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<< Back to: Member News: ICLEI e-News | issue 8, June - July 2007

Zurich a 2000-watt society

October 03, 2007

Zurich (Switzerland) participates in the 2000-watt society, where persons are encouraged to reduce their energy consumption per capita to 2,000 watts.

The vision of the 2000 Watt Society originated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and asks that energy rates in developed countries reduce to 2,000 watts by the year 2050, without lowering standards of living.

2,000 watts is approximately the current world average rate of energy use.  This compares to averages of around 6,000 watts in Western Europe, 12,000 watts in the U.S.A., and closer to 500 watts in developing countries such as India.  Switzerland itself currently uses an average of around 5,000 watts.

If citizens of Zurich were to reduce their energy consumption to 2,000 watts, the city’s Department of Health and Environment have determined that carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced to one ninth of current levels.

Energy efficiency programs offer one of the best ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  A large share of fossil fuel use is dedicated to providing the electricity that powers almost all aspect of daily lives.  Globally, 75 percent of all energy is consumed in cities.  For strategies to reduce energy use at the local government, community and individual level, please visit www.iclei.org/ccp.

Zurich is one of 163 local governments in Europe that are currently Members of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.  For more information on ICLEI and its activities in Europe, please visit www.iclei.org/europe.

Source:  “International Climate Alliance Conference 2007 in Zurich”, Europe Climail Newsletter E2007/1; “The 2000 Watt Society”, Worldchanging, 2005.