The Climate Change Act (Klimaschutzgesetz, KSG), enacted in 2011, sets emission ceilings for a total of six sectors and defines rules on the development and implementation of effective climate mitigation measures outside the EU emissions trading scheme. This makes it one of the major pillars of Austria's climate change policy up to 2020.
The KSG defines emission ceilings for a total of six sectors for the period 2008 to 2012 (Appendix 1 of the KSG) and the period 2013 to 2020 (Appendix 2 pursuant to the KSG as amended in 2013). The act covers the following sectors:
- Energy and Industry (outside the EU emissions trading scheme),
- Waste Management and
- Fluorinated Gases
To meet the sector targets, the Federal Government, represented by the relevant Federal Ministries, together with the Federal Provinces are required to devise measures. The action programme for the years 2013 and 2014 will now be followed by the action programme for the period 2015 to 2018, which was agreed by the Federal and Provincial Governments. The Council of Ministers acknowledged and approved this programme in its meeting on June 16, 2015.
Allocation of costs
In addition to the sector targets and action programmes, the KSG stipulates that the Federal Government and the Federal Provinces agree on how to share the costs in the case of non-compliance with the emission limits, which the Republic of Austria must meet on an annual basis.
Two official bodies – the National Climate Protection Committee (Nationales Klimaschutzkomitee, NKK) and the National Climate Protection Advisory Board (Nationaler Klimaschutzbeirat, NKB) – accompany the implementation of the KSG on a continuous basis. The NKK is composed of top representatives of the Federal Government and Provinces and the social partners. The members of the NKB, which has the duty to advise the NKK, include representatives of the parliamentary parties, environmental organisations and science.
There is also an annual progress report documenting the work accomplished in the context of KSG implementation, which is submitted to the National Council and the NKK.