Oil refinery in Schwechat, Austria, Source: Depositphotos

Austria planned to cut emissions by half by 2030 – it won’t happen

Austria planned to cut emissions by half by 2030 – it won’t happen

“We don’t need opinions that only say how not to do it,” quipped the country’s environmental minister

The Austrian government presented its National Energy and Climate Plan (NEPK), two days ago, leaving the document for public consultation until 31 August before finalizing the draft. The initial reaction, however, was one not of jubilance but of criticism as it became evident that the ambitious climate goals promoted at first have been greatly subdued.

At first, the government envisaged for Austria to be able to reduce its carbon output by 48% by 2030 (compared to 2005 levels). The current plan, however, has dropped that goal to only 35%.

Euractiv reported that the country’s environmental minister Leonore Gewessler is seeking proposals from all sectors of society on how to address this deficiency and correct it, if possible. In her words: “What we don’t need are opinions that only say how not to do it”.

Can a collective societal effort fix this?

The minister’s comments were in response to the criticism expressed by different groups, such as opposition political parties, the Chamber of Agriculture and environmental organizations.

With the currently planned measures, Austria will miss the EU climate targets by around 16 million tonnes of greenhouse gases,” said WWF climate and energy spokesperson Karl Schellmann.

In a public consultation until 31 August, stakeholders, NGOs, and political parties will provide input on how the still missing reduction can be achieved. The European Commission would also provide feedback on the draft plan, which must be finalized by June 2024, Gewessler added.

The Austrian government, which is currently a coalition between conservatives and Greens, has set itself the goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2040. That coalition, however, seems to be on very uneasy terms since the Greens are blaming their political partners for sabotaging the climate efforts.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU