Category Archives: EU: Energy Independence

Austria – The Green Heart of Europe

In May 2010, Vienna was ranked first out of more than 220 cities participating in “Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey.” It was the second year in a row that the Austrian capital tops the international city ranking. The survey rates 39 criteria such as safety, education, hygiene, health care, culture, recreation and political-economic stability. Above all, the survey identifies cities with the best eco-ranking based on water availability and drinkability, waste management, quality of sewage systems, air pollution and public transportation.

As the tenth ]10th]] largest city by population in the European Union, it is hardly surprising that Vienna has repeatedly been ranked first based on its environmental attributes. Not only the city of Vienna, but the entire country of Austria is considered to be the environmental flagship of Europe. The title of the “Green Heart of Europe” might appear provocative at first …

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The Model Region of “Güssing” – an Example of the Austrian Grassroots Strategy for Energy Independence

The call for energy independence has been on the political agenda across the globe for many decades. While most countries share a growing energy demand, their reasons for looking to reduce energy dependency as well as the chosen strategies vary significantly.

In the U.S., the desire for energy independence had already emerged during the oil embargo of the early 70’s. Most of the State of the Union addresses since have elaborated on this objective. Just in the last Congress, the advocates of climate legislature defended their proposals not so much as mitigating emissions, but rather as finding a solution to the challenge of energy dependency. Even though all sides talk of energy independence as a worthy goal, since the early 70’s, the share of imported oil has nearly doubled in the United States.

Just like the U.S., Austria depends on energy imports in the form of fossil energy…

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