Climate protection in the constitution

No one can save the world alone. For a rapid climate change, everyone is needed. Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler together with BOKU Rector and expert on climate and environmental law Eva Schulev-Steindl, among others, provided information on "A broad alliance for more climate protection in Austria". 

We create the change

"The brutal war of aggression on Ukraine reminds us once again: We have to get out of fossil fuels, and we have to do it as quickly as possible. This is the only way we can ensure that future generations will also have a good life - and will not be dependent on Putin's mercy. So the alliance for more climate protection can't be broad enough: whether it's expanding renewable energy, switching to public transport, protecting healthy soil - or how we invest our money in the future. If we all pull together, we will achieve the change," says Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler.

Climate protection in the constitution

"If Austria is to become climate-neutral in 2040, as envisaged in the government program, it needs stable framework conditions for politics, business and society that set out an effective and economically efficient, but also socially balanced path to "decarbonization". From a legal point of view, a greenhouse gas budget for Austria based on scientific evidence, a cooperation and compliance mechanism that strengthens the joint responsibility of the federal, state and local governments for climate policy, as well as a fundamental right of citizens to climate protection that goes beyond mere state objectives should therefore be anchored in the constitution," emphasized BOKU Rector Eva Schulev-Steindl.

Further allies

We need a new economic thinking

"The fact is: Nature does not need us, we need nature. Continuing as before is not an option. That's why we need to protect nature and finally initiate a change toward more intelligent economic thinking. Measuring the prosperity of a society solely on the basis of a single indicator - such as gross domestic product - is fatal. That means we need to rethink economics. We need to include natural capital in the annual national accounts. We need an intact natural and living environment, for example, to maintain national food supply security. We must seize the opportunity now. Anything else would be grossly negligent. Our children and children's children will thank us for it!" urged Kurt Weinberger, Chairman of the Board of Austrian Hail Insurance.

Mobility turnaround as a contribution to climate protection

"There was and is no alternative to the success of a comprehensive energy turnaround towards a far-reaching move away from fossil fuels. The necessary measures range from a significant increase in energy efficiency, to the comprehensive use of all renewable energy technologies, to behavioral changes in the use of limited resources. The current political, economic and environmental situation forces us to significantly accelerate the momentum of action in order to shape a future characterized by quality of life and prosperity. We have the necessary technologies, knowledge, capital and skills to succeed. Therefore, we must consistently convince the remaining doubters and pragmatically eliminate slowing bureaucracy. There is no "Plan B"!", appealed Wolfgang Anzengruber, Chairman of the Board of Verbund AG.

Insurance companies make significant contribution to achieving sustainability goals

"The negative effects of the climate crisis have long since reached us insurers - we are increasingly confronted with extraordinary weather events such as floods, inundations, droughts and forest fires. Hagelversicherung supports the agricultural sector with innovative insurance concepts, offering the most comprehensive range of products and the most modern loss assessment in Europe. Austrian insurers provide their customers with comprehensive insurance coverage for natural hazards such as storms, hail, snow pressure and landslides. To support the transition to a climate-resilient economy, the insurance industry is making a significant contribution to climate protection with the Green Deal and the redirection of capital investments into sustainable investments," said GRAWE Asset Management Chairman Othmar Ederer.

Measures for an energy turnaround

"Heat records, severe weather - we have been feeling the climate change for a long time. We must all make an effort and work together for the climate turnaround. As one of Austria's largest climate protection companies, ÖBB takes its responsibility seriously. We are already saving Austria around 4 million tons of CO2 per year with our transport services - i.e. rail and bus. Because without a successful and sustainable modal shift from road to rail, Austria's climate targets will not be achieved. The good news is that the transport turnaround has begun, the rail boom is here - we are recording an increase of 15 percent in long-distance passengers compared with our record year in 2019. And we are prepared: We will increase seating capacity on trains by 30 percent by 2030 - for our customers and to achieve our climate targets," announced ÖBB CEO Andreas Matthä.