Austria named Euronews' Green European Country of the Month, Here's Why
Austria has been recognized as Euronews' Green European Country of the Month for its renewable energy, carbon taxes, and public transport advancements.
Austria has been named Euronews' Green European Country of the Month, and for good reason. The country has made significant progress in several key climate areas, setting an example for others to follow. One of Austria's notable achievements is its high share of renewables in its electricity mix, reaching 71% in 2021. Hydropower plays a crucial role in Austria's renewable energy network, but the country is also making strides in solar, wind, and biomass energy.
Austria has set ambitious goals for the future, aiming to produce electricity solely from renewables by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2040. To support these targets, the country has implemented a carbon levy of €30 per tonne, gradually increasing until 2025. What sets Austria apart is its unique approach of providing a "Klimabonus" to offset some of the costs brought about by the carbon tax. This bonus varies depending on residents' location and the availability of public transport, encouraging sustainable choices.
In addition to its renewable energy efforts, Austria has made significant advancements in public transport. The introduction of the Klimaticket, a yearly ticket accepted on all public transport throughout the country, has been a resounding success. With 200,000 people purchasing the ticket in its first year, Austria has effectively incentivized a shift from cars to public transport. The country's comprehensive ticketing system covers all modes of transport, making it one of the closest models to an ideal system.
Austria's commitment to sustainability extends beyond its borders. The country has called for restrictions on private jet use, emphasizing the need for European-level regulations to address this issue effectively. While Austria recognizes the limitations of its actions on its own, it aims to lead by example and advocate for change at a European level.
Looking ahead, Austria has plans for new climate-related laws, including measures to clean up the heating sector and phase out old fossil gas boilers. Despite facing challenges, Austria remains committed to tackling the climate crisis and taking decisive climate action. The country believes that responsibility lies with individuals at every level of power, from local officials to national leaders, in working together for a sustainable future.
As Euronews' Green European Country of the Month, Austria's dedication to climate action serves as an inspiration for other nations. By highlighting the achievements of countries like Austria, we can encourage and pressure politicians worldwide to prioritize environmental initiatives. Together, we can work towards a greener and more sustainable future.