Many Austrian villages like Güssing or Munderfing show us that a transformation of our energy system and climate protection can be pushed on a regional level. In contrast, many of Austria’s bigger cities are still lagging behind. So we might turn to Denmark for some inspiration.
The Danish government recently started a comprehensive investment program to make six Danish cities CO2-neutral. One of these cities is Aarhus, Denmark’s second-largest city with 300.000 inhabitants, which aims at becoming CO2-neutral until 2030 and plans to invest EUR 9.4 m in the next two years to make this happen.
The Danish investment program is built on several pillars: Investments in transit, bike lanes and EV charging stations aim at improving mobility. Investments in the refurbishment of public buildings aim at increasing energy efficiency. And investments in renewable energy (biomass, etc.) and the grid aim at providing more clean energy.
So where are Austrian cities like Aarhus, Vancouver, Hamburg or Stockholm? We need more city and municipal governments that develop such investment programs, climate protection campaigns and visions for sustainable urban development. And we need urban role models for sustainable mobility and energy. I believe Austria can do this!