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Climate protection is missing in the black-blue government agreement in Lower Austria | Global 2000

Instead of committing to climate neutrality by 2040 and an end to gas dependency, the state government is planning to push ahead with road construction

Climate strike March 2022 in St Pölten

The new Lower Austrian state government is being sworn in these days. The environmental protection organization GLOBAL 2000 sharply criticizes the black and blue government program presented: “While the consequences of the climate crisis are being felt more and more in Lower Austria and farmers are currently groaning under the drought, the government agreement on climate protection is almost completely missing. 

Instead of a commitment to climate neutrality by 2040 and a plan to end gas dependency, the new state government wants to push ahead with road construction. With this program, Lower Austria is in danger of becoming Austria’s climate laggard,” says Johannes Wahlmüller, climate and energy spokesman for GLOBAL 2000.

In Lower Austria in particular, there is a great need for action when it comes to climate protection. Lower Austria is one of the federal states with the highest greenhouse gas emissions per capita. With 6,8 t CO2 per capita Lower Austria well above the Austrian average of 5,7 t CO2, even if greenhouse gas emissions from industry are excluded. Nevertheless, the government program excludes climate protection measures. Instead of clear measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the further expansion of road construction projects will actually increase greenhouse gas emissions. 

Only the expansion of renewable energies is at least mentioned. Furthermore, there is no plan for ending gas dependency in Lower Austria, even though Lower Austria is also among the Austrian leaders here with more than 200.000 gas heating systems: "Without a clear plan for ending gas dependency, Lower Austria's energy independence, which is stated as a goal in the government program, cannot be achieved to reach. In Lower Austria there is a risk that the country will lag behind when it comes to climate protection and that people will remain dependent on foreign gas supplies. Instead, what is needed now is serious climate protection, such as expanding public transport, stopping large-scale fossil projects, a plan to switch from gas heating and the promised new zoning for wind energy. The A majority of Lower Austrians also want these measures and the state government must represent the interests of its citizens here,” Johannes Wahlmüller concludes.

Photo / Video: Global 2000.

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