Content of the Strategy

The current (since October 2012) Austrian Strategy for Adaptation to climate change is divided into two parts: a Strategic Framework (or “context”) and an Action Plan.


The framework of the strategy covers fundamental issues on adaptation and indicates which aspects are essential for successful adaptation. In addition to the objectives and guiding principles of the strategy, a brief summary of expected climate changes and their implications for Austria is included. The political environment at the international and European level and the status quo of adaptation in Austria’s federal states are outlined. The question of the social aspects of climate change is also addressed, as is the global context.


Issues that are especially relevant for implementation are discussed in individual chapters on, for example, the criteria for the prioritization of recommendations, open research questions, and information on communication and education. Another chapter in the “context” deals with good-practice examples, seeking to increase the motivation of interested parties to carry out adaptation activities independently. In addition to prospects and further procedures, this section also alludes to the need for resources for implementation.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Political Environment
  3. Objectives
  4. Development of the Austrian Adaptation Strategy
  5. Climate Change in Austria
    5.1 Global Climate Scenarios
    5.2 Regional Climate Scenarios for Austria
    5.3 Anticipated Future Effects of Climate Change
          Based on Climate Scenarios for Austria
  6. Challenges to Adaptation
  7. Social Aspects of Climate Change
  8. Guiding Principles of Adaptation
  9. Criteria for Prioritizing the Recommendations for Action
  10. The Status Quo of Adaptation in Austria – Federal State Initiatives
  11. Research Environment and Research Needs
  12. Good Practice
  13. Communication and Education
  14. Global Context
  15. Recommendations for Action
    15.1 Overall Principles
    15.2 Tabular Compilation of Recommendations for Action 
  16. Resource Requirements in the Course of Adaptation to Climate Change
  17. Outlook and Further Steps
  18. References

Action Plan

In the over 400-page Action Plan, a qualitative vulnerability assessment and specific recommendations for adaptation for 14 areas for action are presented. The document describes 132 possible measures and packages of measures for adaptation. With this comprehensive Action Plan, Austria assumes a pioneering role in comparison to other European countries.


Particularly noteworthy is the high level of detail in the recommendations for action: In addition to the objectives of each measure, the state of implementation is described as well as the necessary further steps. Furthermore, for each recommendation for action, interlinkages to other areas for action and links to existing instruments are indicated. As in other existing Action Plans for adaptation, descriptions of the resource requirements are only sporadically included. However, for each recommendation, the actors, potential conflicts, and time horizons for implementation are noted.


In the following section, the recommendations from the Austrian Action Plan for the 14 areas for action, including their objectives and the actors involved, can be viewed. Comprehensive information on the individual recommendations can be found in the Action Plan.