Research Landscape for Adaptation
In both climate change adaptation and mitigation, science and research must fulfil an important structural task. Meaningful political, economic, ecological, and social solutions can only be designed and implemented when the causes of climate change and the consequences for people’s lives can be estimated in a substantiated and integrative manner.
Climate research in Austria in recent years has rapidly evolved, but this development could be negatively affected by financial restrictions.
On the national level, for the research focus “Climate Change and Adaptation”, the national climate research programme StartClim and the Climate and Energy Fund (especially its research programme, ACRP) provide important and forward-looking results. In addition, significant insight has been obtained through the research programme proVISION of the Federal Ministry of Science and Research and the Global Change Programme of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Climate Change Centre Austria
Given the dimensions of climate change, institutionalized cooperation in climate and climate impact research in Austria is urgently needed. In 2010, upon the initiative of five Austrian universities (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Graz University of Technology, Vienna University of Technology, University of Graz, and University of Innsbruck), the first steps were taken towards the establishment of a climate change centre for Austria. The objective of the Climate Change Centre Austria is to improve the quality and efficiency of Austrian climate research through networking and the promotion of cooperation, but also to enhance its international visibility. As a focal point for research, policy, media, and the public, and for all questions of climate research in Austria, it serves to foster a sustainable national climate dialogue.
In June 2011, the Climate Change Centre Austria, which is organized in the form of an association, was formally established. It currently holds 23 full members, including numerous universities and non-academic research institutions.
Many of the scientific results of the numerous research projects also provide an important basis for the political decision-making process. Many Projects are available in a database at: http://www.klimawandelanpassung.at/ms/klimawandelanpassung/de/kwadatenbank/. This database is continuously updated and offers a good outline of the focus of individual research projects in which Austrian researchers are involved.
Information on national Projects funded under the ACRP can be found on the Climate- und Energyfund Webpage.
Austrian Assessment Report on Climate Change (APCC)
In 2014, an 1000 page “Assessment Report” on the topic of climate change focused on Austria was published by the Austrian Panel on Climate Change (APCC), providing concrete contributions for discussions on climate mitigation and adaptation. Over the course of a three-year process, more than 240 Austrian scientists researching in the field of climate Change have produced a comprehensive assessment Report by following the model of the IPCC Assessment Reports.