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Swiss Reject Plan to Speed Up Exit From Nuclear Energy via Fortune

Swiss voters rejected a plan to force their government to accelerate the country’s exit from nuclear energy in a referendum Sunday, turning down an initiative that would have seen the last plant shut in 2029.

A majority of cantons (states) voted against the plan. Under Switzerland’s direct democracy system, proposals need a majority of both cantons and votes to pass.


After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the Swiss government adopted a gradualist approach toward transitioning the country to renewable energy by 2050.

It said nuclear plants should continue to operate as long as they are deemed safe, but didn’t set a precise timetable. The government said it needs time to switch to other sources such as wind, solar and biomass energy.


“We would have liked to win, that’s clear, but 45 percent for ‘yes’ is a good result,” Regula Rytz, the Greens’ chairwoman, told SRF. The party isn’t part of Switzerland’s broad coalition government.

“The problems haven’t been resolved with this referendum Sunday,” Rytz said. “We will keep at it on safety, on financial security … and on expanding renewable energies.”



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