Environmental country reviews

Environmental Performance Review: Austria 2013


Highlights  | Assessment & Recommendations | How to obtain this publication 

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This is the third review of Austria's environmental performance. It analyses progress in achieving a range of national objectives and international commitments, and presents 27 recommendations on how performance could be improved. Progress towards a green, low carbon economy is part of the assessment.

The OECD Environmental Performance Reviews provide independent assessments of countries’ progress in achieving their environmental policy objectives in order to help improve individual and collective environmental performance.

The Highlights (also in FrenchGerman) present the main OECD findings. Click here for the full Assessment & Recommendations, as endorsed by OECD countries.


Key environmental trends

During the 2000s, Austria experienced robust performance on many economic and social indicators and continued to improve its overall environmental performance. The report briefly describes Austria’s progress in:

  • Reducing the carbon, energy and material intensities of its economy.
  • Managing its natural asset base, including its water and biodiversity resources.
  • Improving the environmental quality of life of the population.


Policy-making environment

Since 2000, Austria has consolidated and further developed what was already a sound environmental policy framework. This review of Austria’s environmental performance examines:

  • The main sustainable development strategies and initiatives.
  • The regulatory framework for environmental protection, and activities to ensure compliance with environmental requirements.
  • The mechanisms in place to improve horizontal and vertical co-ordination, and the instruments used to systematically evaluate the environmental impacts of economic and sectoral policies.
  • Progress in promoting environmental democracy, through open access to information and improved public participation. 



Towards green growth

Austria has launched several initiatives related to green growth. The use of economic instruments has been extended and a competitive environmental goods and services sector has emerged. This report discusses:

  • The use of taxation policy to pursue environmental objectives.
  • Progress in removing fiscal incentives that can encourage environmentally harmful activities.
  • Public and private investment in environment-related services and infrastructure, and the use of subsidies to encourage environment-friendly investment.
  • The environmental goods and services sector and its potential to serve as a source of economic growth and jobs.
  • Progress in mainstreaming the environment in development co-operation programmes.


Chemicals management

Austria has adopted a proactive approach to chemicals policy, both domestically and within the EU. This environmental performance review assesses:

  • The policy and institutional framework for managing the risks associated with chemicals.
  • The measures taken to implement the EU chemicals legislation, in particular the Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH).
  • The results of monitoring programmes on the occurrence of hazardous substances in human bodies and the environment.
  • Progress in promoting “green chemistry” and chemicals leasing. 



Climate change adaptation and climate-related natural hazards

Austria has a long-established system for managing climate-related natural hazards. Climate change adaptation is a newly emerging policy area that has recently moved into the implementation phase. This report reviews:

  • The policy and institutional framework for climate change adaptation.
  • The process to adopt and implement the National Adaptation Strategy.
  • The mechanisms in place to secure finance and effectively mainstreaming adaptation into sectoral policies.
  • The Austrian contribution to supporting adaptation activities in partner countries.



For more information please contact Ivana Capozza



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