Political aspects

Ecological situation – climate change has begun

Facts prove that burning fossil fuels result in an artificial greenhouse effect leading to global warming. Climate change has already begun and the effects are predicted as life threatening. The largest temperature rise since 100 years is measured in the 20th century. Increase of the global surface temparature by 0.6 C° was observed and it will get to at least 1.5 C° by the year 2100. This results in further rises of the sea level by at least 10 cm. Natural disasters and extreme weather conditions will be more often and intensify. The main sector affected is agriculture. Melting of the glaciers threatens the drinking water stores and rises the important snow line for the winter tourism.

Fossil energy carrier will get more expensive and scare

The resources of fossil fuels are limited and increases in the price exceeding the medium term are foreseeable. More than 50% of the easy recoverable oil reservoirs are already used up. 78% of the oil deposits are located in countries within the OPEC and this means an increase of their political influence. The unequal energy usage between the rich and the poor is a latent source of conflicts. (the oil as a weapon)

Nuclear energy is not an alternative

The raw nuclear material uranium is limited and health threatening. Risk of operation and effects after accidents are hard to estimate so that it is not risk-based insurable. The final storage of nuclear waste is an unresolved issue and burdens many generations.

The future lies with renewable energy

Solar energy is available as a permanent eco-friendly form unlimited and crisis-proof. With renewable energy carriers a sustainable economy can be developed, that can enforce the rural areas with new jobs and investments. With a large share of renewable energy sources Austria would be less affected by crises and shortages within the global energy market. The goal of doubling the renewable energies in the next 10 years is included in the “White Paper” from the European Union. 80% of this potential is meant for biomass. Another objective of the EU policy is the transformation of large parts of the agricultural land for food production to land for production of biomass.

International obligations of Europe

The EU will try to fulfil their international obligations to reduce the CO2 emission (in addition to the local climate policy) with “strategic measures”. The trade deficits of the member states are strongly influenced by the import of fossil fuels. By climate policy economic oriented tax restructuring and reduction of the trade deficit the further competitive advantages will be added the renewable energies.

Modern wood heating systems, economic and ecologic arguments

With 47% forest land and the additional usable biomass potential the European energy consumption can be met and the supply of raw materials is assured. Wood as a fuel has had a stable and therefore predictable price trend for many decades. Modern biomass heating systems are eco-friendly, comfortable and economically. The biomass expansion programme creates jobs in the national industry and increases the regional added value. The local climate policy improves the expansion and export potential of the Austrian bio energy economy and makes it more easy for the installer to optimise his range of services with a promising technology. With enforcing the biomass energy the fossil CO2 emissions can be reduced by 4.7 tons per year.

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