SVP favorite Albert Rösti is well disposed towards the oil and car lobby and he wants new nuclear power plants.
It’s no secret that SVP Federal Council candidate Albert Rösti (55) is well disposed towards the car and oil lobby. He was President of Swissoil for seven years and has been President of Auto-Switzerland, the association of automobile importers, since this year. And in an interview with the “SonntagsBlick” newspaper, he recently spoke out clearly in favor of lifting the ban on the construction of new nuclear power plants.
Now there is resistance to the crown favorite Rösti. With the call “No to the oil lobby in the Federal Council”, the environmental organization Umverkehr wants to prevent the election of the “oil and car lobbyist” Rösti in the state government. For the letter published on Thursday, “several hundred signatures came together” in just a few hours, according to Umverkehr spokeswoman Tonja Zürcher (39).
“Extended arm” of the lobbies
In order to meet its climate commitments and ensure its energy security, Switzerland must accelerate the phase-out of fossil fuels and the reduction of motorized traffic, according to the call from Umverkehr. However, the SVP would sabotage a “reasonable climate policy”. The election of Rösti in the Federal Council would therefore represent “a brake on the indispensable energy transition”.
“We are extremely concerned about what it would mean for our climate and environmental policy if a person like Rösti were elected to the Federal Council,” affirms Zürcher. For detours, Rösti is the “extended arm” of the oil and car lobby.
Climate researchers and comedians
Umverkehr is not alone with these concerns. The signers of the call include personalities from science, culture and civil society. Among them, for example, the ETH climate researcher Sonia Seneviratne (48), the Nobel Prize winner for physics, Jacques Dubouchet (80), and the comedian Thomas Wiesel (33).
The climatologist Martine Rebetez (61), who researches at the University of Neuchâtel and at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), has put her name under the call. It is clear to them that the oil lobbyists are to blame for the fact that the energy transition is not progressing any faster. The lobbyists are already well represented in the Swiss Parliament. And one of the most important Swiss oil lobbyists is Albert Rösti.
A “wrong sign”
The French-speaking Swiss philosopher Dominique Bourg (69) also finds clear words: That an oil lobbyist like Rösti is even up for election is “a shame”. Because: Rösti and the SVP would question man-made climate change. “If he were elected, it would send out a very bad signal internationally,” Bourg said.
Filmmaker Stina Werenfels (58) also signed the call. She would find it extremely disturbing if Rösti were elected to the state government: “It would be a wrong sign if an oil lobbyist became a member of the Federal Council today.” She suspects that Rösti would continue to operate “shameless interest politics” as Federal Councilor. “It looks as if he will continue to play down the climate crisis and delay the expansion of renewable energies,” says Werenfels. It would therefore be fatal for the filmmaker if Rösti became head of the UVEK.
It remains to be seen whether Rösti will be elected to the Federal Council and whether he will take over the uvek. Should that happen, Umverkehr wonders whether Albert Rösti would travel to the COP28 climate conference as a Federal Councilor as a lobbyist for the fossil industry – or be seen as a representative of the Swiss government.