Climate action in Austria: Latest state of play

Briefing 30-08-2021

The EU's binding climate and energy legislation for 2030 requires Member States to adopt national energy and climate plans (NECPs) for the 2021-2030 period. In October 2020, the European Commission published an assessment for each NECP. Austria's final NECP is from December 2019. A high proportion of Austrians (60 %) expect national governments to tackle climate change. Austria generates 2.2 % of the EU's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and has reduced emissions at a slower pace than the EU average since 2005. The country's carbon intensity is lower than the EU average, following a similar steady downward trend. The transport sector accounted for 30 % of Austria's total emissions in 2019 and its share is continuing to rise, whereas in 2019 the energy industries accounted for just 13 % of the total emissions share. Austria is aiming to reach carbon neutrality by 2040. Under EU effort-sharing legislation, Austria was required to reduce non-ETS emissions by 16 % before end 2020, compared with 2005, and must achieve a 36 % reduction by 2030; this outcome currently seems unlikely. Austria achieved a 33.6 % share of renewable energy sources in 2019. The country's 2030 target of 46-50 % renewable energy has a strong focus on delivering 100 % renewable electricity generation. The bulk of the measures planned to achieve the energy efficiency targets focus on buildings' heating needs and transport sector transition.