Climate plan: Numerous proposals to close the gap

Climate plan: Numerous proposals to close the gap
Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) now wants to review the numerous proposals.

At the time, Environment Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) asked for “concrete proposals” to close the gap in CO2 emissions. The answers were numerous: for example, science provided 40 pages, Greenpeace a 55-point plan, and WWF, Global 2000 and the environmental umbrella organization also specified their suggestions.

The environmental umbrella organization (UWD) also called for more transparency: the NEKP draft was created on the basis of a basic study by the Federal Environment Agency on the individual scenarios (WEM/WAM/Scenario Transition’), the UWD stated, but at the time of the consultation it was for the Only a summary of the results was given to the public, but full accessibility is an essential prerequisite for the comprehensibility of the results and the scenarios: “We therefore encourage their rapid publication,” according to the UWD.

WKÖ criticizes the lack of transparency

Similar criticism came from the Chamber of Commerce, which pointed out, among other things, the threat of compensation payments or infringement proceedings in the event of non-compliance with EU requirements. “Against the background of the financial implications but also the effects on location and competitiveness, it is incomprehensible why the Ministry of Climate Change refuses to publish the studies and scenarios on which the NEKP is based. This lack of transparency undermines a serious technical discussion about the new goals and contents of the plan “, criticized Karlheinz Kopf, Secretary General of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKÖ). The transformation envisaged in the NEKP requires an overall plan in coordination with the actors responsible for implementation.

Theoretically, there is still enough time for an NEKP (period 2021-2030) on the target path, because the paper should have been finally sent to the EU Commission on July 31, 2024, and the opportunity for stakeholders to submit a written statement ends on August 30 . The Ministry of the Environment said that after the deadline had finally expired, all statements would first be viewed.

Active participation of science

The participation of science was numerous, 49 researchers from climate and transformation research were involved in the statement. “The updated version of the NEKP marks an important step in the right direction, but greater determination is needed to meet the challenges of climate change,” emphasized Karl Steininger, one of the main authors, in a press release from the Climate Change Center Austria (CCCA ).

However, it was criticized that the NEKP draft omitted some important aspects, left a number of questions unanswered and did not offer sufficient certainty about the effectiveness and design of the planned strategies. Specifically, the lack of aspects of global fairness, ie the perception of international responsibility, was criticized, and the implementation methods for a systematic “Just Transition Process” remained too vague. Lowering the speed limit to 100 km/h on motorways is also included in the proposals.

Greenpeace for SUV tax and flight ban

In the sensitive area of ​​traffic, Greenpeace recommends, among other things, an SUV tax, a ban on short-haul and private jet flights, but also a mobility guarantee so that all Austrians have access to mobility services within a 15-minute walk. In addition, it is important to make the energy transition a reality, specifically the licensing for new fossil exploration projects in Austria should be ended immediately.

50 measures from the WWF

With an NEKP on target, it is necessary to achieve 48 percent less CO2 emissions compared to 2005, the draft so far only suffices for 35 percent. “With the measures envisaged so far, Austria will miss the EU climate targets by around 16 million tons of greenhouse gases,” estimates the environmental protection organization WWF on the basis of the draft and referred in a press release to the costs, which according to the Ministry of Finance and the Court of Auditors cost several billion euros for certificates from abroad would make out. On the occasion of the assessment period ending today, the WWF also provided 50 additional measures, such as the reduction of environmentally harmful subsidies and a climate-friendly, eco-social tax reform, integrated into an ambitious climate protection law – probably measures that are supported by the majority of stakeholders from science and environmental protection.

Global 2000 wants a major overhaul

Global 2000 wondered to what extent Austria’s climate goals, for which the Ministry of the Environment is responsible for defining, are supported by the other ministries, because in the draft the “responsibilities are not clearly and bindingly assigned and the financing is not guaranteed either. In short: this draft falls through and it needs a fundamental revision!”, Johannes Wahlmüller, climate and energy spokesman for the NGO, summarized some points of criticism. “Whether Austria can make its contribution to achieving the Paris climate goals depends less on new lists of well-known measures than on concrete implementation paths,” said the environmental umbrella organization one of the major hurdles on the way to the EU climate goal.

Source: Nachrichten

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