FSPC supports federal energy strategy

The Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches supports the Federal Council’s Energy Strategy 2050. However, in its draft legislation statement, the FSPC recommends limiting the lifespan of nuclear power plants, increasing funding for solar energy and stepping up energy efficiency measures.

Overall, the first package of measures of the Federal Council’s Energy Strategy 2050 is an adequate response to the challenges of future energy politics in Switzerland without nuclear energy and a significantly reduced use of fossil energies, the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches acknowledged today in its draft legislation statement to the Swiss Federal Office of Energy.

Regarding the implementation of the energy strategy, the FSPC recommended to set definite dates for switching off existing nuclear plants and to systematically press ahead with expansion of renewable energies, and solar energy in particular, which is the least controversial technology in this respect.

Energy efficiency is a decisive factor for the success of the energy turnaround. At least one third of the electric power used in Switzerland is wasted. For this reason, the FSPC stresses the importance of a power incentive tax. In addition, a CO2 tax on fuels is a factual necessity, even though this is a sore point with many. The consumers of oil combustibles can no longer be put at a disadvantage compared to consumers of other fuels.

The FSPC takes a particular interest in negotiating the tension between monument protection and energy efficiency measures in historical buildings. “The preservation of historical buildings in their original condition and the reduction of energy consumption are concerns of equal importance. Therefore, the FSPC stresses the necessity of federal and cantonal authorities to issue a nationwide uniform guideline for the assessment of structural measures in historical buildings.

For several decades now, church statements have been calling for moderation and a reduction of energy consumption, the FSPC pointed out. For example, the first European Ecumenical Assembly in Basel in 1989 stated: “The wasteful use of energy in industrialized countries has reached such proportions that consumption needs to be reduced drastically and immediately.” The assembly also advocated against the continued use of nuclear energy. The basic research paper “Energy Ethics”, published by the FSPC in 2008, continues in the same vein and also argues for a gradual development towards a 2000-watt society. This perspective also challenges the way parishes and other church-related places use and consume energy.