UPDATED: Swiss voters look set to reject law to help cut carbon emissions

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 Swiss voters look set to reject a new law which would help the country meet its goals under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, according to early indications by national broadcaster SRF on Sunday.

Projections showed 51% of voters had voted against the new CO2 law in a nationwide referendum conducted under the country’s system of direct democracy. A final result is expected later in the day.

The new law would have seen measures such as increasing a surcharge on car fuel and imposing a levy on flight tickets as Switzerland seeks to cut its reduce carbon emissions to half of 1990 levels by 2030.

Opponents said the law would increase business costs and not help the environment as Switzerland is responsible for only 0.1% of global carbon emissions.

Two other environmental questions also looked likely to be defeated in referendums also being held on Sunday, according to early projections.

A proposal to ban artificial pesticides, and another to improve drinking water by redirecting subsidies to farmers who no longer used the chemicals, were both rejected by 61% of voters in the binding referendums.

Supporters had argued that pesticides were linked to health risks, while opponents had claimed a ban on pesticides would have led to more expensive food, job losses for the Swiss food processing industry, and greater dependence on imports.

Separate referendums in favour of a temporary law to provide financial support for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and a law to give police extra powers to tackle terrorism were both on course to be approved by voters, the projections showed.