Presentation / Talk

Social barriers to implementing climate legislation - Private actors' influence on the Swiss CO2 law

The influence of firms on the elaboration of climate policy in a democratic system is quite controversial. Firms do not form a solid bloc of opponents to environmental regulation. Some firms even expect to gain from such regulation, either because they offer goods and services that will allow other firms to comply with the regulation or because they are in a better position to comply than their competitors. As a result, the detailed features of climate policy are more important than the general thrust. Firms and industry sectors could try to influence those features rather than oppose the policy upfront. This paper extends existing analyses of the Swiss elite, which is dominated by a small core of political actors with a high degree of integration in the decision-making process to the issue of climate policy. Based on the analysis of business interest in Swiss climate policy (Börner, 2009), this paper investigates how these positions of the business community are translated into the decision making process of the Swiss CO2 law. Data for the empirical analysis are drawn from consultation documents on the Swiss CO2 law and the word protocols of the Swiss parliament, interest affiliations and votes of the members of Swiss parliament. Discourse analysis traces the arguments of the Swiss business community formulated in the consultation process in the subsequent parliamentary debates. Social network analysis investigates potential influence and coalitions of private actors in Swiss climate policy.


  • There is no available fulltext. Please contact the lab or the authors.

Related material