• 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
Police officer run over by prisoner on day release
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A police officer in Vienna is in a critical condition after being knocked down by a prisoner on day release who was riding a Yamaha motorbike at full speed.

Jealousy drives man to blow up ex-girlfriend with hand grenade
Prnjavor in northern Bosnia. Photo: Cuman/Wikipedia

A Bosnian man living in Austria travelled back to his homeland to blow up his ex-girlfriend with a hand grenade when he found out she was seeing somebody else.

Teenager dies in horror crash on Austria's Westautobahn
File photo: Jacktd/Wikimedia

One person has died and seven others are seriously injured after a horrific road accident on the Westautobahn (A1) in Lower Austria.

Taiwanese tourist rescued from Austrian mountain via WhatsApp
Dachstein. Photo: Wikipedia

A tourist from Taiwan who got lost on Austria’s Dachstein mountain was rescued after sending a friend in Hong Kong images via WhatsApp.

Man jailed for making hundreds of sex calls to teachers
Wels court. Photo: Austrian Justice Ministry

A 59-year-old man from Upper Austria has received a 15-month conditional prison sentence after he phoned hundreds of young female teachers and sexually harassed them.

Comedian sets sights on Austrian parliament
Roland Düringer. Photo: ORF

An Austrian comedian, Roland Düringer, has founded a new political party and says he plans to introduce it in time for Austria’s next parliamentary election.

Austrian election set for early December after 'gluegate'
Austrian parliament building. Photo: Wikimedia

Austria's parliament has approved December 4th as the new date for the presidential election re-run in a scandal-ridden race.

Lovesick football fan to blame for mass brawl in Linz
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A football fan jilted by an ex-lover is thought to have started a fight between football supporters and a group of asylum seekers earlier this month in Linz.

Austrian far-right leader publishes drugs test
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The head of Austria's popular far-right Freedom Party, long subject to allegations he takes illegal drugs, has published results of tests that he said show he is clean.

Muslim woman attacked and bitten in Vienna
The woman had swelling and bruises on her forehead. Photo: Haber Journal

The family of a Muslim woman who was attacked in Vienna by an unknown assailant suspect the assault was motivated by Islamophobia.

Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Those surprising Austrians!
National
100 years since the last emperor's death
National
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Lifestyle
Have fun in September!
National
Der you learn Deutsch?
Culture
Delighted by the light
National
Beware these passport scams
National
Of course we skipped Oarsch
National
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
Yodel-ei-ei-eee--oh
Lifestyle
10 years after her escape from captivity
Politics
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
National
Another 10 million Euros for fresh elections
Gallery
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Society
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Gallery
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
National
It's gonna be hot... here's how to cope
National
Europe's ice cream capital
Travel
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
National
How to make friends in Austria
2,485
jobs available