Data on revenue from environmental subsidies and other transfers come from the monetary environmental accounts compiled by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).
Subsidies and other transfers are defined as “environmental” if they are intended to support activities that protect the environment or reduce the use and extraction of natural resources. Subsidies and other transfers that may have a positive impact on the environment but serve primarily other purposes than the protection of the environment or the preservation of natural resources (e.g. to guarantee or to increase the safety and the health of workers at the work place, to protect infrastructures against natural or technological hazards, to purify water or air for specific industrial processes), are excluded. Environmental subsidies and other transfers paid by the general government to resident institutional sectors (enterprises, households, non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH), and sub-sectors of general government), as well as to the rest of the world, are included. Environmental subsidies and other transfers paid by the rest of the world to resident institutional sectors are not included in the compilation.
According to the national accounts, the term “subsidies and other transfers” encompasses:
- Subsidies which are current unrequited payments to resident producers (D.3);
- Other current transfers, which include social contributions and benefits to households, intended to relieve them from the financial burden of a number of risks or needs (D.6) as well as current international cooperation, current transfers to NPISHs and between households as well as current transfers within general government (D.7);
- Capital transfers (d.9) which require the acquisition or disposal of an asset, or assets by at least one of the parties to the transaction.
In Switzerland, no type D.6 environmental transfer has been listed.
In line with the EUROSTAT method and to ensure national and international comparability, only subsidies and other current and capital transfers considered as such in the national accounts (NA) are included.
Unless stated otherwise, the results shown here are consolidated, i.e. they are net of transfers between sub-sectors of the general government, or as in the present case, between the Confederation, the cantons and the communes. In some cases, non-consolidated data are also published in order to show the importance of transfers between the sub-sectors of general government. Non-consolidated data give rise to double counting. By way of example, a direct payment made by the Confederation to the cantons, then by the cantons to farms is only counted once in the consolidated account, whereas it is counted twice in the non-consolidated account.
The compilation of statistics on environmental subsidies and other transfers is being developed in Switzerland and in the European Union. The results presented here should therefore be regarded as initial estimates. Estimates are made if no information is available on the breakdown by beneficiary institutional sector or by environmental domain. Double counting cannot be excluded.