After the necessary two-thirds majority for a decision on the Energy Efficiency Act was missed yesterday in the National Council, the turquoise-green federal government is planning a limited version of the provision. People would now “do everything we can to ensure that we make the law in a slimmed-down version and that it can be done with a simple majority,” ÖVP environmental spokeswoman Tanja Graf announced on Thursday.
According to this, the mandatory energy-saving targets of the Länder, for which the constitutional majority would have needed them, should be dropped. There is every confidence that the federal states will still achieve their objectives. “We are convinced that the federal states will close ranks with us here,” Graf said in the “Ö1-Mittagsjournal”. In any case, the goal of reducing energy consumption in Austria by 18 percent by 2030 should be maintained.
Green not so optimistic
The Greens are less optimistic: “We have seen in recent years that we have to be as binding as possible, that we have to legislate things, including the targets, because unfortunately it didn’t work out the way we wanted.” be voluntary that everyone wanted,” said Lukas Hammer, Green’s environmental spokesperson.
Environment Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) also spoke on the subject on Thursday: “The Energy Efficiency Act failed yesterday because of the blockade by the SPÖ and FPÖ. I also think that the day after is an irresponsible approach, because it means damage to the Republic in the field of infringement procedures. The federal government will now do everything it can to avert the damage to the republic with a simple legal solution,” she said on the sidelines of a press conference.
Austria is failing to implement EU directive
The Energy Efficiency Act is based on an EU directive from 2018, which should have been implemented in 2020. However, Austria turned out to be in default and the Republic is therefore threatened with a penalty due to an infringement procedure. Most recently, talks have been held between the governing parties and the social democrats on implementation. The next opportunity for a decision is on 14 June in parliament.
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