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Austria Unveils National Strategy to Regulate the Cost-effective Deployment of Carbon Management and Meet Climate Targets

3rd July 2024

On 26 June, Austrian Federal government adopted its national carbon management strategy, laying the groundwork for the future scale-up of carbon management technologies in the country. 

Jointly prepared by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) and the Federal Ministry for Climate Action (BMK), in collaboration with relevant stakeholders and an international scientific advisory board, the strategy focuses on CCS, CCU and CDR as strategic solutions to tackle residual emissions generated from industries and other sectors which are unavoidable or difficult to abate, and help Austria reach its ambitious climate commitments. 

The country intends to rollout the deployment of carbon management technologies via two distinct phases. Phase one, of which the publication of the strategy represents the key cornerstone, aims to set the current status of carbon management in Austria and outline a series of actions and measures required to regulate the reduction of hard-to-abate GHG emissions in the country through carbon management. Phase two focuses on the planning and the implementation of the above mentioned measures. 

In order to establish the basic legal framework to implement carbon management solutions cost-effectively in the country and untap their potential, the government recommends to: 

  • Lift the ban that is currently preventing CO2 geological storage in the federal territory and work in parallel on the transposition of the EU CCS Directive into national law to establish the necessary legal framework applicable to domestic CO2 storage. As CO2 storage availability will be limited in the near future, the government intends to allow geological storage in the country only for hard-to-abate GHG emissions generated by industries and other specific sectors, in accordance with strict safety and environmental conditions. 
  • Work on the evaluation and adaptation of the legal framework regulating the transport of CO2 via pipeline 
  • Implement any further legal and regulatory measures required across the carbon management value chain 
  • Improve international cooperation and coordination at the European and international level, as well as further develop uniform technical standards alongside legal, economic and political frameworks. 

 In addition, the government proposes several measures aimed to implement the action plan outlined in the strategy efficiently and effectively, including laying down the necessary framework or take steps to: 

  • Ramp-up the national and cross-border CCUS/CDR infrastructure and operations  
  • Define minimum targets for CO2 capture, transport and storage and carbon removals while also concluding long-term agreements to secure CO2 storage capacities in other European countries 
  • Promote research, industrial pilot projects and feasibility studies in the field of CCUS/CDR 
  • Boost public perception around CCUS/CDR technologies via proactive engagement with stakeholders and the sharing of information around the safety, application and necessity of CCUS/CDR in Austria. 

With this announcement, Austria position itself among the EU countries working towards the development of dedicated national carbon management strategies, alongside France and Germany which, over the last year, have been taking similar steps with the release of a draft CCUS strategy and the key points of a national carbon management strategy respectively.  

This announcement also follows the release of the EU Industrial Carbon Management Strategy proposed by the European Commission in February 2024, which presents CCS, CCU and CDR as pathways able to contribute to the success of the EU’s decarbonisation efforts and outlines a comprehensive approach to address all aspects of the CO2 value chain. 

The document sends a clear signal of the change in the country’s approach towards carbon management solutions, which are now put high on Austria’s decarbonisation agenda. 


Read the press release from the Austrian Ministry for Climate Action here 

Access the text of the Austrian Carbon Management Strategy here 

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