Austria to fall short of climate targets

26 Apr 2023

A recent report by the Federal Environment Agency stating Austria will miss out on its climate targets led the Greens to lay blame on their conservative coalition partner.

Greenpeace flagged up the report on Tuesday, which highlights scenarios up until 2030 based on greenhouse gas development. The report is required to be undertaken by all EU member states every two years.

Although the government has set the objective of reaching carbon neutrality by 2024, this latest report claims it will only reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2050 compared to 1990. As a result, it is forecast to fall short of the EU targets aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050, Euractiv reports.

"Chancellor Nehammer only has the next election in mind, but with his limited horizon, he is gambling away our climate future," according to a climate and energy expert at Greenpeace Austria, Jasmin Duregger.

That said, the Federal Environment Agency had only considered measures that came into effect before 1st January 2022, including renewable energy growth targets and electric vehicle subsidies, but didn't take into account the carbon tax introduced later.

Duregger went on to say that "long overdue laws" such as the Renewable Heat Act and the Climate Protection Act need to be passed as soon as possible in order to "start the race to catch up to achieve the climate targets."

Austria's Green Party, in a coalition with Karl Nehammer's Austrian People's Party, has attempted to lay the blame on their coalition partner.

"Unfortunately, at present, we are often left alone in parliament when it comes to concrete decisions," said Green MP Lukas Hammer to EURACTIV. The Greens would be "fighting for every single measure," he went on to add.

For a "courageous climate protection policy," it would be essential that the "braking and blocking of important projects finally come to an end", he commented, adding that climate protection would "need more than just one party or one minister".