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We will keep you up to date by providing you with information in a nutshell - three times a year (only in German).

Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Switzerland 1990 to 2014

News, Environment and Climate | April 26, 2016

Due to structural changes in the economy and increases in efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions in Switzerland remained constant throughout the last 24 years - despite population and economic expansion (2014 vs. 1990: increase by 20% of both, inhabitants and gross domestic product per inhabitant). Being a member state to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Switzerland is meant to report its greenhouse gas emissions on an annual basis. INFRAS issued this current report on behalf of the Federal Office for the Environment.

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Air Pollution in Switzerland 1980 to 2014

News, Environment and Climate | April 25, 2016

Due to structural changes in the economy and increases in efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions in Switzerland remained constant throughout the last 24 years - despite population and economic expansion (2014 vs. 1990: increase by 20% of both, inhabitants and gross domestic product per inhabitant). Being a member state to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Switzerland is meant to report its greenhouse gas emissions on an annual basis. INFRAS issued this current report on behalf of the Federal Office for the Environment.

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iMONITRAF! Annual Report 2015

News, Environment and Climate, Transport | March 24, 2016

The Alpine regions still face a high need for action to improve the environmental situation along the transit corridors. Air quality limits are exceeded, the modal shift from road to rail is stagnating (with the expection of Gotthard). Thus, the region Rhône-Alpes, the Provinces of Bolzano and Trento, the Regions of Aosta Valley and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, the Piemonte, the Canton of Ticino, Central Switzerland, the Land of Tyrol and the Accademia Europea di Bolzano successfully continued their cooperation in 2015 to further specify elements of their common transport strategy. Especially, a proposition – developed by iMONITRAF! - for a Toll Plus system from the perspective of the regions was documented in an in-depth report, which was discussed on technical as well as political level in 2015.

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Emissions of non-road mobile machinery

News, Environment and Climate, Transport | Dec. 17, 2015

Not only road traffic, but also non-road mobile machinery like construction machines, agricultural vehicles or garden-care appliances emit significant quantities of air pollutants. The updated non-road inventory of the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) quantifies these emissions for Switzerland and shows past and future trends. For the calculations with the INFRAS Non-road Emissions Model, a large amount of data was processed, which was compiled with the commendable support of numerous stakeholders. The results are available as a report of the FOEN series «Environmental studies» as well as via an online database.

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Comparison of technologies of solar domestic waste water heating in single-family houses.

News, Environment and Climate | April 23, 2015

A homeowner aims to heat the domestic waste water with solar heat - in order to replace an electric boiler, for example, or as a supplement to a wood heating system. The homeowner has the choice between solar panels or a combination of grid-connected photovoltaics and heat pump. Which system is more favourable? A comparison of technologies established by the Center of Appropriate Technology and Social Ecology (Ökozentrum Langenbruck), together with INFRAS, the Interstate University of Applied Sciences of Technology (NTB Buchs) and the Institute for Solar Technology (SPF Rapperswil) has analysed this issue. The results show this: At present, the answer still depends on each particular case. The combination of grid-connected photovoltaics and heat pump, however, is already very competitive and is likely to become more and more attractive. If solar thermal power does not become more inexpensive in the near future, it is going to face more and more difficulties on the market soon. Hereby you find the link to the final report and to a scientific essay regarding the research project which is supported by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (BFE).

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Zurich Climate Prize 2014

News, Environment and Climate, Economy | Nov. 27, 2014

In 2014 Zurich Switzerland launched the Zurich Climate Prize for Switzerland & Liechtenstein for the second time. Projects are awarded which either make an effective contribution to reducing CO2 emissions or which lead to an improvement of energy and resource efficiency or to behaviour changes. The Zurich Climate Prize focuses on the following three categories: buildings & housing, production & consumption and transport & mobility. A total of 108 projects were submitted and seven winners awarded. The municipality of Hohentannen won the first prize for its project GemeindePOWER.INFRAS supported Zurich in the conceptual design and implementation of the Climate Prize. All information are availabe on klimapreis.zurich.ch.

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Impact Study Geological Repositories

News, Space, Environment and Climate, Economy | Nov. 18, 2014

Deep geological repositories (and their surface facilities respectively) have economic, ecological and social impacts on a siting region. These need to be identified objectively and as early as possible. It is with these objectives in mind that the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) commissioned a socioeconomic and ecological study in 2011 for all the six potential siting regions. INFRAS, together with Rütter Soceco and Ecosens, carried out the expert study. Now the final report of the study is available containing the following results:Economy: The more the construction and civil engineering as well as the metalworking sectors are represented in a region, the more added value, employment and, as a consequence, tax income are to be expected when a deep geological repository is constructed. Regions with a comparatively high proportion of sensitive sectors (tourism and agriculture), however, suffer a potentially negative impact from the presence of a deep geological repository. Environment: The highest impact concerning surface facilities arise in regard to consumption of land, crop rotation areas, excavated material as well as wildlife corridors. There is a low or no impact at all in regard to protected areas and ground water protection zones as these areas have been excluded on the basis of the site location process already. Society: The more the settlement area is dense, the aspired settlement growth is high and the surface facilities are well visible, the more a site is appraised as being negative. However, if there is industry and commerce represented in the vicinity of the site already the appraisal is less negative.All documents: www.bfe.admin.ch/soew

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Green products in Germany

News, Environment and Climate, Economy | Aug. 7, 2014

Sustainable consumption has become a significant trend in the last years. How is this positive trend reflected in sales of environmentally friendly products? Do we observe spectacular growth rates in niche markets or a 'greening of mass markets'? Do green products replace standard products or not? Those questions are addressed in a study on the market development of green products conducted by INFRAS on behalf of the German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA). The results reveal that sales of 'green' products are on the steady rise, but remain in niches in most areas of consumption. However, there is a willingness from the consumers for an increased demand of environmentally friendly products that were sustainably produced.

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Guidance on Survey and Determination on Energy Specific Data in the Canton St. Gallen

News, Environment and Climate | April 2, 2014

The guidance document summarizes the procedures required in order to gather and process data needed to prepare the energy statistic of the canton St. Gallen. The energy statistic aims at recording all existing energy related processes including the production, transformation and consumption of energy. Furthermore the annual total amount of energy consumed in the canton of St. Gallen will be revealed. The guidance provides instructions on how data on disaggregated level should be measured or collected. Where data is not available, the guidance further highlights realistic assumptions and methods for estimating the energy consumption for each energy related sector.

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Overview of Carbon Offset Programs

News, Environment and Climate | April 2, 2014

This technical note for the Worldbank is a mapping exercise of key elements and design features of offset programs (e.g. CDM, JCM and GS) and highlights differences and similarities between them. It identifies main elements and design features of eight different offset programs and discusses how these programs address key issues such as efficiency, environmental integrity, applicability, and transaction costs. It elaborates on the program's principles and goals, their operationalized principles, the respective governance structure, registration procedures and MRV and credit issuance procedures. 

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