"green jobs", "green economy" and "green europe"; these are the key features of a successful energy transition- going from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy. In terms of electricity generation from renewable sources, Austria is among the leading countries in Europe with roughly 13% of all electricity being generated from biomass.
Energy transition for citizens
Currently, negotiations regarding how to shape climate and energy policy after 2020 on the European level are ongoing, with such a policy needing to reflect the views and concerns of ordinary citizens.
In its government programme, the new Federal Government has committed itself to actively supporting the creation of the “EU Climate Strategy 2030”, and to push for an ambitious global agreement on climate change. This is because both agriculture and forestry are amongst the sectors that currently are, and will continue to be, worst hit by the impacts of climate change, yet at the same time can aid in the fight against climate change through the provision of renewable sources of energy (i.e. from biomass).
Promote active forest management
Across the EU, only 60 % of the annual wood growth is used, which means that there is the potential to increase our consumption without compromising the idea of sustainability. It is important for the European policy to put both the improvement of infrastructure as well as the promotion of research and development in the forestry sector as high priorities
“Good heat grows back”
As part of the information campaign “Gute Wärme wächst nach”, run by the Biomass Association, the general public were informed about the importance of using timber for energy in order to mitigate the effects of climate change.
In addition to both TV and print adverts, as well as media cooperation, the construction of a comprehensive information platform is planned. Its aim is to provide information on wood-fired heaters, in addition to having a value-added calculator that compares the CO2 emissions and cost of different heating systems. Also on the platform are interviews with experts about the benefits of using biomass as well as technical information, displayed in the form of ‘fact sheets’, on each individual heating systems.
The information campaign was launched in late February 2014.
The PR work focuses on the issues of sustainability, the carbon neutrality of wood as a fuel, and the important role wood and biomass play in the energy transition away from fossil fuels.