On Monday, Environment Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) and representatives of Austria’s ten largest cities signed an official partnership declaration as part of the “Climate Neutral City” mission.
Vienna, St. Pölten, Graz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Villach, Linz, Salzburg, Dornbirn and Wiener Neustadt said in a press release that they wanted to show “how a resource-saving economy and lifestyle can be implemented in practice.”
Leading cities want to develop practical measures
According to the Ministry of Environment, leading cities want to develop various practical measures, transform administrative structures and processes, and exchange information. Climate neutrality is tightly linked to city strategies and decision-making processes. By doing so, “these major cities are taking important steps towards their sustainable development and making a significant contribution to achieving energy and climate goals.”
“Today we have taken a particularly symbolic step towards climate neutrality. Ten major cities have officially committed to setting a good example and actively supporting each other. Together we will implement the agreement,” said Gewessler.
Ministry of Environment supports capacity and competence development
The Ministry of Environment supports the necessary capacity and competence development in cities within the scope of public-public cooperation (PSP) with two million euros per city. For this purpose, personalized financing formats will be developed in the fields of research, technology and innovation. Moreover, targeted measures support national and international knowledge transfer in order to “guarantee an optimal shared learning process”. Other cities in Austria “can benefit from the knowledge and insights of the pioneers and adopt successful strategies and activities.”
The first climate neutral urban zones will be created in the coming years. According to the publication, these are “a livable, safe environment to live in, with, among other things, a high quality of life, renewable energy supply, attractive mobility offers, good infrastructure, sufficient green and open spaces, as well as participation and good social interaction.”