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Swiss army targets carbon neutrality – SWI swissinfo.ch – swissinfo.ch

The Swiss army says it has already achieved a first set of sustainability goals set in 2004. Keystone / Laurent Gillieron

The Swiss army plans to emit 40% less CO2, lean more heavily on renewable energy sources and do more to protect nature by 2050.

This content was published on August 31, 2021 – 13:33

swissinfo.ch/mga

Defence Minister Viola Amherd outlined on Tuesday how the army aims to reach “CO2 balance”External link with a renewed sustainability programme.

With over 11,000 full-time jobs, 24,000 hectares of land, 7,000 buildings and systems the army has an annual energy requirement of around 3,700 terajoules and CO2 emissions of 200,000 tonnes.

That’s similar to a town with a population of more than 30,000 according to a ministry statement.

The defence ministry’s Energy and Climate Action Plan outlines more than 60 sustainability measures to be implemented by 2030 at a cost of CHF650 million ($710 million).

They will focus most heavily on upgrading the army’s transport and building infrastructure. Fossil fuel powered vehicles will be replaced as much as possible by electric alternatives, while more sustainable fuels have been targeted for aircraft.

Oil heating in buildings will be replaced by alternative energy systems, such as photovoltaic solar panels.

The defence ministry said a previous sustainability schemes, which ran from 2004 to 2020, had surpassed expectations. The targets of that plan were to increase the share of renewable energies by 50% compared to 2001 to at least 240 TJ per year, to limit the consumption of conventional electricity at the 2001 level to a maximum of 570 TJ per year and to reduce CO2 Emissions by 20% compared to 2001.

The “Nature – Landscape – Army” programme has also been declared a success for protecting wildlife diversity and habitats on military land.

The Swiss army plans to emit 40% less CO2, lean more heavily on renewable energy sources and do more to protect nature by 2050.

Defence Minister Viola Amherd outlined on Tuesday how the army aims to reach “CO2 balance”External link with a renewed sustainability programme.

With over 11,000 full-time jobs, 24,000 hectares of land, 7,000 buildings and systems the army has an annual energy requirement of around 3,700 terajoules and CO2 emissions of 200,000 tonnes.

That’s similar to a town with a population of more than 30,000 according to a ministry statement.

The defence ministry’s Energy and Climate Action Plan outlines more than 60 sustainability measures to be implemented by 2030 at a cost of CHF650 million ($710 million).

They will focus most heavily on upgrading the army’s transport and building infrastructure. Fossil fuel powered vehicles will be replaced as much as possible by electric alternatives, while more sustainable fuels have been targeted for aircraft.

Oil heating in buildings will be replaced by alternative energy systems, such as photovoltaic solar panels.

The defence ministry said a previous sustainability schemes, which ran from 2004 to 2020, had surpassed expectations. The targets of that plan were to increase the share of renewable energies by 50% compared to 2001 to at least 240 TJ per year, to limit the consumption of conventional electricity at the 2001 level to a maximum of 570 TJ per year and to reduce CO2 Emissions by 20% compared to 2001.

The “Nature – Landscape – Army” programme has also been declared a success for protecting wildlife diversity and habitats on military land.

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