Welcome to the Earth.Org Global Sustainability Index, where Earth.Org examines the policies and actions regarding the environment of every nation on earth. Combining the most respected global indexes on pollution, climate change, policy, energy, oceans, biodiversity we have produced an overall Global Index, which will be updated annually. This is the Global Sustainability Index scorecard for Austria.
As an EU member state, Austria is committed to contributing to the achievement of the joint EU economy-wide reduction target of 20% below 1990 levels by 2020. Further goals for the Union are to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. For Austria itself, emissions have remained stable between 1990 and 2016 despite significant increases in GDP, population, demand for electricity and heating and transport volume.
The country’s new conservative governing party, the Austrian People’s Party led by Sebastian Kurz, struck an “experimental” deal with the Green party in January 2020, first of its kind. First, the Greens will head four ministries, including the environmental and judicial. Targets for fully renewable energy generation by 2030, and carbon neutrality by 2040 will be set, along with a carbon tax. Flying is to be made more expensive, which is a welcome move in the eyes of environmentalists, with an intent to make train travel more attractive.
- Bound to EU climate mitigation goals under the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions by at least 40% compared to 1990 levels by 2030.
- Austria’s conservative party has made a surprising deal with the country’s Green Party to ensure a sustainable future.
- It plans to have fully renewable energy generation by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2040.
* Our Energy ranking considers emission intensity (units of energy per unit of GDP). When one or both are low enough to make their influence negligible on a global scale, the country is left out of the ranking.
** Austria has no coast or naval activity.
Biodiversity, Policy: Sachs, J., Schmidt-Traub, G., Kroll, C., Lafortune, G., Fuller, G. (2019): Sustainable Development Report 2019. New York: Bertelsmann Stiftung and Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).
Oceans: Halpern, Benjamin S., et al. “An index to assess the health and benefits of the global ocean.” Nature 488.7413 (2012): 615-620.
Pollution: Wendling, Z. A., Emerson, J. W., Esty, D. C., Levy, M. A., de Sherbinin, A., et al. (2018). 2018 Environmental Performance Index. New Haven, CT: Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy. https://epi.yale.edu/
Climate Change: Climate Change Performance Index; Jan Burck, Ursula Hagen, Niklas Höhne, Leonardo Nascimento, Christoph Bals, ISBN 978-3-943704-75-4, 2019
Energy: Enerdata –World Energy Statistics – Yearbook.