Swiss Upper House of Parliament Slams European Climate Ruling

ZURICH (Reuters) – Switzerland’s upper house of Parliament on Wednesday slammed a ruling by a European Court that urged the country to do even more to combat climate change, arguing the Swiss authorities already did enough to tackle the threat.

Upper house legislators voted 31 to 11 in favor of a motion that criticized what they called the “judicial activism” of the European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg.

The motion concluded that Switzerland did not see “any reason” to continue its actions in response to the ruling of the court on April 9, stating its efforts, past and present, on climate policy met the requirements for human rights set forth by the judgment.

The court ruled in favor of an elderly group of Swiss women who sued Switzerland over its record of combating global warming. They argued that its failures had violated their human rights.

The decision indicated that Switzerland was legally required to reduce its emissions. The ruling received widespread criticism in Switzerland, and the Swiss Environment Minister said that the ruling could not be reconciled with direct democracy.

Switzerland, where referendums regularly challenge the limits of policymaking at national level, has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 50% by 2030.

In a referendum in 2021, Swiss voters rejected the government’s stronger measures for achieving this goal.

A Swiss parliament committee had rejected Strasbourg’s decision a few week earlier.

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