Switzerland’s new environment minister is a former oil lobbyist and “famous climate skeptic” – vert.eco

A lobby. This Wednesday, Albert Rösti sat for the first time in the Federal Council – the Swiss government. Before being elected to parliament on December 7, scientists and citizens warned about this scenario in an open letter. “unacceptable”and called the parliamentarians “Block any nomination closely associated with climate-damaging industries”. In vain.

Several people expressed disappointment at the end of the vote. “This is a very bad message to the population, especially to the youth”Interviewed by Heidi.news, Associate Professor of the Institute of Earth Sciences of the University of Lausanne, Samuel Jaccard answered.

In 2015-2022, the long-term elected official in the Environment Commission of the National Council – the lower house of the parliament – was the head of the “Swissoil” association, which defends the interests of fuel traders. The Swiss Confederation’s official website and personal website are strangely lacking in its official profile sheet. He was also president of Auto-Suisse, the car importers’ lobby, which issued a press release to thank Albert Rosti from June 2022. “for its commitment to the automotive sector”. An agricultural engineer by education, he left the presidency of the UDC (Union of the Democratic Center) in 2020, a nationalist and conservative party that has long flirted with climate skepticism (Heidi.news – subscribers).

Albert Rösti, the new head of Detec © admin.ch

Until recently, Rosti spoke more enthusiastically“Disproportionate immigration » what a climate and criticized in 2019 “Ecosocialist Scam Against the Middle Class”says Le Temps. “Look at this beautiful weather! We hear it’s hot everywhere, but that’s normal! let’s enjoy ! », he appeared before the assembly of UDC representatives. Oil, auto, nuclear, dam builders: close to many industries, before his appointment he had collected 16 association mandates, 13 of which were paid.

If he had to leave all his functions because he was elected, “Such mandates do not fall like suitcases before coming to the Federal Council »pointed to platform signatories including Nobel laureate in chemistry Jacques Dubois, humorist Thomas Wiesel and philosopher Dominique Burge, who considered Albert Rösti. “the famous climatosceptic ». The signatories of the petition feared that the new Federal Counselor would implement the policy “Switzerland’s climate commitments are in stark contrast to the Paris Agreement in particular. » on climate.

At the head of a large ministry, a fifty-year-old is elected for a four-year term. It is assumed “Severing previous ties to protect the business and public interest of the Society, confirm with Green political science researcher Pascal Sciarini. Of course, we cannot rule out that ideology and interests to be defended will remain. But he is elected by a much wider base than his own party and needs to change his hat., the political scientist analyzes. Since the Swiss government is collegial, “Once the decision is made, he will have to defend the college’s position on the sidelines.”.

For example: Albert Rösti will have to introduce a bill “for glaciers” that plans to achieve carbon neutrality – that is, the balance between our CO2 emissions and the planet’s absorption capacity – by 2050. He will have his own party in front of him, the UDC, which he described as having obtained a referendum against this text “poison” will encourage “ecological dictatorship” (ATS).


“In France, it’s maybe a bit surreal. But in Switzerland, the fact of entrusting the reins of a department to the party a priori can be done very reluctantly, it is possible to make the party co-responsible and make it face the reality of power., continues the professor of the University of Geneva. He shared the opportunity shortly before he was elected as a member of the new Federal Council “The ultimate goal is to get off fossil fuels”. Pascal Sciarini defines: “Obviously, with Detec at the helm, a climate policy probably won’t be as offensive or progressive as a socialist or an environmentalist. But he can’t do anything, he depends on the parliamentary majority and he will worry that his projects are approved by the government and not challenged by a referendum..

Heidi.news nevertheless points out that he is a new member of the Federal Assembly “Becomes a master of the time, agenda and pace of management” and not ruling out resignations in the administration.

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