Vienna Publishes Latest Climate Strategy, Plans To Achieve Carbon Neutrality In 20 Years

Vienna, Austria recently published Smart KLIMA City Wien – its latest climate strategy for achieving the goal of CO2 neutrality within the next 20 years. Vienna currently has the lowest CO2 emissions per capita in the whole of Austria, despite being the smallest and most densely populated. It has already managed to reduce emissions by 40%, using 1990 CO2 levels as a baseline.

Along with political and technological strategies, Smart KLIMA City Wien also addresses social justice – particularly where climate policy affects people with low incomes, the elderly, and the vulnerable.

“Ultimately, people and their needs are the focus of this holistic climate protection policy, from which all Viennese will benefit: be it new jobs, new opportunities, neighborhoods worth living in or even more sustainability,” stated Mayor Michael Ludwig,

The plan is guided by seven broad values:

  • Take everyone with you: climate-friendly policies that take social justice into account;
  • Viennese success stories: the city recognises its initial advantages of excellent infrastructure, a functioning administration, and a high level of social cohesion;
  • Use market opportunities: strengthen the regional economy with sustainable innovations;
  • More Green Jobs: create impactful new professions;
  • Actively involving citizens: to shape the future together;
  • Viennese climate modernity: integrate science, art and culture; and
  • Doing our own homework: finding good examples from around the world.

Using these guidelines, the city has created target areas which are expected to reduce CO2 emissions. Some target areas and their examples include:

  • Energy – photovoltaic offensive, district heating, district cooling;
  • Mobility – expansion of public transport, development and of e-ride sharing offers, city of short distances, hydrogen drive;
  • Buildings – subsidies, simplifications for photovoltaic systems, sustainable construction;
  • Economy and work – climate budget, material efficiency, sharing economy;
  • Zero waste and circular economy – expansion of repair network, waste avoidance;
  • Adaptation to climate change – creating even more green space, greening and shading;
  • Urban ecology, environment and water – planning of new districts in compact construction and adequate urban density;
  • Health and social inclusion – strengthening health literacy, building new health facilities using zero-energy construction;
  • Education, science and research  – expansion of educational districts, new energy self-sufficient school buildings;
  • Digitization  – basic digital rights, promotion of digital skills; and
  • Participation, commitment and culture – cultural participation, Vienna climate team.