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Political initiatives

Geology also has a political dimension! For example, there is currently no federal law governing the geological subsurface. Nevertheless, this vision has been a topic of animated discussions in both the federal offices and in specialist circles for several years.

Bundeshaus / Palais fédéral

Regulation of the subsurface in Switzerland

In Switzerland, the use of the subsurface will be one of the major topics of discussion in the future. As a third dimension of spatial planning, the subsurface represents a challenge both for the development of strategic storage and transport infrastructures and for securing the country's supply of various vital indigenous georesources (energy, water, materials). In the second revision of the Spatial Planning Act, a number of key principles are to be laid down in order to coordinate the sometimes divergent interests of the various parties involved: groundwater use, extraction of mineral raw materials, geothermal energy, deep disposal of radioactive waste and tunnels. It is therefore imperative to gain a better understanding of the subsurface. Modern instruments are needed to enable coherent planning at the national and cantonal levels.

A list of parliamentary interpellations submitted in connection with the underground issue can be consulted on the website of the Swiss Parliament. Several reports published in this context by high federal authorities deserve attention. 

  • Use of the subsurface (2014). Report of the Federal Council in response to the postulate Riklin 11.3229, March 17, 2011 (available only in French or German).
  • Fracking (2017). Report of the Federal Council in response to the postulate Trede 13.3108, March 19, 2013 (available only in French or German).
  • Underground geological data (2018). Report of the Federal Council in response to the postulate Vogler 16.4108, December 16, 2016 (available only in French or German).