• Austria's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Austria slips in climate change rankings

The Local · 8 Dec 2014, 20:19

Published: 08 Dec 2014 20:19 GMT+01:00

Ranking in only 36th place, Austria is listed well below most other developed countries in terms of its commitment to emissions controls, especially in terms of carbon-dioxide (CO2).

The best performing countries include Denmark, in top position, followed by Sweden and the United Kingdom.  Denmark has held the top position for the past three years.

France remains in 12th position, while Germany has maintained its position at 22nd, despite large investments in renewable energy.

The Climate Change Performance Index compares the progress on climate change among the 58 countries who are responsible for 90 percent of global CO2 emissions.

China, the world's biggest emitter, has shown improvements in the efficiency sector and massive investments in renewables. 

The cause of Austria's poor performance is a lack of political initiative, according to John Wahlmüller, spokesman for the Austrian environmental lobby group Global 2000.  

"Austria's policy has been in a deep sleep for the last three years.  Not a single significant policy initiative was set, nor was there progress on implementation of EU directives.  Political initiatives, funding and the courage to commit to long-term thinking are urgently needed", he said.

The Netherlands plummeted eight places from last year, while Austria dropped five. Austria’s emissions are not decreasing and it is likely to miss its 2020 climate and energy targets, despite its high renewables and energy efficiency potential.  It is also one of the few EU countries to have not yet contributed to the Green Climate Fund, experts told EurActiv.

The last place (61) is occupied by Saudi Arabia, which has the worst record on curbing the growth of its emission trends, and lack of investment in renewable energy.

Denmark's performance is particularly impressive.  Its CO2 emissions have been declining steadily since 1997, in the last five years by an impressive 19 per cent.

"All that and more, Austria could also implement", said Wahlmüller.

Story continues below…

"Now it is important that the promised government program of measures for climate protection with their associated eco-social tax reform, thermal building renovation and investment in public transport, are submitted soon by Environment Minister Andrae Rupprechter."

"Austria has to stand by its promises at the international level.  [The goals of] Lima are a shameful idea for Austria, if no contribution to the Green Climate Fund will be made," said Wahlmüller.

"The entire federal government is required to take climate change seriously," said Wahlmüller.

"Austria is one of the few developed countries to have made no commitment through a financial contribution to the Green Climate Fund, which has already attracted international attention and earned our country the negative award 'Fossil of the Day', which is awarded by 900 environmental organizations." 

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Fresh attempt to seize Hitler's birth house
Austria's government submitted Friday a law to seize the house where Hitler was born, in a bid to stop the building becoming a neo-Nazi shrine.

Austria's government submitted Friday a law to seize the house where Hitler was born, in a bid to stop the building becoming a neo-Nazi shrine.

Murder-suicide in Braunau am Inn, birthplace of Hitler
Photo: Stadtamt Braunau am Inn

A small Upper Austrian town best known for being the birthplace of Adolf Hitler has apparently witnessed a murder-suicide on Friday afternoon.

Young Austrian millionaire dies after falling from window
Monaco, where the incident happened. Photo: Tobi 87/Wikimedia

The mysterious death of a 43-year-old Austrian millionaire is being investigated by authorities after he fell from a window of his luxury home in Monaco.

Weekend promises both hailstones and sunshine
Strandbad Alte Donau. Photo: Stadt Wien

Depending on where you are in Austria this weekend, expect either thunderstorms or 31 degree sunshine.

Austria's 'free sex' brothel owner arrested in tax dispute
Herman Pascha/Youtube

An Austrian brothel owner who made worldwide headlines in 2015 when he offered free sex to punters as a protest against paying tax has once again run into trouble with the taxman.

Austria's super rich are becoming 'poorer'
One of Austria's richest people Ferdinand Piëch. Stuart Mentiply/Wikimedia.

Austria’s richest people are not quite as rich as they used to be - although the country’s wealthiest family are still worth €35 billion.

Captain America inspiration behind Vienna Hyperloop
HTT

Anyone who still holds on to their childhood dream of being a superhero will be delighted by the name of the state-of-the-art technology behind a transport system planned for Vienna.

Brexit
Deadline for overseas Brexit voters looms
Jeff Djevdet/Creative Commons

British people living in Austria who are eligible to vote in the EU referendum have until Tuesday June 7th to apply for a proxy vote.

Gay doctor in Austria fired for arranging illegal surrogacy
AKH. Photo: Medical University of Vienna

A gay doctor who wanted a child with his partner was fired by a hospital in Austria after persuading a fellow doctor to carry their baby, despite surrogacy being illegal in the country.

Facebook on shaky ground after activist's latest victory
Manfred Werner/Wikimedia

Austrian data privacy activist achieves another legal victory in his bid to stop Facebook transferring European citizens’ data to the US.

Politics
Austria's choice for a new president
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Politics
Profile on Norbert Hofer, Freedom Party Presidential Candidate
Politics
Austrian politics explained. TL;DR: worry not.
Features
Refugees need practical help
Lifestyle
All you need to know about Austrian Faschingskrapfen
Lifestyle
Why looking good on the ski slopes has never been easier
Lifestyle
Live in Austria? You might develop some of these weird habits
National
How 'Silent Night' rules the carol world
Lifestyle
How a chance meeting on the slopes led to a new business
Lifestyle
What it means to be human
Technology
How a town became a green icon
Lifestyle
Why Austria has the world's best ski resort
Lifestyle
Let them eat cake!
Lifestyle
Top tips for partying like an Austrian
Culture
Five places to learn how to cook Viennese cuisine
Lifestyle
How living in Austria will improve your lifestyle
Lifestyle
Backstage at the World Beard and Moustache Championship
Gallery
Up to 60,000 people welcomed refugees in Vienna
Culture
Can you spot an Austrian?
Lifestyle
Our pick of Vienna's best vegetarian restaurants
Analysis & Opinion
Italy's South Tyrol: where an identity crisis lingers
National
Lost on the way to sanctuary
2,478
jobs available