Sustainable Switzerland: financial centre moving forward 

The new CO2 Act was rejected by 51% of voters. This is a setback in terms of protecting the environment, making it even harder to achieve the climate goals that have been defined. 

If Switzerland wants to meet the targets set out in the Paris Agreement, it needs to move away from fossil fuels, which will require targeted measures that will of course entail costs. The debate needs to be restarted quickly to ensure that we don’t waste time when it comes to creating a framework for meeting the Paris targets.

Making Switzerland sustainable is a marathon, not a sprint, and the financial centre can stay on course even without the CO2 Act. The latest market study from Swiss Sustainable Finance makes this clear: sustainable investment funds overtook conventional funds for the first time ever in 2020, with volumes rising to CHF 694 billion – that’s 52% of the overall Swiss market. The total volume of sustainable investments grew to CHF 1,520 billion. This shows that customers want sustainable investments and that the financial centre is delivering them.

Just as important as investments, however, is funding the transition to a sustainable Switzerland. This means providing the money needed to ensure that building renovations enhance sustainability, supporting the transformation of SMEs’ vehicle fleets and investing in infrastructure. The financial centre has a key role to play here through loans, mortgages and capital market instruments, and banks are already offering attractive solutions in this regard – one example being “eco-bonus” interest rate discounts for sustainable renovations.

This clearly illustrates how the financial centre can achieve progress and contribute to protecting the environment despite a lack of regulation. It’s capable of putting the right conditions in place for a successful transition in short order.

InsightSustainable finance


Jörg Gasser
Former CEO