One of several instruments for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Switzerland, as set out in the CO₂ Act and the Ordinance, is the offsetting obligation on fuel importers. They are obliged to compensate for (to ‘offset’) a proportion of the CO₂ emissions resulting from the use of fossil fuels (petrol, diesel, etc.) within Switzerland by means of reduction projects (Climate protection projects). The KliK Foundation fulfils this legal obligation on behalf of around 40 mineral oil companies.
The compensation mechanism explained simply
A few centimes per litre of petrol/diesel of all motorists go to the KliK Foundation as a contribution to climate protection. The KliK Foundation uses the money to support the use of climate-friendly technologies by companies and private individuals that switch to climate-friendly and fossil-free technologies. The resulting reduction in the number of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissionsare remunerated by myclimate in the form of subsidies and awarded as a certificate to the KliK Foundation. The foundation in turn transfers these emission allowances (so-called certificates) to the federal government (Federal Office for the Environment, FOEN). Here they are are entered into the emissions trading book and thus pay into the goals of the Paris Agreement. The climate protection activities are audited and approved by the federal government and an independent body. In addition, annual monitoring takes place, which measures the number of tonnes of CO2 emissions reduced.
How does funding work step by step?
The funding is used to support programme participants - for example, homeowners - in the implementation of a specific measure such as switching from oil or gas heating to a heat pump. In return, these participants commit to transferring the emissions reductions achieved through the measure to myclimate. That means that programme participants may not make the CO₂ reductions count anywhere else.
The CO₂ emissions reductions achieved through the support programmes are calculated by myclimate, reviewed by an external auditor, and ultimately certified by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). For each verifiable CO₂ emissions reduction achieved, the FOEN issues a CO₂ attestation. The important factor in all programmes is the proof that the measured CO₂ reductions are additional and would not have occurred without the programme. myclimate finances the subsidies through the sale of these attestations to the KliK Foundation. In doing so, it fulfils the statutory obligation of the mineral oil companies to compensate the Confederation for fuel consumption.
The emission reductions achieved through the support programmes are ultimately credited to the federal government's national greenhouse gas register - as described above. This means that the mineral oil companies are not allowed to market the mandatorily compensated fuel as 'climate neutral', as they set aside the emission reductions (in short "ER", unit is "tCO2") on behalf of the federal government.