/SDG 13: Climate Action

Take urgent action to fight climate change and its impact

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Ingeborg Schwarzl
Tel: +43 1 47654 99122

Agenda 2030

All regions of the world and all areas of people's lives are affected by the impacts of climate change, albeit to different degrees, and on different time scales (APCC 2014). Climate change does not stop at national borders; negative climate impacts are distributed across the globe, regardless of the location of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Causes and consequences of our actions thus diverge in space and time, making countries with high GHG emissions per capita jointly responsible for negative impacts in other countries and current and future damages of warming. Austria is also one of these high-emitting countries and therefore not only has the obligation to implement effective climate protection and adaptation measures in its own territory, but also a global co-responsibility to work for comprehensive climate justice on the way to a climate-neutral society. This requires changes at all levels of social and individual decision-making and action. GHG emissions must be reduced to a level at which a disturbance of the climate system that is dangerous for humans is prevented and an adaptation of existing ecosystems to the changed conditions is still possible, thus avoiding a biodiversity crisis (UN, 2015). The measures taken to achieve this must simultaneously time take appropriate account of the social, societal and economic impacts. Thus, SDG 13 has direct interactions with almost all SDGs.

SDG 13 Targets:*

13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries

13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning

13.3 Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning

13.a Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible

13.b Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing States, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities

*All targets will be scientifically screened by UniNEtZ and options for meeting this target by 2030 will be developed for this purpose.

The targets are worked on by the following partner (on behalf of the University of Innsbruck): Climate Change Centre Austria (CCCA)

Situation in Austria

Consequences of climate change are increasingly visible in Austria, through changes in frequency/intensity of climate-related extreme events (heat waves, droughts, floods etc.) (Klimastatusbericht, 2020). Costs for climate change adaptation in Austria currently average at about € 1 billion per year, those for damage at about € 2 billion per year. While adaptation costs are expected to more than double by the middle of the century, damage costs are projected to increase by a factor of three to six (Steininger, 2020). Despite international and national commitments to reduce GHGs, Austrias emissions have remained at a high level since 1990 and have even increased again in recent years (Umweltbundesamt, 2020). However, traditional accounting of GHG emissions only captures those caused by companies or households domestically and not those caused by the consumption of imported products in countries/regions of origin. The current national accounting does also not include data related to landuse (changes). If consumption based GHG emissions were included, Austria's GHG balance would increase by over 50% (Steininger et al. 2018). This clearly shows that not only do the causes and consequences of climate change diverge in time and space, but there is also a globalized chain of causation. This is one of the reasons for the balance between countries of the Global North and South called for in the 2030 Agenda.

Option list

(based on the options report to be published)

The options elaborated by the SDG groups are to serve as a means of communicating to the federal government which concrete options can be set by Austria in order to implement the 2030 Agenda with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The options report will be published on 02.12.2021.

  • Option 13.1: Eco-social CO2 tax reform
  • Option13.2: Evaluation and expansion of existing heat protection plans
  • Option 13.3: Long-term assurance of water supply in settlement greening measures to maintain the cooling function, especially during hot and dry periods
  • Option 13.5: Enabling climate lawsuits (climate liability law)
  • Option 13.6: Correct and committed implementation of new EU energy and climate-related legislation
  • Option 13.7: Monitoring and effectiveness analysis of (Austrian contributions to) international climate finance

UniNEtZ Network

The elaboration of the content is done by the Climate Change Centre Austria (CCCA) on behalf of the University of Innsbruck (UIBK).


  • Climate Change Centre Austria (CCCA): Ingeborg Schwarzl
  • Climate Change Centre Austria (CCCA), University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU): Harald Rieder


  • University of Klagenfurt (AAU): Daniel Barben, Kirsten von Elverfeldt, Wilfried Elmenreich, Robert Sposato
  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU): Herbert Formayer, Mathias Kirchner, Katharina Schwarzfurtner, Lisa Waldschütz (Studentin)
  • Danube University Krems (DUK): Elfriede Neuhold, Andrea Höltl, Ernst Fürlinger, Gerald Steiner
  • Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz (KFU): Nina Knittel, Harald Stelzer
  • Montanuniversität Leoben (MUL): Patrick Trummer, Omar Szabo
  • Technische Universität Graz (TU Graz): Marco Scherz, Alexander Passer

Further contributors

  • Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU): Erika Wagner, Daniela Ecker, Rainer Weiß, Anja Hartl (Studentin)
  • Climate Change Centre Austria (CCCA): Claudia Michl, Katrin Brugger
  • University of Applied Arts Vienna (UAK): Fritz Hinterberger, Lena Kriwanek
  • Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik (ZAMG): Marc Olefs
  • Weatherpark: Simon Tschannett, Magdalena Holzer

Forum n/Students

  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU): Lisa Waldschütz (Studentin)
  • University of Graz (KFU): Anja Hartl (Studentin)
  • University of Innsbruck (UIBK): Alexander Hanser (Student)


  • University of Klagenfurt (AAU): Kirsten von Elverfeldt
  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU): Herbert Formayer, Mathias Kirchner, Ulrike Pitha, Bernhard Pucher, Katharina Schwarzfurtner, Rosemarie Stangl, Nathalie Spittler, Lisa Waldschütz (Studentin), Irene Zluwa,
  • Climate Change Centre Austria (CCCA): Ingeborg Schwarzl, Claudia Michl
  • Disaster Competence Network Austria (DCNA): Christian Resch
  • Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU): Erika Wagner, Daniela Ecker, Anja Hartl (Studentin)
  • University of Graz (KFU): Nina Knittel, Alexander Marbler, Timon Scheuer, Karl Steininger
  • Montanuniversität Leoben (MUL): Patrick Trummer
  • University of Applied Arts Vienna (UAK): Fritz Hinterberger
  • Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO): Claudia Kettner


Gottfried Kirchengast (KFU), Karl Steininger (KFU), Helga Kromp-Kolb (BOKU). Sigrid Stagl (WU), Mathias Kirchner (BOKU), Christoph Ambach (WU, Student); Julia Grohs (WU, Studentin), Andrea Gutsohn (BOKU, Studentin); Jonas Peisker (WU, Student), Birte Strunk (WU, Studentin)


APCC (2014): Österreichischer Sachstandsbericht Klimawandel 2014 (AAR14). Austrian Panel on Climate Change (APCC), Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien, Österreich, 1096 Seiten.

Klimastatusbericht: Stangl, M., Formayer, H., Hofstätter, M., Orlik, A., Andre, K., Hiebl, J. et al. (2020). Klimastatusbericht 2019. Wien

Our World in Data (2020): Austria: Per capita: how much CO2 does the average person emit? Abgerufen von: https://ourworldindata.org/co2/country/austria?country=~AUT [10.12.2020, 20:00]

Steininger K., Bednar-Friedl B., Knittel N., Kirchengast G., Nabernegg S., Williges K., Mestel R., Hutter H.-P., Kenner L. (2020): Klimapolitik: Innovationschance Coronakrise und die Kosten des NichtHandelns. https://www.klimafonds.gv.at/w...

Steininger, Karl W., et al. "Austria’s consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions: Identifying sectoral sources and destinations." Global environmental change 48 (2018): 226-242.

Umweltbundesamt (2020): Klimaschutzbericht 2020. Wien. Abgerufen von: https://www.umweltbundesamt.at/studien-reports/publikationsdetail?pub_id=2340&cHash=04535f1c207c6ac8814ee0edb3809750 [15.10.2020, 17:00]

United Nations (2015): Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Abgerufen von: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/21252030%20Agenda%20for%20Sustainable%20Development%20web.pdf [07.12.2020, 12:00]