Switzerland rejects pesticides ban, carbon emission cuts
Government had urged a "no" vote.
Swiss voters in a nationwide referendum Sunday rejected proposals to ban synthetic pesticides and cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to provisional vote counts carried by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SWI).
They show 53.1 percent voted to throw out the climate initiatives which would have added to taxes of car fuel and flight tickets as part of plans for Switzerland to reduce carbon emissions to half of 1990 levels by 2030.
A larger majority dismissed the ban on synthetic pesticides, 60.6 percent, with almost all the votes counted. The proposed ban would have made Switzerland the second country in the world to prohibit synthetic use after Bhutan went 100 percent organic in 2012.
By rejecting the initiatives, Swiss voters sided with their government which warned they would threaten national food sovereignty and increase costs on business. Opponents pointed out that Switzerland only emits 0.1 percent of global greenhouse gases.
Swiss citizens did vote in favor of new anti-terrorism measures that will grant the government and police more powers.
The security laws, which were on course to win 56.6 percent of the vote, will permit police officers to monitor and question anyone over 12 years if they have concerns of violent intentions.
Switzerland has a system of direct democracy, which means any initiative from the public can go to a national vote if it carries the support of 100,000 signatures. Referendums on laws agreed by the parliament can also be triggered with 50,000 signatures.