Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO), Vienna
In order to limit climate change the cross-cutting nature of climate policy needs to be recognised. Many climate-relevant decisions are taken in other policy areas with only little regard to climate change impacts. In order for climate policy to be successful it has to be integrated in decision making and legislative processes in basically all policy areas and all levels of government. In this paper we analyse the extent of climate policy integration in Austrian policy-making via in-depth expert interviews, both on the federal level as well as on the regional level using Styria as case study. The results show a broad range of perceptions regarding the degree of climate policy integration in Austria. On the one hand, the consideration of climate policy issues depends on the core competence of the respective institution. On the other hand, we found widely diverging views on whether climate policy in Austria is too ambitious or too weak. Especially, potential negative impacts of climate policy on competitiveness or employment are seen to hamper a more ambitious implementation of mitigation policies. Cooperation on climate policy issues is generally rated as good by the interviewees from administration and interest groups, but conflicts of interest that result from the organisations' core functions negatively impact on the perceived quality of cooperation. In case of conflicting targets it is widely noticed that "traditional" policy objectives like employment or competitiveness are given priority over climate issues.
climate policy climate policy integration Austria survey