depuis 2000, les émissions totales de carbone de la Suisse ont diminué de 18,3% entre 1990 et 2020.

Toutefois, des complications à long terme ternissent ce résultat. D’une part, les exigences en matière de lutte contre le changement climatique n’ont fait que croître au fil du temps. Le gouvernement fédéral suisse avait déjà adopté des objectifs climatiques dans le cadre du protocole de Kyoto et des contributions déterminées au niveau national dans le cadre de l’accord de Paris, s’engageant à réduire les émissions de gaz à effet de serre de 20% d’ici 2020 et de 50% d’ici 2030, afin de revenir aux niveaux observés pour la dernière fois en 1990.

La Suisse doit se ressaisir et éviter la hausse dévastatrice des prix de l’énergie que l’Allemagne a connue à la suite de sa sortie du nucléaire.

Originally published here

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