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National circumstances relevant to adaptation actions

In Austria, climate change is making itself more and more clearly noticeable. Its existence is demonstrated by measurements and observations, and it is proceeding faster than the global average. The increase of annual mean temperature in Austria since pre-industrial times has been more than twice the amount of global warming (APCC14).

Adaptation to climate change has been on the national policy making agenda since as early as 2007, when the process for developing the first national adaptation strategy (NAS) started. Since then, Austria has increasingly devoted itself to the question of how best to tackle climate change in its own country.

The Austrian Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change was adopted by the Council of Ministers in October 2012 and was endorsed by the Provincial Governors’ Conference in May 2013. Austria was thus one of the first EU Member States to link a strategic framework for adaptation to climate change (NAS) with a comprehensive action plan (NAP) for implementing concrete recommendations for action.

The Austrian political system is a Federation with 9 federal provinces (Länder), each of which has its own government and parliament. Government responsibilities are shared between federation, federal provinces and local authorities. Austria acceded to the European Union in 1995 and ceded some areas of national jurisdiction to the community.

Austria is a land-locked country in central Europe with an area of 83,858 km2. A large part of Austria is covered by the eastern Alps; about 40 % of the total area lies more than 1000 m above sea level. An increase of more than 1°C in average temperature has been observed during the last century. Forests make up almost half of the Austrian total territory; the agricultural area including alpine pastures has a share of more than one third. Due to the mountainous orography, only 37% of the national territory are permanently inhabitable.

The Alpine main ridge influences overall Austrian climate conditions by dividing especially precipitation regimes between Atlantic and Mediterranean weather influences, causing a gradient of decreasing annual precipitation amounts from northwest to southeast (windward- and leeward-side of the Alps). As large parts of Austria are located in the transition zone and the Alpine mountainous terrain is strongly diversified, this creates highly variable climatic conditions on a small scale, thus also increasing local uncertainties regarding the modelling of precipitation changes.
Austria’s total permanent population has reached 8.74 million inhabitants in 2016; after stagnation in the early 1980ies this represents an increase of more than one million since 1990. Average population density is 102 inhabitants/km² total area or 263 inhabitants/km² settlement area. Slightly less than one third of all Austrians live in 5 cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants each; more than half of the population lives in municipalities with less than 10,000 inhabitants, and 90% of all Austrian municipalities have less than 5,000 inhabitants. Whereas population increased by 12 % from 1990 to 2015, the number of households increased by about 30 % and useful floor space by 43 %. Like in other industrialised countries, the share of population groups in employable age is decreasing, while the number of retired and older people is increasing significantly stronger than that of young people. Due to a trend of domestic migration, most of the population growth is concentrated in urban agglomerations, while many rural areas are affected by population losses.
Austria has the characteristics of a small open economy; export and imports of goods are at a comparable level, the balance of trade in services shows high surplus.

Gross domestic product (GDP) at current prices was € 353 billion in the year 2016 with a growth of 1.5 % in that year; per capita GDP was € 40,420. The largest contribution to Austria’s GDP with more than two third comes from the tertiary production, the rest is contributed mainly by secondary production. Tourism has a significant share in gross value added.

Austria has a dense transport infrastructure as regards both the road and railway network. The total length of the Austrian road network amounts to approximately 140,000 km, of which more than 2,200 km are high-ranking federal road connections (motorways). The railway network has a total length of about 5,600 km. Austria is the EU Member State with the highest per capita investments in rail infrastructure, exceeding the investment rates in road infrastructure. Austria also has a very well developed physical supply and disposal infrastructure. Close to 100% of the Austrian settlement area are connected to public supply infrastructures as regards e.g. electricity, drinking water, sewage disposal and treatment systems.

Reporting updated until: 2021-02-26

Item Status Links
National adaptation strategy (NAS)
  • previous NAS - superseded
National adaptation plan (NAP)
  • previous NAP - superseded
Sectoral adaptation plan (SAP)
Climate change impact and vulnerability assessment
  • completed
  • completed
  • completed
Meteorological observations
  • Established
Climate projections and services
  • Established
  • Established
Adaptation portals and platforms
  • Established
Monitoring, reporting and evaluation (MRE) indicators and methodologies
  • Established
Key reports and publications
National communication to the UNFCCC
Governance regulation adaptation reporting
Observations and data are available for the last 250 years in the greater alpine region (HistAlp-Dataset). The longest temperature and air pressure series extend back to 1760, precipitation to 1800, cloudiness to the 1840s and sunshine to the 1880s in the alpine region.

Projections are available for the Alpine region for temperature, precipitation, heat, heavy precipitation and storms. Data collection and provision is located at the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) with meteorological stations measuring temperature, precipitation, wind, sunshine and many other meteorological parameters. New regional climate scenarios for Austria and its nine provincial states have been available since autumn 2016. The scenarios are based on 13 EURO-CORDEX models, a 12.5km x 12.5 km grid, and use two greenhouse gas scenarios. Factsheets for all nine federal states with more detailed information on projected climate elements and climate indices are available. Results are available via the Climate Change Centre Austria (CCCA) data portal (CCCA Data Centre, https://data.ccca.ac.at/group/oks15).

The ÖKS15 data provide comprehensive, high-resolution and error-corrected information on climate change on a homogeneous basis for entire Austria for the first time. Their analysis delivers climate projections until the end of the 21st century and provides good insights into the expected effects of climate change in Austria. The climate projections provide information for the near future (2021–2050) and for the distant future (2071–2100) compared to the 1971–2000 period.

The ÖKS15 projections are based on 13 regional climate models and two different greenhouse gas scenarios (RCP8.5 and RCP4.5). The use of these two greenhouse gas scenarios clearly shows that the climate future is in our own hands:
– Scenario RCP8.5 reflects “business as usual” – i.e. unchecked greenhouse gas emission, so that by 2100 there is a 3 times higher concentration than today.
– Scenario RCP4.5 shows a future in which, after 2040, global greenhouse gas emissions have successfully been reduced and by 2080 have diminished to about half today’s level. In order to fulfil the obligations of the world climate agreement, however, even the RCP4.5 path would still have to be significantly undercut.
The Austria's national weather service (ZAMG) runs one of the densest weather measuring networks in the world. The meteorological stations measure temperature, precipitation, wind, sunshine and many other meteorological parameters. They provide current and historical weather data, the longest continuous observations reach back to 1768. Checked data build the fundament for climate-relevant products and services, which are available to private persons, authorities and clients. ZAMG-internal climate research department evaluates these data scientifically. Daily updated climate monitoring diagrams allow a comparison of the actual weather with the climate on long-time average. Only through long-term and large-scale standardized and homogenized measurements can climate fluctuations be correctly recorded and climate extremes correctly classified.

Climate models are the most important tool for calculating possible climate developments under changed natural and anthropogenic framework conditions. The knowledge gained from climate simulations is used to create the basis for political decision-makers in order to be able to adapt to changing climatic conditions with targeted measures in the medium and long term.

Models will only ever be approximations of reality and can never take into account all influencing factors. Model calculations for the global climate – and (especially) for regional climates – thus involve high levels of uncertainty; in addition, feedback effects have not yet been considered. Uncertainty in the assumptions also rises as the scenarios project further into the future. Nevertheless, the various models clearly indicate a potential range of climatic changes to be expected. Within this range, appropriate adaptation measures are needed that allow flexible readjustments and take existing uncertainties into account.

Despite existing uncertainties, climate models and scenarios constitute a crucial basis for the understanding of climate change and its potential impacts. However, for judging the projections for concrete measures it will be essential in the future to differentiate among factors with varying levels of accuracy (e.g., estimated changes in air temperature are more reliable than estimates of changes in precipitation), and to show the whole spectrum of results.

Despite considerable scientific knowledge, the effects of climate change in many areas are still subject to uncertainty. A primary focus in the design of the national adaptation strategy was therefore the development of flexible and robust recommendations for action that can easily be adjusted to various requirements and bring secondary benefits. No-regrets and win-win measures are worthwhile in any case, as they provide further social, ecological, or economic benefits regardless of the extent to which climate change is accelerating.

The project CLIMAMAP (Climate Change Impact Maps for Austrian Regions Strategies for climate change adaptation exist on different levels) aimed at filling this gap by designing climate change impact maps (incl. communication of uncertainties). These maps support municipalities in understanding climate change impacts, in building capacities and in implementing adaptation measures. Co-developing the impact maps with the end-users ensures that information needs of municipalities are met.
The Austrian Assessment Report 2014 (AAR14) aims to present the scientific knowledge pertaining to Austria in a coherent and complete manner to submit this in the form of policy-relevant information to the Austrian Federal Government and political decision-making bodies at all levels, and thereby providing a decision-making basis for the private sector and a knowledge base for academic institutions.

The first special report addressed health, demography and climate change (https://sr18.ccca.ac.at/) and was published in September 2018. The effects of climate change on health are already being felt today and can be classified as an increasing threat to health in Austria.

A second special report on tourism (https://sr19.ccca.ac.at/) was published in December 2020.

More special reports can be expected in the years to come.
Observed climate hazards Acute Chronic
Temperature
  • Wildfire
  • Temperature variability
Wind
  • Tornado
Water
  • Snow and ice load
  • Water scarcity
Solid mass
  • Landslide
  • Soil erosion
Key future climate hazards Acute Chronic
Temperature
  • Wildfire
  • Temperature variability
Wind
  • Tornado
Water
  • Snow and ice load
  • Water scarcity
Solid mass
  • Landslide
  • Soil erosion
Temperature in Austria has risen by nearly 2°C since 1880, more than double as much as the global increase of 0.85°C. The increase was strongest in the period after 1980, when an
increase by 1°C has been observed. Annual sunshine duration has increased by about 20%.

All observed glaciers in Austria have clearly shown a reduction in surface area and in volume in the period since 1980. Duration of snow cover has been reduced in recent decades, especially in altitudes around 1,000 m above sea level. Precipitation change shows regional differences during the past 150 years: An increase by around 10–15 % has been observed in western Austria, a decrease of a comparable proportion in the south-east.

Current climate scenarios do not allow for an assessment of the future trend for extreme events, like storms and hail, floods and landslides. Most of the sectors mentioned below, however, would exhibit considerable vulnerability to an increase of the frequency and intensity of extreme events.

Due to the currently foreseeable socio-economic development and climate change, the loss potential due to climate change in Austria will increase for the future. A variety of factors determines the future costs of climate change. In addition to the possible change in the distribution of extreme events and gradual climate change, mainly socioeconomic and demographic factors will ultimately determine the damage costs. These include, amongst others, the age structure of the population in urban areas, the value of exposed assets, the development of infrastructure for example in avalanche or landslide endangered areas, as well as overall land use, which largely control the vulnerability to climate change.

Key affected sectors

Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Forestry is strongly dependent on meteorological and climatic factors and are assessed as sectors with high vulnerability.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
- Prolongation of the growing season;
– Shift in precipitation from the growing season to the winter (regional differentiation is necessary here);
– Long-term decrease in precipitation during the summer months, with the south more affected;
– Increase in the variability of precipitation in the summer from year to year;
– Increase in the frequency of droughts;
– Heat stress in plants, especially in combination with droughts;
– Probable decrease in groundwater supply and thereby increased drought stress in southern and eastern Austria;
– Increase in potential evapotranspiration21 due to higher temperatures and longer growing seasons;
– Heat damage to plants and the increase in evapotranspiration can result in specific crops being abandoned in certain regions or overall. Increased risk of a decrease in biodiversity;
– Changes in species composition, including new invasive species;
– Emergence of mutated and new invasive pests causing damage to plants and plant products;
– Increase in damage to forest ecosystems;
– Emergence of new pathogens in animal husbandry;
- Evapotranspiration: Total soil evaporation, plant transpiration, and evaporation from interception (retention of rainfall on the “surface”).
- Reduction in the productivity of farm animals in heat waves, as well as increased risk of sickness;
– No authoritative conclusions as yet regarding the effects of extreme weather events, such as increased frequency of storms and hail or erosion due to heavy rainfall; for effects of flooding, see the area of action Water Resources and Water Management (further research needed);
– Changes in physiological parameters of performance and quality for cultivated plants and crops due to changing patterns of precipitation and temperature conditions.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
Forestry is strongly dependent on meteorological and climatic factors and are assessed as sectors with high vulnerability.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
Heat stress, reduced water supply due to changing precipitation patterns, new invasive species and pathogens may affect crop production and grassland as well as animal husbandry. In forestry the changes may be faster than the lifecycle of trees and common tree species may not be fit for changed circumstances. Forest fires due to longer periods with reduced precipitation have to be seen as additional risk in this sector.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Different grades of vulnerability can be found concerning human health.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
- Larger number of heat days and greater incidence of heat waves leading to an increase in heat stress; especially in urban areas, the intensification of the heat-island effect is to be expected;
– New record high temperatures in low-lying areas of Austria;
– Increase in overnight minimum temperatures of more than 20°C, especially during hot spells.
– Increase in thermophysical load on heat days and during hot spells;
– Increase in the mortality rate during heat waves, especially for high-risk groups;
– Possible impairment of performance on heat days and during hot spells;
– Changes in the dispersion and transmission conditions of vectors and pathogens;
– Potentially wider dispersion of allergenic plants and animals;
– Robust predictions of increases in extreme weather events such as storms and hail, heavy rainfall, and flooding are currently not possible. Higher frequency of extreme events would increase the risk of avalanches, injuries, permanent disabilities, and fatal casualties;
– Secondary health effects of extreme weather events potentially include stress and psychological disorders, as well as mold and mildew in living spaces due to water damage;
– Summertime high-pressure fronts can contribute to the accumulation of air pollutants;
– Higher temperatures can favor the growth of microorganisms in food and lead to an increase in food-borne infections (e.g., salmonella);
– Possible bacteriological contamination of drinking water due to an increase in water temperatures.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
Different grades of vulnerability can be found concerning human health. Vulnerability to heat stress is high for children, elder people and people with heart diseases and lower for the rest of the population. Vulnerability to increasing levels of ground-level ozone and increasing UV-radiation is high for sensible parts of the population but moderate for the general population.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
Changed climatic conditions may be favourable for the spread of pathogens, vectors and allergic plants, which poses a risk for population in general.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
For industry and trade vulnerability in general is assessed to be moderate.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
– Higher temperatures and heat waves will increase cooling requirements for the storage and transport of various products;
– Higher temperatures and heat waves will affect working conditions (decline in productivity, endangerment of worker health and safety);
– Changes in consumer behavior due to rising temperatures and longer hot spells (e.g., beverage consumption);
– Decrease in the availability of cooling water during heat waves/droughts can affect coolingintensive production as well as power generation;
– Potential changes in the availability of raw materials and intermediate products due to changes in temperature and precipitation conditions can have an impact on the entire value chain;
– Regional differences in water supply resulting from changes in the amount of precipitation and its seasonal distribution: a decrease in the frequency of precipitation during summer months and an increase in winter months;
– Potential increases in extreme events and extreme weather conditions can cause massive damage to operational infrastructure and production processes (risk of liquidity crises for enterprises and insurers);
– Precipitation- and temperature-induced extreme weather events (storms, hail, floods and landslides, heat waves in combination with droughts) can lead to bottlenecks in power generation and interfere with production or result in production downtime;
– Impacts on internal logistics due to more frequent extreme weather events, impairment of transportation and storage infrastructure;
– Through globalized networks, supplies for production in Austria as well as sales of Austrian products will be influenced by climate effects in other regions of the world.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
For industry and trade vulnerability in general is assessed to be moderate.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
Higher temperatures and heat waves increase the cooling requirements for the storage and transport of various products and affect working conditions. Decrease in the availability of cooling water can affect cooling-intensive production as well as power generation. Potential changes in the availability of raw materials and intermediate products due to changes in temperature and precipitation conditions can have an impact on the entire value chain. Through globalisation, both the supply for production in Austria and the sales of Austrian products will be influenced by climate effects in other regions of the world.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
In cities, poor people and those at risk of poverty often live in areas exposed to heavy traffic noise and high levels of particulate pollution, and generally have little access to green spaces or recreation areas.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
- Greater incidence of heat waves leading to an increase in heat stress; especially in urban areas, the intensification of the heat-island effect is to be expected;
– Increase in thermal extremes and new maximum temperatures in lowland areas of Austria;
– Increase in night-time minimum temperatures of over 20°C, particularly during hot spells;
– Increase in thermophysical load on hot days and during hot spells;
– Increase in the mortality rate during heat waves, especially for high-risk groups;
– Possible impairment of performance on hot days and during hot spells;
– Reinforcement of the thermal urban climate effect resulting from increased power demand during hot spells (increased use of air conditioning in buildings);
– Summertime high-pressure fronts can contribute to the accumulation of air pollutants;
– Shift of flood risk to winter and spring (more general predictions regarding changes in flood risk for all of Austria are currently not possible);
– Changes in the amount of precipitation and its seasonal distribution – decrease in the frequency of precipitation during summer months and an increase in winter months;
– More frequent summer thunderstorms and heavy rainfalls with heavy peak rainfall flows;
– Making robust predictions regarding storms is currently impossible; storms can cause damage to electronic infrastructure;
– Changes in urban flora and fauna and the spread of thermophile plant and animal species, especially invasive alien species;
– Decrease in the evaporation capacity of vegetation;
– Prolongation of the growing season;
– Increased vulnerability of vegetation during dry periods or droughts.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
The effects of climate change (such as heat waves, drought, and heavy rainfall) will represent an additional burden and could affect the health of the population. Presumably most affected will be those with neither the knowledge nor the financial resources for taking precautions. The hardest hit will be those low-income households that already spend more than 10% of their income on heating. In future, these will be even less able to finance cooling, even if heating demand and thus heating costs will – to some extent – decline.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
The potential of a community and the population living there to respond to climate-induced changes is determined not only by available technologies and resources but to a high degree by existing human and social capital as well. People and their cohesion are the most important asset of every community
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Natural hazards impact diverse sectors mentioned.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
Current climate scenarios do not allow for an assessment of the future trend for extreme events, like storms and hail, floods and landslides. Most of the sectors mentioned, however, would exhibit considerable vulnerability to an increase of the frequency and intensity of extreme events.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
Current climate scenarios do not allow for an assessment of the future trend for extreme events, like storms and hail, floods and landslides. Most of the sectors mentioned, however, would exhibit considerable vulnerability to an increase of the frequency and intensity of extreme events.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
Current climate scenarios do not allow for an assessment of the future trend for extreme events, like storms and hail, floods and landslides. Most of the sectors mentioned, however, would exhibit considerable vulnerability to an increase of the frequency and intensity of extreme events.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Ecosystems and biodiversity are assessed to by highly vulnerable to the expected changes, like increasing temperature and changed precipitation patterns. Especially regions with a high share of endemic species like alpine regions must be seen as highly vulnerable.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
- Increase in annual mean temperatures;
- Higher temperatures lead directly to a lengthened growing season and thus to an earlier beginning and a later end of plant transpiration;
– Increase in the frequency of droughts;
– Changes in the amount of precipitation and its seasonal distribution – decrease in the frequency of precipitation during summer months and an increase in winter months (regional differentiation is required);
– Heat stress in plants, especially in combination with droughts;
– Probable decrease in groundwater supply and thereby increased drought stress in southern and eastern Austria;
– Increased risk of a decrease in biodiversity;
– Changes in species composition;
– Decrease in the amount of snow in lower and middle elevations; reduced certainty of snow;
– Decrease in days with continuous frost and with subzero temperatures;
– Increase in water temperatures, above all during summer droughts;
– Shifts in area boundaries along elevation and moisture gradients;
– Changes in species composition in biotic communities and biotopes;
– Loss of habitats and species;
– Spread of new invasive species (alien species).
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
Ecosystems and biodiversity are assessed to by highly vulnerable to the expected changes, like increasing temperature and changed precipitation patterns. Especially regions with a high share of endemic species like alpine regions must be seen as highly vulnerable.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
Changes in species composition, spread of alien species and loss of habitats and species must be expected.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
In the energy sector vulnerability is expected to be low for space heating because of decreasing energy demand of buildings and decreasing heating degree days. High vulnerability is expected for cooling of buildings, as cooling degree days will increase and periods of high electricity demand for cooling may coincide with unfavourable conditions for electricity production.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
– Increase in low-water discharge in winter and earlier beginning of snow thaw;
– In Prealps waters: increased occurrence of low-water periods in the summer and fall;
– In Alpine waters: potentially longer low-water periods in late summer; in glacial areas, summer and autumn flows could even increase in the short to medium term, as glacial melting contributes to the runoff. In the long term, however, the accelerated retreat of the glaciers is expected to result in decreasing water supply;
– Increase in water temperatures, above all during summer droughts;
– Locally, the potential for bedload in the area of the permafrost boundary may increase; from a regional point of view, the increase is likely to be rather small with large flood waters; a slight decrease in hydropower production in the summer due to hydrological changes, a slight increase in the winter;
– Potential changes in wind conditions;
– Potential changes in solar radiation;
– Potential changes in the supply of biogenic materials for energy production;
– Decrease in energy consumption for heating and increase in energy demand for cooling; changes in the number of heating and cooling days;
– Possible changes in availability of renewable energy (e.g., wind energy, solar power biomass).
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
In the energy sector vulnerability is expected to be low for space heating because of decreasing energy demand of buildings and decreasing heating degree days. High vulnerability is expected for cooling of buildings, as cooling degree days will increase and periods of high electricity demand for cooling may coincide with unfavourable conditions for electricity production.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
Electricity production by thermal power plants are assessed as vulnerable, because increasing temperatures of ambient air and cooling water deteriorate efficiency and availability of thermal plants. Run-of-river power plants may be affected by seasonal changes in runoff, but current data does not allow for a reliable estimate of vulnerability. Supply of renewable energy sources is heavily influenced by climatic conditions; especially production of forest biomass is expected to be highly vulnerable in some regions.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Natural hazards impact diverse sectors mentioned.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
Current climate scenarios do not allow for an assessment of the future trend for extreme events, like storms and hail, floods and landslides. Most of the sectors mentioned, however, would exhibit considerable vulnerability to an increase of the frequency and intensity of extreme events.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
Current climate scenarios do not allow for an assessment of the future trend for extreme events, like storms and hail, floods and landslides. Most of the sectors mentioned, however, would exhibit considerable vulnerability to an increase of the frequency and intensity of extreme events.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
Current climate scenarios do not allow for an assessment of the future trend for extreme events, like storms and hail, floods and landslides. Most of the sectors mentioned, however, would exhibit considerable vulnerability to an increase of the frequency and intensity of extreme events.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Not possible due to cross-cutting nature.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
Not possible due to cross-cutting nature.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
Not possible due to cross-cutting nature.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
Not possible due to cross-cutting nature.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Vulnerability is expected to be high for transportation infrastructure in some regions.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
– Increased heat stress can result in damage to materials and structures, as well as the deformation of pavement and rail infrastructure (road and rail buckling);
– During heat waves, there is a higher risk of failure of electronic equipment (signal systems);
– Longer periods of heat can lead to additional physical strain on road users, passengers and staff;
– Changes in the amount of precipitation and its seasonal distribution – decrease in the frequency of precipitation during summer months and an increase in winter months;
– Tendency for flood risk to shift to winter and spring in northern Austria;
– Increased discharge in winter (with the exception of the south), reduction in the summer (variable by region);
– Potential increase in heavy precipitation (so far not clearly documented); a possible increase in local heavy precipitation of short duration is also being discussed;
– Heavy precipitation can result in drainage system overloads and the flooding of underpasses;
– Erosion and scouring can endanger the stability of railway embankments and trackbeds;
– Increasing risk of mass movements (landslides, mud flows);
– Decrease in precipitation in the form of snow and in the duration of snow cover; earlier onset of snow melt;
– Decreases in the proportion of snow in low-lying and medium altitude areas;
– Increase in the amount of snow at elevations above 1,800m, potentially accompanied by a higher risk of avalanches in certain regions;
– Increase in the number of days without continuous snow cover in the mountains;
– Decrease in days with continuous frost and with subzero temperatures;
– Thawing of permafrost can lead to instability in infrastructure facilities and to risk of rock falls.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
Vulnerability is expected to be high for transportation infrastructure in some regions.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
Increase in the amount of snow at elevations above 1800 m, potentially accompanied by a higher risk of avalanches in certain regions, and thawing of permafrost, resulting in rock-fall and land-slides, may affect infrastructure in higher regions. Heavy precipitation on local level can result in drainage system overloads and the flooding of underpasses as well as in increasing risk of landslides and mud flows; erosion and washouts can threaten the stability of railroad embankments and road beds. Increased heat stress can result in damage to materials and structures, as well as the deformation of pavement and rail infrastructure.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Vulnerability with respect to water resources and water management exhibits strong regional variability.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
– Tendency for a shift in the risk of flooding into winter and spring in northern Austria; increase in heavy rainfall possible (so far, not clearly documented); a possible increase in short bursts of local
heavy precipitation is possible;
– Increase in evaporation;
– Decrease in snowfall, early beginning of thawing; increase in the limits of snowfall and decrease in extremely deep snow;
– Increase in precipitation in winter (especially in the north), decrease in summer rainfall;
– Increased runoff in winter (with the exception of the south), decreased runoff in the summer (variable by region);
– Continuation of glacial retreat. Runoff from glacier melt should peak in 2040–2050;
– Increase in low-water discharge in the Alps in winter, possible reduction in the lowlands in late summer/autumn;
– General increase in low-water discharge in the winter, decrease in the summer;
– Increase in water temperatures (surface water – especially in the summer – as well as groundwater);
– Locally, the bedload potential in areas of permafrost may increase; from a regional perspective, the increase could be rather small for large discharge systems;
– In southern and eastern Austria a decrease in groundwater recharge is likely; in northern and western Austria groundwater recharge could increase;
– Due to the potential increase in evaporation and the decrease in summer precipitation, a reduction in spring discharges from near-surface springs cannot be excluded;
– Possible reduced dilution potential in surface waters in southeastern Austria could lead to higher concentrations of some substances;
– Higher temperatures will lead to changes in aquatic biocenoses, altering the bioregions;
– Increase in water needs in agriculture;
– On a small scale, existing bottlenecks in water supply in areas with unfavorable water resources could worsen.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
Vulnerability with respect to water resources and water management exhibits strong regional variability.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
Increase in precipitation and runoff in winter and decrease in summer is expected for some regions and may have impacts on shipping, quality of water bodies and aquatic biocenoses, the latter also being affected by increasing water temperature. In southern and eastern Austria, a decrease in groundwater recharge is likely. On a small scale, existing bottlenecks in water supply in areas with unfavourable water resources could worsen. Seasonal changes of precipitation patterns and earlier melting of snow may shift the risk of flooding into spring and winter in northern Austria, but there is high uncertainty regarding this topic.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Agriculture and forestry are strongly dependent on meteorological and climatic factors and are assessed as sectors with high vulnerability.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
- Prolongation of the growing season;
– Shift in precipitation from the growing season to the winter (regional differentiation is necessary here);
– Long-term decrease in precipitation during the summer months, with the south more affected;
– Increase in the variability of precipitation in the summer from year to year;
– Increase in the frequency of droughts;
– Heat stress in plants, especially in combination with droughts;
– Probable decrease in groundwater supply and thereby increased drought stress in southern and eastern Austria;
– Increase in potential evapotranspiration21 due to higher temperatures and longer growing seasons;
– Heat damage to plants and the increase in evapotranspiration can result in specific crops being abandoned in certain regions or overall. Increased risk of a decrease in biodiversity;
– Changes in species composition, including new invasive species;
– Emergence of mutated and new invasive pests causing damage to plants and plant products;
– Increase in damage to forest ecosystems;
– Emergence of new pathogens in animal husbandry;
- Evapotranspiration: Total soil evaporation, plant transpiration, and evaporation from interception (retention of rainfall on the “surface”).
- Reduction in the productivity of farm animals in heat waves, as well as increased risk of sickness;
– No authoritative conclusions as yet regarding the effects of extreme weather events, such as increased frequency of storms and hail or erosion due to heavy rainfall; for effects of flooding, see the area of action Water Resources and Water Management (further research needed);
– Changes in physiological parameters of performance and quality for cultivated plants and crops due to changing patterns of precipitation and temperature conditions.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
There is considerable regional variability of vulnerability.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
Heat stress, reduced water supply due to changing precipitation patterns, new invasive species and pathogens may affect crop production and grassland as well as animal husbandry.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Existing buildings are – regionally different – highly vulnerable to e.g. heat waves in urban areas, to more frequent events of heavy rain, to increased snow loads, to increasing frequency of local-scale floods as well as avalanches and landslides.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
– Increasing average temperatures and maximum temperatures;
- Greater incidence of heat waves leading to an increase in heat stress; especially in urban areas, the intensification of the heat-island effect is to be expected;
– Increase in temperature-related physical demands on buildings;
– Increase in night-time minimum temperatures of over 20°C;
– Decrease in heating needs and increase in cooling needs in buildings;
– Regional differences in increases in intensity of precipitation;
– Shift of flood risk to winter and spring (more general predictions regarding changes in flood risk for all of Austria are currently not possible);
– Increased snow loads are to be expected at higher elevations and, due to increasing climate variability, cannot be excluded for lower and middle elevations;
– Currently, no robust conclusions can be drawn regarding extreme weather events such as storm and hail frequency (further research needed);
– Regionally variable increases in heavy precipitation and the thawing of permafrost in Alpine regions can lead to increased mud flow, rock slides, rock falls, landslides, and (in winter) avalanches;
– Increased risk of forest fires and wildfires due to heat waves.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
Some of these risks may be minimised by renovation measures and most risks may be avoided for the construction of new buildings.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
In construction and housing, existing buildings are – regionally different – highly vulnerable to e.g. heat waves in urban areas, to more frequent events of heavy rain, to increased snow loads, to increasing frequency of local-scale floods as well as avalanches and landslides.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Tourism is assessed to have high to low vulnerability.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
– Increase in average annual temperature (year-round tourism);
– Changes in the amount of precipitation and its seasonal distribution: a decrease in the frequency of precipitation during summer months and an increase in winter months;
– Decrease in the amount of snow in lower and middle elevations; reduced certainty of snow;
– Decrease in days with continuous frost and with subzero temperatures;
– Increase in the number of days without continuous snow cover in the mountains;
– Thawing of permafrost can lead to instability in infrastructural facilities and to risk of rock falls;
– Glacial retreat affects the landscape;
– Increased pressure on glaciers due to worsening conditions in ski areas at lower elevations;
– Increase in water temperatures (longer season for swimming outdoors);
– Possible adverse effects on water quality in lakes (e.g., due to algae) at higher temperatures;
– Relative climatic advantage of Alpine region in the summer in comparison with Mediterranean destinations;
– More severe heat waves and an increase in the number of hot days (over 30°C) in the summer (e.g., city tourism – flight from urban regions into the surrounding areas);
– Loss of biodiversity (flora and fauna) resulting in a change in the natural scenery.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
Tourism is assessed to have high to low vulnerability.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
Depending on the region, winter snow cover may be considerably reduced, resulting in considerable losses in winter tourism. Low vulnerability is assumed for summer tourism as well as city tourism and health and spa tourism, which may benefit from increasing air and water temperatures, less rainfall in summer and an extended summer season on the one hand but which bear risks from worsening water quality of warmer lakes, heat waves in cities and lower diversity in the natural scenery (biodiversity, glacier retreat) on the other hand.

Overview of institutional arrangements and governance at the national level

Both national policy documents – NAS and NAP – are based on comprehensive meta-analysis of latest scientific knowledge available for the Austrian context. Many of these scientific projects are financed by the Austrian Climate Research Programme (ACRP) of the Climate and Energy Fund and StartClim, two important climate research programs providing more than 5 Mio Euro of funding each year. Further studies and assessments commissioned by sector departments of Austrian ministries are taken into account, as relevant. Important knowledge resources and their research environment are reported therein.

To shed light on the expected impacts of climate change on extreme events caused by alpine natural hazards, a comprehensive assessment report presenting the state-of-the-art knowledge was published on behalf of the Ministry responsible for natural hazard management (BMLRT) in 2020 (ExtremA 2019; Glade et al. 2020).
The Federal Ministry for Climate Action (BMK) is in charge of coordinating adaptation policy in Austria. The Environment Agency Austria (EAA) regularly acts as a semi-public support unit providing expertise and policy support along all stages of the policy cycle to the BMK, the Climate and Energy Fund as well as the provinces. EAA is a “bridging” or “boundary organisation” that is deeply involved in knowledge generation and capacity-building as well as in practice-related decision support (manual, work aids, etc.) for stakeholders, linking science, administration and policy-making.

Since 2017, the National Climate Protection Committee (NKK) includes questions of adaptation in its principal debate on national climate politics against the background of the Paris Agreement. The NKK is the highest-ranking national coordination body for climate policies. Important semi-formal bodies for vertical cooperation are the Conference of State Environmental Ministers (LURK), whose resolutions in recent years, have paved the way for stronger cooperation between the federal government and the Länder on adaptation to climate change and the Conference of Climate Coordinators of the Länder (LKRK), regional ministers in charge of climate policy making, established in recent years (mitigation and adaptation). The nine provincial climate coordinators are the main agents of vertical coordination and cooperation towards national as well as regional and local levels and are in charge of horizontal coordination within the state governments and administrations.

Regarding implementation, the Austrian NAS and NAP provides concrete recommendations in the 14 areas for action. Potential conflicts and time horizons for implementation are included for each recommendation and measure in the corresponding Action Plan. A lot of effort is being made to ensure best possible cooperation between all actors concerned. In terms of provision of resources, the following premises apply for the implementation of the Austrian NAS and NAP:
? The implementation of the recommendations must be achieved within the existing jurisdictions of all governmental authorities (federal, provincial states, local);
? All recommendations listed in the Austrian NAP are to be covered by the resources available in the applicable financial frameworks of the public sector (federal, provincial states, local);
? The costs of implementing the recommendations are to be covered by prioritization and shifting within the available budget.

Often, implementation of the recommendations requires the cooperation of various actors in the public sector (federal, provincial states, local) and the private sector. To ensure fair burden-sharing, cooperation within the public sector and between the public and private sectors is encouraged.

The results from the first progress report give a broad picture of the state of implementation and of key adaptation trends in Austria. The 2nd Progress Report is foreseen for Q2 2021.
In Austria, an EIA ‘climate-fit portal’ (UVPklimafit Infoportal) was created to support project developers, consultants and competent authorities with knowledge on the impacts of climate change on different infrastructure types and environmental issues. The portal helps to anticipate the consequences of climate change in the design and development of major infrastructure projects (often subject to EIA). By adapting projects to the consequences of climate change, subsequent costs and negative effects on people, society and the environment can be reduced.
Disaster management is well reflected in the NAS and NAP with the objective of a “rapid and professional management of disasters through better networking and preparation of all actors involved, especially with regard to changing climatic conditions”.

Due to uncertainties in predicting the impacts of climate change on floods and natural hazard processes, up to now climate scenarios have not been used explicitly in calculating hazard maps of the federal water engineering service and the federal torrent and avalanche control service of the Federal Ministry (BMLRT). However, they are increasingly taking climate change impacts and adaptation needs into account in their strategic planning and prevention measures.
For Austria, the ÖKS15 data provide comprehensive, high-resolution and error-corrected data and information on climate change and is publicly available at the online data portal of the CCCA. Based on ÖKS15 climate scenario data, regional climate change and impact fact sheets have been produced for all climate adaptation model regions of the KLAR! funding programme, and fine-scaled climate scenarios are available for Austrian municipalities on demand. Regional climate impact maps generated on the basis of the ÖKS15 climate modelling data are provided at no cost to the user community at the CCCA data portal.

Overview of institutional arrangements and governance at the sub-national level (where “sub-national” refers to local and regional)

All federal states were actively involved in the development of the “Austrian Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change” (NAS and NAP). The topics of climate change, mitigation and climate change adaptation have been on the agendas of the state administrations for years.

A variety of initiatives have already been enacted in the provinces, ranging from research projects to concrete measures in specific sectors.

In 2015,the Conference of State Environment Ministers (LURK), passed a resolution that paved the way for tackling cross-cutting measures of the Austrian adaptation strategy and action plan by installing issue-specific horizontal and multi-level task forces. In 2017, the first of such inter-organisational working groups was formed.
The LURK AG was a temporary, informal, non-public and cross-sectoral cooperation format dedicated to the topic of 'self-responsible risk precaution'. It aligned administrative actors from the national and state levels representing the two policy fields, CCA and natural hazard management. From an intense horizontal governance process, LURK AG has produced a tool to assess both climate impacts and natural hazards in municipalities in an integrated way, aiming at strengthening risk prevention and the preparedness of municipal and private actors. The group has also developed an implementation concept and a governance model for the country-wide launch of the assessment tool.
The causal fight against climate change, i.e., the further reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, is of utmost importance. A critical element of prevention in the coming years thus is thus the achievement of climate change mitigation objectives.

Areas for action of the NAS/NAP have not been prioritised, but possible criteria for prioritisation are identified in the NAS. In general, measures that provide benefits independent of climate change (“win-win”) or measures that entail no disadvantages in case the actual climate trends do not correspond to projections (“no-regret”) should be prioritised, as well as flexible measures.
The planning and implementation of adaptation strategies is a dynamic process that must allow for flexible adjustment to new conditions (e.g., further consequences of climate change, new research results). Adaptation to climate change is a complex task characterized by a wide range of challenges.

Finding a proper way of dealing with uncertainties is undoubtedly a key challenge for the planning and implementation of any adaptation measure.

Another challenge in adaptation results from the fact that adaptation is a classic cross-cutting issues: a multitude of areas for action (e.g., infrastructure, energy supply, water management, and protection from natural hazards) and stakeholders from various fields all are part of this complex system. In addition, different levels and areas of responsibility are affected by actions on adaptation, from public administration agencies (local up to national) to various economic sectors to individual people.

The third challenge arises from the inevitably close relationship between mitigation and adaptation; the two issues should thus be considered together. Adaptation cannot replace mitigation. Successful mitigation contributes to reduction of the costs of adaptation.
In Austria, a national adaptation strategy (NAS) was adopted on 23rd October 2012 by the Council of Ministers and endorsed by the Provincial Governors’ Conference on 16th May 2013. The NAS was revised and published in 2017.

The Austrian NAS consists of two parts: a Strategic Framework (or “Context”) and an Action Plan (BMNT, formerly BMLFUW (2017)). The Austrian Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change. Part 1 – Context and Part 2 – Action plan. Available in English at: https://www.bmk.gv.at/[…]/oe_strategie.html

The objective of the Austrian Adaptation Strategy is to avoiding adverse effects of climate change on the environment, society and economy, and to take advantage of opportunities, which may arise. The adaptation strategy aims at strengthening the natural, social and technical capacity to adapt. Adaptation measures should thus involve no social downsides; rather, they should minimize risks to democracy, health, security, and social justice. Another key objective is to increase awareness at all levels in order to sensitize actors and make the complex issue of adaptation to climate change more tangible. Another important objective is to identify linkages between the areas of action and related recommendations, in order to avoid negative impacts in other areas and possible conflicts in the implementation process. Adaptation activities that conflict with other key objectives – such as environmental protection or climate change mitigation – or that disadvantage social groups should also be precluded.

A national adaptation plan (NAP) was adopted in 2012 (as part of the NAS) and revised in 2016 (and approved together with the revised NAS in 2017). The NAP presents a catalogue of 135 adaptation options for 14 sector-related fields of action. These fields are: agriculture, forestry, water resources and water management, tourism, energy (with a focus on the electricity industry), protection from natural hazards, construction and housing, disaster risk management, health, ecosystems and biodiversity, transportation infrastructure and selected aspects of mobility, spatial planning, business/industry/trade, and cities (with a focus on urban green and open spaces).

Each measure described follows the same structure: Content items elaborated for each recommendation – Goal – Relevance – Relation to other activity fields – Relation to existing instruments – Status of implementation – Recommended further steps – Possible resource needs – Conflict potentials – Implementing actors – and time horizon.

The costs of implementing the recommendations are to be covered by prioritization and shifting within the available budget. The research project PACINAS analyzed in particular by means of case studies the costs and benefits for public sector budgets. The top-­down analysis of the federal budget finds that the estimated annual adaptation-­relevant expenditures amount to at least € 2.1 billion currently. The share that can be explicitly attributed as adaptation is estimated at € 488 million. It is stressed that this only considers federal costs and is therefore a sub-­total of all relevant expenditures: it excludes state and municipal expenditures and all costs in the private and household sectors. These adaptation costs are 8% of the investigated budget positions (the three SDs) and 0.65% of the total federal budget in 2014. When the annual costs of the Austrian disaster fund are added (some expenditures thereof are already covered in the top-­down approach), the adaptation and damage costs rise to € 886 million, which is 1.2% of the total federal budget. The alternative bottom­-up approach using expert elicitation has estimated that the current cost of the Austrian strategy for adaptation – for the areas relevant for the federal government ­ is € 358 million annually.

The difference between the top­-down and bottom-­up approaches results from the varying coverage: while the top­-down approach covers all adaptation activities that are currently implemented by the federal budget, the bottom-­up approach only accounts for those activities that are part of the Austrian strategy for adaptation to climate change.

Selection of actions and (programmes of) measures

Description
...zoning and building in hazardous areas

Lowering the damage potential of natural hazard events in risk zones; ensuring proactive hazard prevention.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A1: Policy
Description
...zoning and hazard-zone planning

Protection of built-up areas and infrastructure from natural hazards, taking changes in the potentials of natural hazards due to climate change into account;

Reservation of areas threatened by natural hazards by banning construction and land uses involving high damage potential;

Ensuring proactive hazard prevention
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A1: Policy
Description
...and norms to climate change

Consideration and integration of adaptation requirements in construction standards and norms.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
Consideration of climate change in the design, implementation, and maintenance of urban green and open spaces.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...for urban green and open spaces

Consideration of climate change in urban planning instruments.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
Management and adjustment of leisure activities that threaten biodiversity in favor of sustainable leisure activities.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...spaces, with particular emphasis on micro- and meso-climatic conditions in urban and open space planning

Optimization of living conditions and conditions of human and wind comfort, as well as reduction in the heat-island effect through urban and open space planning.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...sustainable land use and nature conservation

Raising awareness about ecosystem services (e.g., contribution to water retention, flood control, biodiversity, drinking water generation, CO2 fixation, etc.) to promote sustainable land use supporting sustainable development, including improvement of biological diversity.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...meso-climatic conditions in urban and open space planning

Ensuring thermal comfort through adapted infrastructure planning as part of urban and open space planning.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...climate change on energy demand and energy supply in energy strategies

Consideration of the energy required for heating and cooling as well as the changed supply of renewables due to climate change in energy strategies, policies, or action plans.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...of the objectives of the SCCM Strategy 2020, with greater consideration of the effects of climate change

Timely and forceful implementation of the SKKM Strategy.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...water in the management of water resources

Ensuring the achievement of water management objectives in periods of low water.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...alternative/energy efficient technologies to increase resilience to the impacts of climate change

Increasing energy security by saving energy, measures to increase efficiency, increased usage of renewables, diversification of energy sources, grid expansion, and businesses generating their own energy in order to reduce their vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...in nature conservation

Consideration of the impacts of climate change and representation of potential needs for action in nature conservation concepts.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...and networking of protected areas and habitats

Facilitating the networking of habitats and protected areas through the integration of buffer zones and corridors to increase the probability of survival of populations and species, and conservation of the natural value of protected areas under conditions of climate change.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...generation (from various sources) and consumption in the power supply system under varying supply and demand

Avoiding critical peak loads in the case of shortages; relieving the transmission system during peak loads; optimization of the decentralized network feed-in;
optimization of the decentralized grid feed-in.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...development strategies, including increased consideration of planning in hazard areas and identification of risks

Keeping areas potentially affected by natural hazards free from use for residential, commercial, or infrastructure purposes, or riskoriented control of such use.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...ventilation paths, and “green” and “blue” infrastructure within residential areas

Improvement of microclimates in densely populated areas, prevention of overheating and heat-island effects, and compensation for increased bioclimatic stress on human health;

Securing the supply of fresh/cold air in built-up areas, avoidance of health risks due to heat
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...avoid summer overheating in buildings by reducing power consumption and increasing final energy efficiency

Improvement of thermal comfort in buildings during heat waves in the summer by increasing efficiency to reduce both internal heat loads and energy consumption.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...permanently sealed surfaces for transportation infrastructure as flood protection

Reduction of excessive sealed surfaces in transportation infrastructure to reduce/prevent local flooding.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...bioclimatically active measures in development plans

Improvement of microclimates in densely populated areas, prevention of overheating and heat-island effects, and compensation for increased bioclimatic stress on human health;

Prevention of heat-related health risks.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...of legal standards for the construction and operation of transport infrastructure under changed climatic conditions

Adaptation of laws, norms, and guidelines on the impacts of climate change in order to avoid damage to transport infrastructure.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...to the spread of allergenic and toxic species

Prevention/reduction of adverse health effects due to allergenic and toxic plants and animals.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...transportation system

Adaptation of transportation infrastructure to secure a functioning and climate-friendly transportation system and to secure the provision of supplies to the general public under changed climate conditions (in particular extreme precipitation events and changed potentials for natural hazards) as well as avoidance of disruptions/interruptions of services and the resulting follow-on effects (losses of time in passenger traffic, interruptions of production due to disruptions of freight traffic).
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...distribution network through appropriate climate-adapted system planning

Reduction of the susceptibility of transportation networks to interference and the prevention of overload or supply shortages arising from the expected climatic changes.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...change in tourism strategies

Intensification of strategic consideration of issues of climate change and tourism as framework conditions for the implementation of adaptation measures.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...development concepts, procedures, and projects with spatial impacts

Systematic consideration and review of the impacts of climate change and questions of adaptation in spatial development strategies, formal and informal planning instruments, projects, and planning processes; securing the long-term resilience and adaptability of spatial development in the face of current and future impacts of climate change.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
...national risk reduction platform

Comprehensive exchange between and networking of all relevant institutions, improvement of knowledge transfer from research, dissemination of information on technical innovations and product developments as well as support for a broad dialogue.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A3: Coordination and Cooperation
Description
...spatial planning and tourism to promote a climate change-adapted, sustainable tourist infrastructure

Securing and supporting sustainable and climate change-adapted spatial development in tourism.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A3: Coordination and Cooperation
Description
...of production, sales, and operational infrastructure

Maintenance of the production process, ensuring adequate conditions of storage, preventing quality deterioration due to impaired storage, functioning logistics under conditions of higher outdoor temperatures and during periods of drought, and protection of operational infrastructure during floods and other extreme weather events (storms, hail, snow load).
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A3: Coordination and Cooperation
Description
...to the integration of all players in disaster management

Promotion of the inclusion of all actors in opinion formation, decision, and implementation processes and involvement of civil society, as well as use of new communication platforms (social media) to achieve integrated disaster management.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A3: Coordination and Cooperation
Description
Protection of intermunicipal “solidarity” areas for flood retention and prevention of natural hazards;

Introduction of compensation mechanisms and risk transfer models between municipalities or bodies under public law in accordance with the Water Rights Act WRG (e.g., protective water cooperatives/associations) for balancing out burdens and benefits between upstream and downstream riparian communities.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A3: Coordination and Cooperation
Description
...and production through differentiated supply networks, regional clusters and production close to the market

Ensuring security of supply, e.g., with agricultural products through regionally and seasonally differentiated supply networks; reducing the risk of failure in the supply chain;

Reducing the risk of failure and/or fluctuations in price/amount (availability) in the supply chain through the regionalization and diversification of sub-supplier relationships;

Securing the transportation routes in the supply and distribution networks, reducing the risk of interruptions along the transportation network, ensuring the quality of, for example, agricultural and forestry products or food
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A3: Coordination and Cooperation
Description
...through long-term contracts and expansion of stock held in warehouses

Maintenance of freight flow processes along the value chain through long-term contracts and the expansion of existing contracts, reducing the risk of losses, for example of agricultural delivery products, ensuring the quality of agricultural advance services;

Reducing the risk of failure and/or fluctuations in price/amount (availability) in the supply chain by expanding inventory and avoiding supply shortages.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A3: Coordination and Cooperation
Description
...of funding instruments for taking account of climate change aspects in new constructions and renovation

Increased emphasis on adaptation needs in the funding of new construction and the renovation of residential and non-residential buildings.
Key type measure (KTM)
B: Economic and Finance
Sub-KTM
B1: Financing and incentive instruments
Description
...financing and funding instruments in the field of disaster management

Creation of a financing mechanism for short-, medium-, and longterm activities of integrated disaster management on the basis of defined criteria.
Key type measure (KTM)
B: Economic and Finance
Sub-KTM
B1: Financing and incentive instruments
Description
...with resulting increase in the insurability of climate- and weather-induced damage

Introduction of insurance against natural catastrophes (NatCat insurance).
Key type measure (KTM)
B: Economic and Finance
Sub-KTM
B2: Insurance and transfer instruments
Description
...for reducing risk while taking account of appropriate risk transfer mechanisms

Raising awareness about the need for complementary insurance-based preparedness measures.
Key type measure (KTM)
B: Economic and Finance
Sub-KTM
B2: Insurance and transfer instruments
Description
...scenario-based risk assessments, cooperation with R & D, monitoring of scientific results

Development of new risk assessment methods for the entire insurance industry taking climate scenarios and transformation risks into account; improved bases for risk assessment for companies.
Key type measure (KTM)
B: Economic and Finance
Sub-KTM
B2: Insurance and transfer instruments
Description
Support for damage repair as well as professional damage management in order to limit follow-on damages and to strengthen the resilience to future events.
Key type measure (KTM)
B: Economic and Finance
Sub-KTM
B2: Insurance and transfer instruments
Description
...the development and extension of risk-sharing instruments

Reduction of weather-related production risks and the development and extension of additional insurance models.
Key type measure (KTM)
B: Economic and Finance
Sub-KTM
B2: Insurance and transfer instruments
Description
Prevention of an increase in peak flows and damage.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C1: Physical
Description
...(in new buildings and in renovations) to ensure thermal comfort

Ensuring thermal comfort indoors through structural measures, especially with regard to the increased incidence of hot days.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C1: Physical
Description
...on buildings to protect them from extreme weather events

Structural adaptation of buildings (new and existing buildings) for protection from extreme weather events.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C1: Physical
Description
Avoidance of foreseeable supply shortages and overcapacities and reduction of vulnerability to extreme weather events.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C1: Physical
Description
...energy production and feed-in

Use and optimization of regional renewable resources to enhance security of supply and raising awareness of the general public with respect to energy topics.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C1: Physical
Description
...measures (permanent and temporary) to encourage individuals to take safeguarding measures

Prevention of damage to buildings and property related to the effects of natural hazards.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C1: Physical
Description
...analysis and development of a uniform methodology for carrying out risk analyses

Further development of the current uniform method for assessing disaster risks as the basis for coordinated, integrated, risk-based, and cost- and benefit-oriented planning of measures in Austria.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
Prevention/reduction of adverse health effects due to changes in exposure to pollutants resulting from extreme events and climate change.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
...adaptive products, technical processes and services

Increasing resilience (ability to resist and regenerate) through innovative products, technical procedures, and services.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
...innovative techniques for wood processing taking into account potential changes in wood quality and tree species

Development of efficient, innovative techniques for wood processing in order to increase the value added in the wood use chain.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
...active cooling with alternative, energy-efficient, and resource-saving technologies

Ensuring thermal comfort inside new buildings, in renovations, and in existing buildings by means of passive and alternative (“active”) cooling strategies.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
...promotion of water-saving irrigation systems

Efficiency improvements in irrigation and water use through the introduction of modern technological developments permitting the optimization of irrigation in terms of timing and amount of water.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
...reducing thermal loads in public transport stations and their vicinity

Reduction of thermal loads in built-up areas and modes of transport, as well as public transport stations and industrial and commercial buildings.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
...in view of the potential increase in forest fires

Development of preventive measures and systems for elaboration or revision of emergency plans to combat forest fires.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
...– Integrated forest inventory and monitoring of immissions

Nationwide inventory of Austrian forests by combining the forest inventory with remote sensing methods (laser scanning, multispectral satellite imagery) for enhanced system knowledge, and the establishment of an immissions-monitoring system.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
...and early warning systems

Implementation of the precautionary principle for transportation infrastructure in the case of extreme weather events.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
Increasing qualitative and quantitative security of the water supply in areas threatened by water scarcity by means of planning and technological measures.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
...management instruments

Ensuring industrial water supply for the various areas of action: agriculture (irrigation), energy industry (cooling), irrigation of golf courses and football fields, lumber yard sprinkling, industry and commerce, and in air conditioning and cooling systems.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
...of monitoring and early warning systems

Preparation of the general public, health care, and aid organizations for climate change-related effects and emergency situations in order to reduce/prevent health consequences through the development of a common, coherent monitoring structure, in particular by linking existing systems. This structure should be adjustable to the respective risks (e.g., floods, heat, cold, pathogens/infectious diseases).
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
...combat strategies for new diseases and pests

Further optimization and, if needed, extension of existing warning systems, improvement of information and data transfer (e.g., between meteorological units, science, and farmers), and nation-wide monitoring of potentially harmful organisms;

Designation of particularly endangered areas and the development and adjustment of decision-making aids for measures.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
...in terms of energy, water, and cooling supply strategies

Efficiency improvements in energy and water consumption in greenhouse and plastic-sheet cultivation, in particular with regard to increasing heat stress in the summer and potentially more frequent natural disasters.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
Strengthening of the spatial dimension of the energy system;

Reducing energy consumption and improving energy efficiency Improved achievement of climate change mitigation objectives through reduction in greenhouse gas emissions;

Increasing the contribution of renewable energy sources in the regional fulfillment of energy demand
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
...of forecasting, (early) warning and measurement systems

Expansion of the scope of data and information on hazardous natural processes and the resulting possibility of (early) warning.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
...for passengers and personnel in public transportation through appropriate air conditioning

Maintaining operational safety and comfort of use in public transport under heat loads.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
Protection of water resources in areas threatened by water shortages by encouraging increased use of efficient water-saving technologies and targeted awareness raising.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
...of crisis and calamity management

Mitigation of damage from harmful events such as windfalls or bark beetle calamities.
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D1: green
Description
...private open spaces in residential areas to the objectives of nature conservation and the effects of climate change

Creation of areas of retreat for animal and plant species (including rare and threatened species), improvement of the local climate in populated areas, increase in water retention, adjustment of the design of green spaces to climate change (e.g., selection of species and varieties).
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D1: green
Description
...of water-saving, heat-tolerant plants (species/varieties)

Use of species and new varieties of plants that can tolerate changing climatic conditions. Especially heat-tolerant and water-saving crops and grasses and species with low susceptibility to pests should be favored.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D1: green
Description
...biodiversity in urban green and open spaces

Maintenance of ecosystem services and species diversity in urban green and open spaces.
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D1: green
Description
...important open spaces (undeveloped seminatural areas, habitat corridors, biotope networking) and minimization of further habitat fragmentation

Maintenance and improvement of a functional (even under changing natural conditions) network of protected areas and habitats for animal and plant species;

Establishment and maintenance of non-fragmented areas of retreat for animal and plant species, maintenance and improvement of ecological connectivity, and prevention of further habitat fragmentation
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D1: green
Description
...protection and the improvement of agricultural ecology, including the conservation and maintenance of landscape features

Improvement of the agro-ecological situation and conservation of natural biodiversity by reducing wind-exposed areas/wind speed and soil erosion, and improving water retention.
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D1: green
Description
...mountainous and Alpine elevations and in selected locations

Protection of the traditional cultural landscape as a sanctuary for its species.
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D1: green
Description
...and revitalization of abandoned pastures

Maintenance of the protective and recovery function, of feed production and the targeted revitalization and rehabilitation of abandoned pastures under consideration of nature conservation aspects.
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D1: green
Description
...and consideration of soil quality in land use decisions

Consideration of functions of the soil in spatial planning procedures to secure the soil’s ecosystem services and to maintain adaptive capacity; reduction of soil losses and additional land use due to building and sealing for settlements and transportation.
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D1: green
Description
Safeguarding natural soil functions; build-up and long-term stabilization of optimal humus content in soils; conservation of aggregate stability, promotion of soil life, and safeguarding of adequate water intake and water retaining capacity; Prevention of damage (especially soil compaction and erosion) and conservation of soil productivity through sustainable and siteadapted land use and a soil-conserving tillage method.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D1: green
Description
...ecological and chemical status of water bodies (including groundwater)

Achieving and ensuring the good ecological and chemical status of water bodies (including groundwater) or the good ecological potential.
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D2: blue
Description
...strategy for green and open spaces

Ensuring the water supply and retention functions of green and open spaces under changing climatic conditions.
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D2: blue
Description
...flood retention and drainage zones and clear regulation of zoning prohibitions and restrictions

Protection of built-up areas from floods by securing and recovering natural flood plains and water retention areas; improvement of water retention in the catchment areas of rivers;

Protection from flood-related damage by reducing peak flows and slowing waves of floodwater.
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D2: blue
Description
...temperature in water management measures

Reduction of the influence of higher water temperatures on the use and protection of water bodies.
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D2: blue
Description
Prevention of local flooding through structural measures around buildings.
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D2: blue
Description
...improved integration of spatial planning, water management planning, and usage with water demand

Protection of groundwater and drinking-water resources and support for groundwater recharge;

Ensuring continuous quantitative and qualitative security of water supply, especially in vulnerable regions.
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D2: blue
Description
...planning for groundwater resources

Reducing the risk of the consequences of climate change affecting groundwater bodies and groundwater-dependent ecosystems, in order to contribute to the preservation of a good quantitative, chemical, and hygienic status of groundwater bodies.
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D2: blue
Description
...reinforcement of integrated watershed management, and prevention of substantial warming of water bodies

Combined flood and biodiversity protection through restoration and a comprehensive view of water bodies, as well as the prevention of their substantial warming.
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D2: blue
Description
...in catchment areas and reactivation of natural floodplains (and areas), particularly as a contribution to provision of additional inundation areas

Reduction of peak flows by ensuring water retention in the catchment area.
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D2: blue
Description
...the quality and quantity of groundwater and by raising the water storage and retention capacity of landscapes

Protection of wetland habitats by ensuring adequate groundwater quality and quantity under conditions of climate change, and increasing water storage and retention capability through runoffretarding measures.
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D2: blue
Description
...preparation for handling pathogens/infectious diseases

Improving the knowledge base on climate change-related alterations in the establishment and spread of pathogens and infectious diseases

Suppression of the establishment and spread of pathogens, infectious diseases, and disease carriers (vectors);

Improving early recognition, diagnosis, and therapies for “new and emerging diseases.”
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
...impacts of climate change on ecosystems and biodiversity as a basis for and support of the implementation of potential measures.

Continuation, adjustment, extension, and consolidation of existing or evolving environmental monitoring networks with the overall aim of identifying the effects of climate change on species, habitats, and ecosystem services and applying this information in early-warning systems.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
...promoting collection of further data on water resources

Reduction of knowledge deficits regarding the effects of climate change on water resources and their use.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
.../biodiversity issues in a global context

Reduction of indirect negative effects on biodiversity worldwide.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
...for the cooling of stables due to increasing thermal stress

Reduction of thermal stress on farm animals, appropriate and stressfree livestock rearing, and reduction of harmful pollutants in stables.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
...research activities and development of innovations related to disaster management

Promotion of inter- and transdisciplinary research activities, provision of bases for decision-making, and development of technical innovations derived from the SKKM strategy 2020 or its implementation.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
...promotion of danger and risk awareness as well as individual responsibility in the population

Anchoring and strengthening awareness of self-reliance when dealing with risks from natural hazards.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
...practice-relevant data and information bases, raising awareness and improved networking of actors

Generation, provision, and transfer of improved spatially relevant knowledge about climate impacts and adaptation that is useful and directly usable in spatial planning decision-making processes;

Increasing the willingness and ability to act among spatial planning actors and affected citizens in coping with climate change.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
...improvement of regional data as the basis for decisionmaking for adaptation measures

Minimizing existing uncertainties and preparing robust bases for decision-making, especially by integrating regional climate change scenarios.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
...change when making decisions on energy and research activities, such as from the point of view of further diversification

Increasing security of supply through more diversified energy sources structures and far-reaching avoidance of negative consequences for other areas and their adaptive capacity.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
...specific work on preparing for extreme events or outbreaks of infectious diseases

Raising awareness, informing the public and improving the capabilities of coordinated emergency services and the responsible institutions in order to prevent or minimize health risks and lower fatal casualties in cases of extreme events or outbreaks of infectious diseases.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
...inter- and transdisciplinary research on urban green and open spaces

With a view to adapting urban green and open spaces to climate change, issues must be explored at various levels and prepared in an interdisciplinary fashion for implementation.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
.../information concerning water consumption and water demand

Data collection, as complete as possible, on actual water consumption by various user groups as a basis for managing and safeguarding the water supply
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
...research on the effects of climate change on ecosystems/biodiversity

Advancement of knowledge on the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and biodiversity as a basis for and support of the implementation of potential measures.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
...methods of energy storage

Balancing out supply shortages or excess capacities.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
...of climate change on extreme events, on changes in the natural environment, on human use and on how to deal with uncertainties in decision-making

Provision of decision-making bases using the state of the art in science and technology.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
...on potential new agricultural diseases and pests

Improvement in the state of knowledge regarding emerging diseases, to enable a quick and efficient response.
Status
studies ongoing
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
...raising of awareness of the issue of adaptation to the consequences of climate change in the area of construction and housing

Raising awareness and dissemination of knowledge on the subject of adaptation to the effects of climate change and the necessary adaptation measures.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
...preventing damage and reinforcing the individual responsibility of insured people

Strengthening of private preparedness measures resulting from insurers proactively informing their customers as well as public institutions and the general public about risks and changed potentials for natural hazards due to climate change, so that they are in a position to take precautionary measures and avoid damage.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
...consequences of climate change in the area of construction and housing

Improvement of the knowledge base with the goal of optimized adaptation to the effects of climate change and improvement of underlying data.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
...consequences of climate change in the area of transportation infrastructure

Improving the knowledge base with the goal of optimized adaptation to the consequences of climate change.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
...contribution to strengthening individual provision in the area of disaster management

Exposure to natural disasters is recognized by the general public and appropriate precautionary measures are carried out.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
...for forest owners as concerns adaptation of forests to climate change

Improvements in consulting, training, and further education of forest owners taking into account latest research results.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E2: Capacity building and empowering
Description
Generating acceptance for necessary actions and dissemination of knowledge on the subject of adaptation to climate change in the transport sector.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E2: Capacity building and empowering
Description
...in the training and further education of doctors and personnel in medical, therapeutic, and diagnostic health professions (MTDG)

Increasing the competence of doctors and health care personnel in handling climate-relevant health topics.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E2: Capacity building and empowering
Description
...in the field of disaster management

Improving training and increasing competencies of the actors in disaster management with respect to natural hazards and climate change.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E2: Capacity building and empowering
Description
...“climate change-adapted architecture”

Demonstration of the feasibility and advantages of “climate change adapted architecture.”
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E2: Capacity building and empowering
Description
..., improvement of the conditions for volunteering in the field of disaster management

Maintaining and improving suitable framework conditions as well as maintaining the attractiveness of volunteering as one of the important pillars of disaster management in Austria.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E2: Capacity building and empowering
Description
...and adaptation of the training and further education of actors (public and private)

Advancement of knowledge and improvement of networking among affected actors.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E2: Capacity building and empowering
Description
...the importance of biodiversity and ecosystems for climate change adaptation in training, and increased public relations efforts

Increased integration of the importance of biodiversity for the adaptation of society to climate change in education and accelerated public relations efforts.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E2: Capacity building and empowering
Description
...populations and species

Reducing the hazardous situation of species threatened by climate change through restocking or ex-situ conservation (including seed and gene banks).
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E2: Capacity building and empowering
Description
...adaptation to the consequences of climate change in the area of transportation infrastructure

Advancement of knowledge on adaptation to the effects of climate change through the inclusion of relevant information in training and further education
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E2: Capacity building and empowering
Description
...on issues of adaptation to the consequences of climate change in the area of construction and housing

Creation of a sound knowledge base for the implementation of measures for adaptation to the consequences of climate change.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E2: Capacity building and empowering
Description
...in urban green and open spaces

Maintenance of soil functions, especially their water storage and water filtration functions.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E3: Practice and Behaviour
Description
...to seasonal weather patterns

Need-based and site-specific plant nutrition as a contribution to plant quality, plant health, and yield security.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E3: Practice and Behaviour
Description
...avalanches, landslides and rock falls

Maintaining supply functions of central services in cases of disaster and preventing fatal casualties, and acute and chronic as well as physical, and mental health effects.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E3: Practice and Behaviour
Description
Reducing heat stress and preventing additional climate change-related negative health effects in the population in especially heatprone areas (e.g., urban areas affected by the heat-island effect).
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E3: Practice and Behaviour
Description
...adaptation measures based on tourism strategies

Increased consideration of adaptation measures that best contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and provide added value for businesses, besides minimizing climate risk.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E3: Practice and Behaviour
Description
...sustainable use of plant protection products (pesticides)

Optimization of plant protection measures through changes in the timing and method of application and/or spectrum of pesticides, and establishment of systematic monitoring, with the goal of fostering environmentally friendly and sustainable agricultural practices.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E3: Practice and Behaviour
Description
Creating urban tourism offers adapted to climate change and strengthening the establishment of year-round offers.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E3: Practice and Behaviour
Description
...species and provenance, including targeted promotion of diversity through appropriate silvicultural management and rejuvenation of overaged stock

Increase of stability and reduction of vulnerability of forest ecosystems to pests and diseases; Increase in diversity at all levels (genetic, species-specific, structural, diversity of habitat, etc.) adapted to the respective site-specific conditions;

Increase of stability and reduction of susceptibility to disturbances, e.g., through the timely introduction of rejuvenation measures.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E3: Practice and Behaviour
Description
...infrastructure adapted to climate change

Demonstration of the feasibility of climate-change adapted transportation infrastructure
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E3: Practice and Behaviour
Description
...open spaces for recreation and leisure uses under changing climatic conditions

Conditions preservation and creation of green and open spaces as recreational and leisure area to promote human well-being under changing climatic conditions (especially during heat waves).
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E3: Practice and Behaviour
Description
...animal health under changing climatic conditions

Expansion of knowledge and evaluation of the effects of climate change on animal health, and the development of preventative measures and, if need be, necessary veterinary measures as a basis for decision-making of authorities and farmers.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E3: Practice and Behaviour
Description
Reduced damage caused by game animals in order to safeguard rejuvenation and stock stability.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E3: Practice and Behaviour
Description
...changing climatic conditions and development of recommendations for the selection of a site-adapted crop

Selection of suitable crops for the respective site conditions.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E3: Practice and Behaviour
Description
Preservation of the physical and ecological functions of the soil, in particular in terms of water retention and nutrient supply
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E3: Practice and Behaviour
Description
Protecting Alpine infrastructure and taking up opportunities due to climate change in summer tourism.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E3: Practice and Behaviour
Description
...winter sports regions by creating offers not dependent on snow

Securing value creation from tourism long-term by diversifying offers.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E3: Practice and Behaviour


All federal states were actively involved in the development of the “Austrian Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change”. The topics of climate change, mitigation and adaptation have been on the agendas of the state administrations for years.

At the level of the federal states (“Bundesländer”), a variety of initiatives have already been adopted, ranging from research projects to concrete measures in individual sectors. Adaptation is regarded as part of an integrated climate mitigation policy by all nine federal states.

The federal states pursue different approaches when creating policies for adaptation to climate change: Currently, the states of Upper Austria (2013), Styria (2015), Vorarlberg (2016) and Salzburg (2017) have their own strategies for adapting to climate change. Tyrol has published an integrated adaptation and climate protection strategy (2015). Lower Austria (2011 and 2020, respectively) and Carinthia (2018) have integrated adaptation measures into existing climate mitigation strategies. In Vienna, adaptation is part of an integrated climate mitigation policy. Based on a relevant section in the climate protection program (KliP II, duration 2010 - 2020), adaptation measures are continuously being implemented. In the update of the climate mitigation program 2030 (KliP 3), which is currently being worked on, climate mitigation and adaptation to climate change are considered equally. In Burgenland, adaptation measures are directly integrated into other sectoral programs and strategies.
The integration of adaptation into sectoral policies and programmes (“mainstreaming”) is increasing with practical examples in agriculture, forestry, biodiversity, health, water management and natural hazard management. Climate adaptation is addressed in the amendment to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Law in Austria in 2018. The guidance documents for conducting EIA Reports were revised in 2021 to comply with the requirements of the amended EIA Directive.

Disaster risk management is well reflected in the NAS and NAP with the objective of a “rapid and professional management of disasters through better networking and preparation of all actors involved, especially with regard to changing climatic conditions”. The activities cover e.g.:
• Continuous implementation of the objectives of the States Crisis and Catastrophe Management (SCCM) Strategy 2020, with greater consideration of the effects of climate change,
• Establishment of a national risk reduction platform,
• Preservation and, if necessary, improvement of the conditions for volunteering in the field of disaster management,
• Increasing the flexibility of financing and funding instruments in the field of disaster management,
• Risk communication as a contribution to strengthening individual provision in the area of disaster management,
• Increase in training offers in the field of disaster management,
• Continuation of the national risk analysis and development of a uniform methodology for carrying out risk analyses,
• Promoting participative approaches to the integration of all players in disaster management, and
• Continuation and networking of research activities and development of innovations related to disaster management.

Due to uncertainties in predicting the impacts of climate change on floods and natural hazard processes, up to now, climate scenarios have not been explicitly used in calculating hazard maps of the federal water engineering service and the federal torrent and avalanche control service of the Federal Ministry (BMLRT). However, they are increasingly taking climate change impacts and adaptation needs into account as regards their strategic planning and prevention measures. For instance, a comprehensive scientific assessment report on extreme events caused by climate-induced alpine natural hazard processes was published in 2020 (ExtremA 2019; Glade et al. 2020), thus creating a state-of-the-art knowledge base for adaptive risk management regimes.
The NAP is implemented in collaboration with a wide range of fellow federal ministries, regional government actors and sector stakeholders from the public and private sector. The National Climate Protection Committee is the relevant institutional body, set up by law, to provide vertical (and sectoral) coordination of adaptation and mitigation measures. Furthermore, the Environment Agency Austria (EAA) fulfilled an important role as a semi-public support unit regarding several strands of activities throughout the entire NAS/NAP process. This support included the provision of technical expertise (as author, contributor or coordinator of preparatory expert studies), the drafting and editing of the first policy paper in cooperation with the ministry, and implementation of various information activities towards the public. A broad participatory process conducted by the EAA was accompanying the strategy development from summer 2008 until summer 2011. All results gained from the participatory process are considered in the development of the NAS/NAP.

Representatives of the provincial states and further relevant stakeholders (including scientists and representatives from other Federal Ministries) have also been involved in the establishment of a Monitoring & Evaluation system in Austria. The approach chosen (stakeholder survey and data collection) also ensures ongoing interaction across governance levels and sectors. Diverse participatory elements were used for the revision of the NAP/NAS in 2016 and 2017 as well as for the 2nd Progress Report during 2019 and 2020.

Given the holistic and cross-sectoral nature of adaptation action, there is a need for horizontal coordination in the implementation phase as well.

In recent years, a number of country-wide implementation initiatives has been launched to support implementation of the NAS/NAP and of state-level adaptation strategies in Austrian regions and municipalities. These initiatives are mostly initiated and financed by the federal level (Ministry of Climate Action, Climate and Energy Fund) and usually implemented in a multi-level governance approach.

In 2016, the KLAR! programme for Climate Adaptation Model Regions has been launched to support Austrian regions and municipalities in preparing for climate change by implementing adaptation measures in a structured way. This Europe-wide unique climate adaptation funding programme is financed by the Climate and Energy Fund and has been initiated in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for Environment (now Ministry for Climate Action – BMK). The programme requires the instalment of a climate adaptation manager (KAM) in each model region and development of a detailed regional adaptation concept including a minimum of 10 concrete adaptation measures (soft/smart, green, grey, hybrid) on local and regional level. In general, manpower, awareness-raising measures and model region coordinators are grant-aided, while 25 % co-financing by municipalities is obligatory. Each model region is composed of a minimum of two municipalities. The programme cycle is structured in four phases: i) submitting draft adaptation concept (funding application); ii) elaborating detailed adaptation concept, awareness-raising and agenda setting in the regions; iii) implementation of adaptation measures according to the concept, monitoring and evaluation; and iv) re-adjustment of measures, dissemination of best practices, and continuation. In the continuation phase, existing model regions can apply for new funding for additional measures.

A service platform operated by the Environment Agency Austria supports the model regions with specific information packages, direct counselling and via organizing regular peer-group learning and networking meetings of all regions.Model regions have to consider the NAS and the relevant RAS in their activities, and they are required to coordinate their concepts and actions with the climate coordinator of the respective state. Therewith, it shall be ensured that activities in model regions are coherent with public adaptation policies and contribute directly or indirectly to their implementation. A reporting and monitoring system is in place to evaluate progress in implementation and effectiveness of adaptation actions.

After two calls for application, currently 44 model regions are active in planning and implementing adaptation measures, addressing a broad range of climate impacts and sectors. Altogether, at present the model regions encompass 375 municipalities with a total population of more than 1 million inhabitants, covering a wide range of Austrian climatic conditions and most Austrian federal states. A further call for new model regions with a budget of approx. 2.5 mio. Euro was open until Mid-February 2021.

As part of a supportive governance framework, further multi-level implementation initiatives have been established to support awareness-raising, agenda-setting, capacity-building and implementation of adaptation at regional and local level. A selection of respective efforts is listed below:

Dialogue events: A series of more than 30 multi-purpose face-to-face events with different stakeholder groups has been conducted from 2014 onwards. Designed as interactive dialogue formats, these events fulfilled important communication, agenda-setting, capacity-building and coordination functions. The foci of target groups so far was on state administrations (2014/2015), regional stakeholders (2016/2017), sector-specific actors, (2018/2019) and on the networking of adaptation initiatives and their actors (2020/2021).

Adaptation advisory services for municipalities: Jointly financed by the former Federal Ministry for Environment, now Ministry for Climate Action (BMK) and the federal state governments, a series of training programmes for qualifying local adaptation advisors have been implemented from 2017 onwards. An additional training of climate change adaptation advisors took place in autumn 2020.

Preparedness check “Natural hazards under climate change” for municipalities: Developed by a cross-sectoral and multi-level working group of the federal and state governments (2017-2018), the ‘natural hazards check’ is both a policy counselling tool and a governance model to strengthen the risk preparedness of municipalities. It covers a broad range of climate-driven natural hazards and meteorological/climatic extreme events and is applied by specifically trained experts together with municipal decision makers during on-site visits. Implementation of the tool has been launched from 2019 onwards.

Information provision, guidance and decision support: Covering both print products and online resources, a portfolio of knowledge resources, capacity-building tools, guidance documents and work aids for decision makers and stakeholders at different government levels are being provided on behalf of the responsible Ministry, the Climate and Energy Funds and research projects. E.g. Creation of Information materials ("Climate Change - What To Do?" (2014), "Our Communities in Climate Change – Good Practice Brochure" (2016), "Why we have to adapt to the consequences of climate change" (2018), "Misconceptions About Climate Change"(2018),

Socially weaker groups are generally more exposed to the effects of climate change. In most cases, various factors (low income, low education, low social capital, precarious work and housing conditions, unemployment, limited room for maneuver) combine to make underprivileged groups more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Different social groups have different levels of ability to adapt and are more affected by climate policy measures, such as taxes and charges on energy (APCC 2014). People with disabilities are also faced with new challenges, which require appropriate provision in, for example, civil catastrophes.

In addition, comprehensive demographic changes are expected. Changes in population size, age distribution, number of single-person households, or other demographic characteristics have implications for handling the environment, but also for specific needs (e.g., increase in heat sensitivity with increasing age). Demographic changes thus also have consequences for the planning and implementation of climate change adaptation measures.

It can be assumed that the following Austrian population groups will be particularly affected by climate change and by potential adaptation measures due to their location and/or socio-economic situation:
    • People at risk of poverty or marginalization;
• Chronically ill people, people with poor health (among other things during hot spells or vector-transmitted sicknesses);
• Children;
• The elderly;
• People living in areas threatened by natural hazards;
• People living in areas increasingly subject to heat waves;
• People who are occupationally exposed to extreme weather conditions;
• People whose income may be at least temporarily threatened by the effects of climate change.

The NAS support the avoidance of maladaptation thus measures must not lead to an unfair distribution of costs and benefits between social groups, or disproportionately burden vulnerable groups or disadvantaged regions.

The research project - CCCapMig: Risk awareness and personal provision of migrants in Austria – conducted surveys of experts and citizens in Triestingtal (Lower Austria) and in Steyr-Kirchdorf (Upper Austria). The focus was on how migrants deal with natural hazards and climate change in rural areas. The central result was that the risk awareness of new citizens who still have few local contacts is particularly low. In places where floods occur repeatedly and the community is regularly informed, there is a higher level of risk awareness. In terms of personal provision, there were hardly any differences between the long-term resident population, newcomers and migrants. In most cases, the motivation to take measures increased only after extreme events and personal concern.
The NAP drafting process was characterized by the extensive and active involvement of representatives from the federal ministries, the provincial states (Länder), interest groups, stakeholders, NGOs, and other institutions (including private sector companies, such as from the insurance industry). The process was organized along several, closely interlinked lines of work and employed different levels of participation, encompassing information, consultation and the active influence of stakeholders on decision-making in terms of joint strategy drafting. Over the duration of more than two years, a broad national stakeholder participation process involving 106 institutions, 670 persons and 16 workshops has been conducted. Under the overall political responsibility of the climate policy coordination unit of the Federal Ministry, the Environment Agency Austria (EAA) was actively involved in various aspects of strategy development; among other things, it organized the national participation process.
A first progress report on implementation of measures defined in the NAS/NAP was published by the Ministry of Environment (now Ministry of Climate Action - BMK) and taken note of by the Council of Ministers in 2015. The methodological concept for monitoring and evaluation is pragmatic and comprises two work streams: 1) a self-assessment approach using a stakeholder survey based on the NAP and sent to the key actors mentioned therein; 2) an indicator-based approach with qualitative and quantitative data collections. The results give a broad picture of the state of implementation and of key adaptation trends in Austria. The progress report shows that implementation and mainstreaming of adaptation is increasing in Austria with a different level of progress in the various areas of action. Based on these results, sector goals were introduced in the revised national adaptation strategy (NAS) and action plan (NAP). The results were of high relevance for the first updated edition of the Austrian Adaptation Strategy and its Action Plan as of 2017.

For the second progress report, the written stakeholder survey was replaced with a series of stakeholder workshops per sectoral field of action in the NAP, which provided rich in-depth insights and delivered group-based expert judgments on the implementation progress. The complementary indicator-based assessment approach was maintained. Following rounds of written consultations, the finalisation of the second progress report is foreseen for the second quarter of 2021. Based on the results, work on the second revision of the NAS and NAP is scheduled to start closely afterwards.
The results from the first progress report give a broad picture of the state of implementation and of key adaptation trends in Austria. The results show that implementation and mainstreaming of adaptation is increasing in Austria with a different level of progress in the various areas of action. Based on these results, sector goals were introduced in the revised national adaptation strategy (NAS) and NAP. One of the lessons learned was that not all aspects of adaptation processes are 'measurable'; thus, the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data and information only provides input for partial or indirect statements. As there are different ways of interpreting quantitative and qualitative data, a common understanding is needed and can be ensured with strong stakeholder engagement during MRE and NAS/NAP revision. The results were of high relevance for the first updated version of the Austrian Adaptation Strategy and its Action Plan as of 2017.

2nd Progress Report is foreseen for Q2 2021.
In principle, it can be stated that in Austria numerous measures for climate change adaptation have already been tackled, there is already some relevant success e.g. in forestry, water management, in the field of natural hazard management or in agriculture or as concerns new approaches in tourism.

The report gives the following examples:
• A decline in the proportion of spruce and an increase in the proportion of hardwood has already been observed in the forestry sector.
• Numerous measures have been and are being taken to improve water ecology, such as restoring the continuity of rivers.
• Additionally created retention areas contribute significantly to protection against natural hazards. The demand must be: "More space for the rivers".
• Organic farming is based on goals that are also in line with adaptation to climate change. Some progress can be seen as the area dedicated to organic farming has increased significantly since 2000.
• A large number of promotional measures in tourism are consistent with adaptation to climate change, e.g. measures to extend the season and the promotion of sustainable development.
• The population's access to relevant information has also been significantly improved and this is very well received, especially in times of "crisis".

In general, the following premises apply for the implementation of the Austrian Adaptation Strategy: The costs of implementing the recommendations are to be covered by prioritization and shifting within the available budget in line with political objectives regarding climate. In many cases, implementation of the recommendations will require the cooperation of various actors in the public sector (federal, state, local) and the private sector. To ensure fair burden sharing, cooperation within the public sector and between the public and private sectors is recommended and expedient.
The project PACINAS (Public Adaptation to Climate Change) addressedthe question of the costs and benefits of public climate change adaptation.

Key findings of the PACINAS project:
• The top­down analysis of the federal budget finds that the estimated annual adaptation-­relevant expenditures amount to at least € 2.1 billion currently (2014 budget). The share that can be explicitly attributed as adaptation is estimated at € 488 million. It is stressed that this only considers federal costs and is therefore a sub­total of all relevant expenditures: it excludes state and municipal expenditures and all costs in the private and household sectors.
• These adaptation costs are 8% of the investigated budget positions (the three SDs) and 0.65% of the total federal budget in 2014. When the annual costs of the Austrian disaster fund are added (some expenditures thereof are already covered in the top­down approach), the adaptation and damage costs rise to € 886 million, which is 1.2% of the total federal budget.
• The alternative bottom­up approach using expert elicitation has estimated that the current cost of the Austrian strategy for adaptation – for the areas relevant for the federal government ­ is € 358 million annually.
67 out of 132 adaptation measures in the activity fields agriculture, forestry, water resources and water management, protection from natural hazards, disaster risk management, ecosystems and biodiversity and transportation infrastructure were analysed in detail.

The following amounts in EURO are first estimates of adaptation costs based on the results of the research project PACINAS and are published in Knittel, N., Bednar-Friedl, B., Leitner, M., Bachner, G. (2017) The Costs of Climate Change Adaptation for the Austrian Federal Budget. PACINAS Working Paper #04, Graz/Vienna, June 2017. The amounts below are based on the federal budget from 2014 and assessed the adaptation costs of adaptation measures of the NAS/NAP, 2012. The sector average estimates of adaptation costs are listed below, but as stated earlier, not all adaptation measures in each activity field were monetarised.

Agriculture: ~80 Million €/year

Forestry: ~4 Million €/year

Water Resources and Water Management: ~ 118 Million €/year

Protection from Natural Hazards: ~ 45 Million €/year

Disaster Risk Management: ~ 9 Million €/year

Ecosystems and Biodiversity: ~ 25 Million €/year

Transportation Infrastructure: ~ 103 Million €/year

Current expenditures cover additional measures that foster adaptation, but are not stated in the Austrian strategy for adaptation to climate change, such as flood protection measures.

Basically, not much has changed financially in recent years, but adaptation has gained importance as an issue and, in view of the increase in climate damages (especially in the rail, agriculture and forestry sectors), an increase in adaptation-relevant projects is expected in the coming years. Moreover, the intention to mainstream adaptation into all policy areas seems to be progressing as it is considered in many projects that do not pursue adaptation as a primary goal.
The results from the first progress report give a broad picture of the state of implementation and of key adaptation trends in Austria. The results show that implementation and mainstreaming of adaptation is increasing in Austria with a different level of progress in the various areas of action. Based on these results, sector goals were introduced in the revised national adaptation strategy (NAS) and NAP. One of the lessons learned was that not all aspects of adaptation processes are 'measurable'; thus, the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data and information only provides input for partial or indirect statements. As there are different ways of interpreting quantitative and qualitative data, a common understanding is needed and can be ensured with strong stakeholder engagement during MRE and NAS/NAP revision. The results were of high relevance for the first updated version of the Austrian Adaptation Strategy and its Action Plan as of 2017.
As part of a supportive governance framework, further multi-level implementation initiatives have been established to support awareness-raising, agenda-setting, capacity-building and implementation of adaptation at regional and local level. A selection of respective efforts is listed below:

Dialogue events: A series of more than 30 multi-purpose face-to-face events with different stakeholder groups has been conducted from 2014 onwards. Designed as interactive dialogue formats, these events fulfilled important communication, agenda-setting, capacity-building and coordination functions. The foci of target groups so far was on state administrations (2014/2015), regional stakeholders (2016/2017), sector-specific actors, (2018/2019) and on the networking of adaptation initiatives and their actors (2020/2021).

Adaptation advisory services for municipalities: Jointly financed by the Federal Ministry for Environment (now Ministry for Climate Action – BMK) and the federal state governments, a series of training programmes for qualifying local adaptation advisors have been implemented from 2017 onwards. An additional training of climate change adaptation advisors took place in autumn 2020.

Preparedness check “Natural hazards under climate change” for municipalities: Developed by a cross-sectoral and multi-level working group of the federal and state governments (2017-2018), the ‘natural hazards check’ is both a policy counselling tool and a governance model to strengthen the risk preparedness of municipalities. It covers a broad range of climate-driven natural hazards and meteorological/climatic extreme events and is applied by specifically trained experts together with municipal decision makers during on-site visits. Implementation of the tool has been launched from 2019 onwards.

Information provision, guidance and decision support: Covering both print products and online resources, a portfolio of knowledge resources, capacity-building tools, guidance documents and work aids for decision makers and stakeholders at different government levels are being provided on behalf of the responsible Ministry, the Climate and Energy Funds and research projects. E.g. Creation of Information materials ("Climate Change - What To Do?" (2014), "Our Communities in Climate Change – Good Practice Brochure" (2016), "Why we have to adapt to the consequences of climate change" (2018), "Misconceptions About Climate Change"(2018).
In principle, it can be stated that in Austria numerous measures for climate change adaptation have already been tackled, there is already some relevant success e.g. in forestry, water management, in the field of natural hazard management or in agriculture or as concerns new approaches in tourism.

The report gives the following examples:
• A decline in the proportion of spruce and an increase in the proportion of hardwood has already been observed in the forestry sector.
• Numerous measures have been and are being taken to improve water ecology, such as restoring the continuity of rivers.
• Additionally created retention areas contribute significantly to protection against natural hazards. The demand must be: "More space for the rivers".
• Organic farming is based on goals that are also in line with adaptation to climate change. Some progress can be seen as the area dedicated to organic farming has increased significantly since 2000.
• A large number of promotional measures in tourism are consistent with adaptation to climate change, e.g. measures to extend the season and the promotion of sustainable development.
• The population's access to relevant information has also been significantly improved and this is very well received, especially in times of "crisis".
The Action Plan for the Austrian Adaptation Strategy includes a number of recommendations in the various areas of action for both public and private actors. These recommendations are based on the most recent knowledge. When developing the recommendations for action, care was already taken that these do not contribute to maladaptation.

Certain sectors of society and regions are affected by climate change in different ways and to varying degrees. The extent to which the people, the environment, and the economy of a region will be influenced by the consequences of climate change depends on both the natural vulnerability of the region and on its existing adaptive capacity to cope with climate change and extreme weather. This results in differing requirements for action.

In order to determine which recommendations should be assigned priority in a given area of action or region, a list of criteria is introduced. This list serves to support the actors concerned in setting their priorities in the adaptation process.

In general, however, it must be noted that measures that provide benefits independent of climate change (“win-win”) or entail no disadvantages in the event that actual climate trends do not correspond to projections (“no regret”) should be prioritized. Due to the inherent uncertainty about the effects of future climate warming, it is necessary to select and implement flexible measures that can be easily adjusted to changing conditions.

Findings from research projects conducted to date, the preparation of the first Progress Report and the Assessment Report Climate Change 2014 (APCC 2014) show that further action is required, including in research. It should be focussed on applied research as well as socioeconomic questions. In addition, accompanying research is to be strengthened in order to support the implementation of local and regional adaptation measures and to develop adaptation measures that are as effective and as closely tailored to target groups as possible. Research needs to include, among other things, the necessary socio-ecological transformation of society and the economy. For this reason, the relevant research programs are to be adequately financed in the future as well. Improved communication between research, public administration, and practical application is required and the findings of national and international research have to be considered in the adaptation process at all levels of public administration.
Information of available vulnerability and risk assessments from different sectors like e.g. disaster risk reduction (national risk assessment) and others will be continuously monitored and relevant information considered in the revision of NAS and NAP as of late 2021 onwards.

A Special report on land use, land management and climate change is planned to be published in 2021. A Special report for structures for a climate-friendly life is planned to be published in 2022.

Since the publication of the Austrian Assessment Report 2014 (AAR14), a lot has happened and that is why another status report – 10 years later (AAR24) – is being planned.
A national adaptation plan (NAP) was adopted in 2012 (as part of the NAS) and revised in 2016 (and approved together with the revised NAS in 2017).

The 2nd Progress Report is foreseen for Q2 2021.

Based on the results of the second progress report, the results will feed into the second revision of the NAS and NAP from late 2021 onwards.
Moor Restoration and Habitat Enhancement Measures

As a contribution to the implementation of the Biodiversity Strategy 2020+, nine peatlands have been renatured in the “Inner Salzkammergut” forestry operation of the Austrian Federal Forests. In the Traun-Innviertel forestry operation, the Laudachseemoor and the Wildmoos at Mondseeberg are currently being restored. The progressive shrinkage of the moors is being stopped by the construction of sheet pile walls. Another goal is to preserve and promote ecologically valuable habitats and regional biodiversity. Therefore, for example, several ponds are being created, tufa springs are being improved by clearing, meadows are being made more attractive for bees, and moor grass meadows are being preserved. The measures are accompanied by scientific studies.

Good Practice Citizen Science Project "Global Mosquito Alarm”

In 2017 the platform "Global Mosquito Alarm" was launched with the support of the UN. Researchers and laypersons will collaborate intensively worldwide in the fight against the spread of diseases such as malaria, Zika and yellow fever in the future. Registered people share their observations and data with researchers on the platform. The knowledge gained from this should reduce the spread and facilitate control.

Examples for heat guides

Guidebook: Protection against heat in houses and flats. The guidebook presents measures that can be used to achieve energy-efficient protection against heat.

Tips against heat by AGES incl. heat telephone and videos on proper nutrition in heat and food safety in summer.

Guideline Heat Action Plan – For medical and care facilities to create their own heat action plans: The guideline is aimed at institutionalised care areas of the most vulnerable population groups and those responsible for hospitals, nursing and care facilities. With recommendations for short- to medium-term and acute measures, it supports organisations in developing and establishing their own heat plans.

Good practices and lessons learnt

To implement cross-cutting measures of the NAS, the LURK AG on ‘self-responsible risk precaution' aligned administrative actors from the national and state levels representing the two policy fields CCA and natural hazard management. In an intense horizontal and multi-level governance process, it has produced a new policy-counselling tool to strengthen climate risk prevention of municipal and private actors (e.g. households, property owners), thus enhancing coherence between CCA and DRR.
Apart from the commitment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (SFDRR) have galvanised the pursuit of policy coherence. Monitoring progress of these frameworks is a key area in which the potential for synergies has been identified. The autonomy of each of the post-2015 frameworks has to be maintained, but making use of synergies can improve coherence of actions. In addition coordinating and collaborating in monitoring their progress can save money and time and enhance efficiency. With the help of the Austrian Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (www.isdr.at) the following tasks can be supported: Exchange of experiences and concepts, Coordination of the strategies, Creation of synergies and Joint developments in the context of crisis intervention and prevention. Actors in the field of adaptation to climate change are actively involved this national joint effort.

Specifically to SDGs, Sustainability Goal 13 refers to climate change. Resilience to climate risks is to be increased and concrete measures integrated into planning and policy processes. Another focus is to increase people’s awareness of climate change mitigation and adaptation. With the ministerial report of January 7, 2016, all federal ministries were obliged to implement the SDGs. The global sustainability goals are to be integrated into relevant strategies and programs and, if necessary, appropriate action plans and measures are to be developed with the involvement of relevant actors from the various administrative levels as well as social partners, civil society and science.
Austria engages in international and transnational networks, working groups and cooperation structures dedicated to knowledge sharing, exchange of experiences and joint research projects. For example, at international / EU level Austria participates in the OECD Task Force, the EU WG 6, the EPA IG, and the European Topic Centre on climate adaptation.

As a Contracting Party to the Alpine Convention, Austrian chairs and members of its thematic working bodies regularly work on cross-sectoral aspects of adaptation and have co-produced a range of specific transnational knowledge and policy outputs. Austria is chairing the Alpine Climate Board, which bundles all activities on climate change in the context of the Alpine Convention, has delivered the Alpine Climate Target System 2050 and an updated Climate Action Plan, which puts forward 33 implementation pathways for transnational mitigation and adaptation action.

Within the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP), Austria is holding the chair of Action Group 8 on improving risk management and coping with climate impacts, including major natural risks prevention. AG8 has produced studies, good practice examples and policy enhancement options on risk governance, adaptation governance and mainstreaming of climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction, aiming to pave the way for more effective and better-aligned governance approaches in the Alpine macro-region. AG8 is currently leading a cross-sectoral strategic initiative on climate-resilient spatial planning. Managed by the Environment Agency Austria, maintenance, enhancement and further deployment of the transnational online knowledge portal ‘CAPA – Climate Adaptation Platform for the Alps’ is carried out also under the umbrella of EUSALP AG8.

In the programming periods 2007-2013 and 2014-2020, Austrian institutions have participated in (lead) partner roles in a range of adaptation-related projects under three INTERREG B transnational cooperation programs (ETC): Alpine Space, Central Europe, and Danube. Outputs of these projects have contributed to the knowledge base of the Austrian NAS/NAP. Examples of such projects under the Alpine Space Programme include CLISP, C3-Alps, and GoApply, which were all coordinated by the Environment Agency Austria.

Upon an Austrian initiative, a transnational network of the national adaptation policymakers of the Alpine countries has been established in the frame of the Alpine Space project C3-Alps from 2012 onwards. It is an informal platform for regular knowledge exchange and joint learning between countries about adaptation policy making, implementation of adaptation strategies and common governance challenges.

On the European scale, Austria was engaged in the PLACARD Project (2015 – 2020), which further improved knowledge sharing and enhanced collaboration between climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) in research, politics and practical work in the communities.
In the NAS/NAP, cooperation to address common challenges with neighbouring countries is not explicitly addressed. Nevertheless, Austria plays a highly active role in several international and transnational partnerships that are actively working on climate change and adaptation issues.

In the periods 2007-2013 and 2014-2020, Austrian institutions have participated in (lead) partner roles in a range of adaptation-related projects under three INTERREG B transnational cooperation programs (ETC): Alpine Space, Central Europe, and Danube. Outputs of these projects have often played an enabling role for adaptation policy-making and adaptation action in Austrian regions.

Austria is a contracting Party to the Alpine Convention, which was signed in 1991 and commits the eight Alpine countries and the European Union to the sustainable development and protection of the Alpine massif. Taking action on climate change is one of six priorities of the multi-annual work programme 2017–2022. Under Austrian Presidency, the Alpine Climate Board (ACB) has been established as a new thematic working body in 2016 with the aim of bringing under one roof all relevant climate change activities carried out in the framework of the Convention. Chaired from the beginning by Austria, the ACB has developed an Alpine Climate Target System 2050 with concrete objectives to reach climate-neutral and climate-resilient Alps 2050. In its 2019-2020 mandate the ACB developed in a participatory process an updated Climate Action Plan with altogether 33 implementation pathways, which was adopted by the XVI Alpine Conference in December 2020. For the upcoming years, main objectives of the ACB are to build a strong community of implementers, to organize events for teaming up for climate action and to engage in activities to support implementation. Goals and measures of the new Climate Action Plan have been incorporated in the current work plans of all thematic working bodies of the Convention, including the Natural Hazards Working Group (PLANALP), which is also chaired by Austria.

Austria participates in two EU Macro-Regional Strategies, the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) and the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP), which both prominently address climate change impacts and adaptation. Austria chairs EUSALP Action Group 8, which bundles together the core topics of risk management and adaptation to climate change. AG8 has delivered a range of initiatives and products that enhance governance mechanisms in the fields of natural hazard risk management and climate change adaptation and strengthen their coherence.

Austria is a contracting Party to the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), which adopted a Climate Adaptation Strategy in 2012. The Strategy provides a strategic framework for integrating climate adaptation of the water sector into the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive and the EU Floods Directive.

Federal Ministry of Climate Action

Directorate VI/1 – Climate Policy Coordination
Climate Policy Coordination
Dr. Barbara Kronberger-Kießwetter
Deputy-Head of Directorate VI/1

Environment Agency Austria

Climate Change Adaptation Team
Support Adaption at national, sub-national and international level
Markus Leitner
Head of Team Climate Change Adaptation

Relevant websites and social media source

[Disclaimer]
The information presented in these pages is based on the reporting according to 'Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action' and updates by the EEA member countries. However, for those pages where the information is last updated before 01/01/2021, the information presented is based on the reporting according to 'Regulation (EU) No 525/2013 on a mechanism for monitoring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions and for reporting other information relevant to climate change' and updates by the EEA member countries.'