Swiss upper house of parliament slams European climate ruling

FILE PHOTO: The Swiss Parliament House (Bundeshaus) is seen in Bern

ZURICH (Reuters) - Switzerland's upper house of parliament on Wednesday slammed a recent ruling by a top European court that pressed the country to do more to combat global warming, arguing that Swiss authorities were already doing enough to address the threat.

Voting 31 in favour and 11 against, upper house lawmakers backed a motion criticizing what it called "judicial activism" by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The motion concluded by stating Switzerland saw "no reason to take further action" on the court's April 9 ruling on the grounds that its past and current efforts on climate policy meet the human rights requirements set out in its judgment.

The court had found in favor of a group of elderly Swiss women who took Switzerland to court over its record on tackling global warming, arguing its failures violated their rights.

The ruling indicated Switzerland had a legal duty to do more to reduce emissions. However, it received widespread criticism inside the country, and the Swiss environment minister said the ruling was hard to reconcile with direct democracy.

Switzerland, where referendums regularly test the limits of national policymaking, has committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 from 1990 levels.

The government had proposed stronger measures to deliver the goal, but Swiss voters rejected them in a 2021 referendum.

A Swiss parliamentary committee had rejected the Strasbourg court's ruling a few weeks previously.

(Writing by Dave Graham, editing by John Revill)