Austria will meet EU climate targets: environment minister

Vienna, Oct 21 (IANS) Austria is on track to meet climate and energy targets by the year 2020 despite a prognosis from the EU’s European Environment Agency (EEA) that suggests otherwise, its environment minister said on Tuesday.

Federal Minister of Environment Andrae Rupprechter on Tuesday said with present measures Austria would meet the set targets, Xinhua reported.

EEA Executive Director Hans Bruyninckx had earlier in Brussels presented an annual forecast report, in which Austria along with Belgium, Ireland, and Luxembourg were named as four countries in the union not on schedule to meet greenhouse emissions targets.

Rupprechter argued that the reason for the poor EEA prognosis is that Austria’s present environmental protection measures are only set in stone until 2018, in line with the legislature period.

For the remaining two years in which the targets are to be reached, it would be assumed that climate protection measures would be maintained or even strengthened, Rupprechter said.

“We will more than meet the targets,” he said, adding that Austria had already come in under the emissions’ targets in 2013/2014.

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