At the climate change conference COP24 in Katowice, Austria launched an initiative for more ambition in climate policy, which has already been joined by 20 heads of state and government. On the other hand, the Austrian population was recently asked for “a little patience” in the process of greening the tax system. And this almost 50 years after the publication of the book “Limits to Growth” by the Club of Rome. And 30 years after the concept of an eco-social tax reform was conceived by Josef Riegler and Karl Aiginger as a market-based approach in the fight against environmental problems. At the same time, the protests against the lack of action on climate change, mainly by young people, show that the patience of the population is getting thinner and thinner since the climate damage in the Alps, in Africa, at the North Pole and in California is becoming increasingly visible.

For this reason, on 22 May, together with the Austrian Chapter of the Club of Rome, the Policy Crossover Center: Vienna-Europe, Exctinction Rebellion Austria and Scientists for Future, we hosted a press conference at the Concordia Press Club to demand that Europe and Austria take the lead in climate policy. There is no question from a scientific standpoint that swift action is needed.

Scientific studies show again and again:

  • Economic and climate policy are not contradictory, but can spur each other,
  • Europe could gain a competitive advantage with an ambitious climate policy,
  • climate damage is more expensive if we act later,
  • health consequences and deaths hit low-income groups harder,
  • climate policy becomes more and more difficult the later we begin with it.

Important elements of a necessary and ambitious climate policy are:

  • a significant raising of CO2 prices to over 100€/tonne with a planned increase,
  • investments in the order of 5 billion €/year in Austria and 100 billion in the EU,
  • a circular economy for all raw materials to reduce resource consumption by 90%,
  • a change in diet and re-regionalisation of food production,
  • a reduction in labour costs, in the low-wage sector significantly more than the additional costs.

Hannes Swoboda, President of the Club of Rome – Austrian Chapter
Friedrich Hinterberger, SERI
Karl Aiginger, Policy Crossover Center: Vienna-Europe
Donna Engel, Extinction Rebellion – XR
Herbert Formayer, Scientists for Future