SWITZERLAND: Switzerland to vote on taxing the rich to fund climate fight

As published on: greenme.it, Thursday 14 March, 2024. 

Thanks to 109,988 signatures, Switzerland will vote through a referendum on the introduction of a 50% tax on inheritances above 50 million francs to allocate funds to protect the climate and finance the ecological transformation of the economy.

On February 8, a long line of activists from the Socialist Youth of Switzerland, joined by environmental advocates, marched to the Federal Chancellery in Bern, boxes in hand. These boxes contained 109,988 signatures supporting the “For the Future” popular initiative.

The signatures have now been validated, setting the stage for a referendum in Switzerland. The initiative proposes a hefty 50% tax on inheritances exceeding 50 million francs (around 49 million USD), which are currently tax-exempt. With the validation by the Chancellery, Swiss voters will soon have the opportunity to voice their opinion on this proposal through a referendum. The goal? To raise approximately 6 billion francs annually, earmarked for climate protection measures and financing the green transformation of the economy.

How the tax revenue would be used
According to the Swiss Socialist Youth Organization (GISO), the federal government and cantons could deploy these funds in a socially equitable manner to address the climate crisis. This proposal presents a chance for substantial change, kick-starting a climate policy that is both consistent and socially responsible.

The tax revenue could be used for various purposes, such as retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency, expanding renewable energy sources, implementing retraining programs for workers in climate-damaging sectors, and significantly enhancing public transportation.

This proposal aligns with the increasing body of research indicating that the wealthiest individuals play a significant role in driving the climate crisis through their investments and lifestyle choices. A report by Oxfam has highlighted that in 2019, the wealthiest 1% of the global population was responsible for 16% of total carbon dioxide emissions from consumption.


Switzerland Climate change Wealth tax

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