The UN World Climate Conference COP 28 in Dubai lasts a total of two weeks. Austria is also strongly represented again. Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen will travel for the event, which starts on November 30 and officially runs until December 12. Environment Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) and Finance Minister Magnus Brunner (ÖVP) will also be present.
From November 30 to December 3, Van der Bellen will discuss the climate crisis with other heads of state and government.
Focus on the transition to clean, renewable energy
“This year we experienced the hottest summer in history. We in Austria and our neighbors Slovenia and Italy have been repeatedly hit by extreme storms, heavy rains and floods over the past two years with catastrophic consequences. I therefore see it as my duty to represent our country at the World Climate Conference and make it clear how urgently we must now take effective measures against global warming,” said the head of state.
Van der Bellen sees the central point as phasing out the combustion of coal, oil and natural gas and at the same time a rapid transition to clean, sustainable energy.
For Brunner, the meeting of the ‘Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action’ (CFMCA) is traditionally on the agenda. The topic of the ministerial meeting as part of the conference is the “greening of the financial system”. The finance minister also wants to promote Austria’s approach to ‘green budgeting’ in the desert city. To do this, data is collected on the costs and environmental impact of each government measure, which provides a good basis for future budget decisions.
“All policy areas must make a contribution”
“The fight against climate change is the challenge of our generation and all political domains must contribute to this. “In my responsibility as Minister of Finance, I must also ensure that the tax euro is used in such a way that Austria becomes fit for the future in terms of climate and energy policy without overburdening the population or the budget,” said Brunner.
The goal of greater energy efficiency is not enough
Gewessler will only travel to the United Arab Emirates for the crucial second week of the conference. “I am realistic: ambitious agreements will not be easy this year,” Gewessler said before her departure. Gewessler is much more confident in the faster expansion of renewable energy sources and the goal of greater energy efficiency. But that is not enough. Their motto is: “In the age of green energy – but also from the age of oil, gas and coal.”
In total, the Austrian delegation consists of more than 40 people. In addition to experts from the ministries, there are also scientists, representatives of interest groups, NGOs and youth delegates in Dubai.
Austria can proudly present projects
Lukas Hammer (Greens) is again the only MP at the COP. According to the Green Party’s climate protection spokesperson, Austria can proudly present many projects at the COP, such as the Renewable Energy Expansion Act (EAG) or the Climate Ticket. “But there is no reason to be arrogant. In Austria there are also blockers and brakes such as the Chamber of Commerce, in Austria the climate crisis is also downplayed or denied by many and despite the catch-up in recent years, we are not yet on track to achieve our climate goals.” particularly annoying behavior by the Industrial Association (IV) and the Chamber of Commerce (WKÖ), which would delay and block climate protection. The “old fossil thinking of the day before yesterday” would dominate there.
I am Ida Scott, a journalist and content author with a passion for uncovering the truth. I have been writing professionally for Today Times Live since 2020 and specialize in political news. My career began when I was just 17; I had already developed a knack for research and an eye for detail which made me stand out from my peers.