OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Austria 2013

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06 nov 2013
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9789264219939 (EPUB) ; 9789264202924 (PDF) ;9789264202917(imprimé)

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This report is the third OECD review of Austria’s environmental performance. The report evaluates Austria's progress towards sustainable development and green growth, with a focus on chemicals management and climate change adaptation.

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  • Preface

    This third OECD Environmental Performance Review of Austria assesses progress achieved since the last review, which was carried out in 2003, as well as remaining challenges. It shows that Austria’s experience provides many valuable lessons for countries promoting green growth and sustainable development.

  • Foreword

    The principal aim of the OECD Environmental Performance Review programme is to help member and selected partner countries improve their individual and collective performance in environmental management by:

  • General notes

    The following signs are used in figures and tables:

  • Executive summary

    Austria’s water quality is among the world’s best, thanks to the very large share of population connected to high-standard wastewater treatment plants. About 28% of the land area is under some form of nature protection. Nearly a fifth of the agricultural area is under organic farming, the highest share in the EU. This, together with uptake of environment-friendly agricultural practices, has helped reduce the impact of agriculture on the environment, including intensity of fertiliser use and nutrient surplus. Material and resource productivity of the economy has improved. An effective waste management policy has contributed to this result through high and growing rates of material recycling and waste recovery. The carbon intensity of the Austrian economy remains low by international standards, owing to the large use of renewable energy sources and the relatively low energy intensity.

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  • Ouvrir / Fermer Cacher / Voir les résumés Progress towards sustainable development

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    • Key environmental trends

      During the 2000s, Austria experienced a robust performance on many economic and social indicators and continued to improve its overall environmental performance. This chapter provides a snapshot of some key environmental trends in Austria over the decade. It highlights some of the main environmental achievements and the remaining challenges on the path towards a greener economy and sustainable development. The chapter briefly describes Austria’s progress in reducing the carbon, energy and material intensities of its economy; in managing its natural asset base, including its water and biodiversity resources; and in improving the environmental quality of life.

    • Policy-making environment

      Since 2000, Austria has consolidated and further developed what was already a sound environmental policy framework. This chapter reviews the main strategies and initiatives that were launched during the decade in the areas of sustainable development and environmental management. It examines Austria’s environmental governance, the regulatory framework for environmental protection, and the activities to ensure compliance with environmental requirements. The chapter also reviews the mechanisms in place to improve horizontal and vertical co-ordination, and the instruments used to systematically evaluate the environmental impacts of economic and sectoral policies. Progress in promoting environmental democracy, through open access to information and improved public participation in decision making, is also discussed.

    • Towards green growth

      Austria has launched several initiatives related to green growth. This chapter examines Austria’s use of taxation policy to pursue environmental objectives and progress in removing fiscal incentives that can encourage environmentally harmful activities. It discusses public and private investment in environment-related services and infrastructure, as well as the use of subsidies to encourage environment-friendly investment. The growth of an internationally competitive environmental goods and services sector is examined along with its potential to serve as a source of economic growth and jobs. Finally, the chapter reviews Austria’s efforts to mainstream the environment in development co-operation programmes.

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  • Ouvrir / Fermer Cacher / Voir les résumés Progress towards selected environmental objectives

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    • Chemicals management

      Austria has adopted a proactive approach to chemicals policy, both domestically and within the EU. This chapter examines Austria’s policy and institutional framework for managing the risks associated with chemicals. It assesses the measures taken to implement the EU chemicals legislation, in particular the Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). The chapter provides an overview of the occurrence of some hazardous substance categories in human bodies and the environment, based on a range of monitoring programmes. Finally, Austria’s endeavours to promote "green chemistry" and chemicals leasing are discussed.

    • Climate change adaptation and climate-related natural hazards

      Austria has a long-established system for managing climate-related natural hazards. Climate change adaptation is a newly emerging policy area that has recently moved into the implementation phase. This chapter outlines the challenges posed to Austria by current and future climatic conditions. It assesses the policy and institutional framework, along with the process and tools used to identify priorities for climate change adaptation policies. The main challenges to implementation of the National Adaptation Strategy are identified, including securing finance and effectively mainstreaming adaptation into sectoral policies. The Austrian contribution to supporting adaptation activities in other countries is also discussed.

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  • Ouvrir / Fermer Cacher / Voir les résumés Annexes

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    • Selected data

      The statistical data for Israel are supplied by and under the responsibility of the relevant Israeli authorities. The use of such data by the OECD is without prejudice to the status of the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the West Bank under the terms of international law.

    • Abbreviations
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