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Voluntary National Review 2020

Austria's Voluntary National Review – Main Messages

  • For decades, Austria has been implementing sustainable development principles in ecological, social and economic dimensions.
  • Sustainable development is a constitutional state goal.
  • Austria promotes competitiveness and innovation while safeguarding the diversity of natural resources, ecosystem services and social progress.
  • Austria has successfully implemented numerous SDGs and continues this commitment.


  • Following the mainstreaming approach, all Federal Ministries have been integrating the SDGs in their strategies and programmes since 2016 and have been devising corresponding action plans and measures.
  • The inter-ministerial working-group on the 2030 Agenda (IMAG) handles the general coordination and communication of essential measures in implementing SDGs.
  • SDGs are anchored in nationwide Austrian strategy documents: Climate and Energy Strategy, Three-Year-Programme on Development Policy, Health Targets, Youth Strategy, and Foreign Trade Strategy. SDGs-References are also included in federal states’-strategies.
  • Following a multi-stakeholder approach, representatives of federal states, cities, municipalities, social partners, stakeholders from civil society, business and scientific community are interacting with IMAG and committed to SDG-implementation.
  • Austria’s activities in the EU, International Organisations (IO) and in projects of Development Cooperation serve SDG-implementation.
  • As seat of several IOs, we promote sustainable development.

The Government Programme 2020–2024 further strengthens a targeted coordination in implementing the 2030 Agenda by systematically involving relevant stakeholders.


Digitalisation is an Austrian priority, also in implementing the 2030 Agenda:

  • In order to allow the partake of everyone, expansion and promotion of broadband and 5G, digital skills and applications, digitalisation in the health sector and in citizen-orientated public services;
  • Use of digitalisation to cut resources and energy consumption and reduce CO2-emissions;
  • Holistic approach for sustainable use of digital transformation, e.g. smart cities;
  • Use of digitalisation in communication and management of crises and pandemics.

Austria will strengthen digital governance drawing on all stakeholders’ knowledge to enable digital technologies being used in all SDG-areas.

Women, young people and “Leaving no one behind”

Austria’s well-developed social and health-care system is key in combating poverty and social exclusion, ensuring high-quality health-care to everybody, including disadvantaged and highly vulnerable groups.

  • Targeted measures improve the living conditions of, among others, persons with disabilities, older persons, young people and children.

Along with strengthening primary healthcare, promoting women’s health and assuring quality care, Austria will put special emphasis on fighting poverty among children, women and older persons.

Involvement of young people in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda is key:

  • Extension of voting rights to 16-year-olds opened up democratic participation to young people.
  • Youth empowerment is central in decision-making and participatory processes regarding SDGs and in implementing the Austrian Youth Strategy.

Equality of women and men is a prerequisite for the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda:

  • Vital to systematically integrate a gender-specific perspective into the implementation of all 17 goals;
  • As a cross-cutting issue, gender equality builds on the commitment of actors from all fields and on cooperation with NGOs and civil society;
  • Challenges include eliminating gender stereotypes, closing the gender pay gap, promoting women in leading positions, expanding childcare services, especially in rural areas, fighting violence against women, and integration.

Climate action

Austria aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2040. To this end, we are determined to:

  • implement an eco-social tax reform;
  • draw up a mobility-master-plan for 2030;
  • introduce an affordable, nationwide annual pass for public transport;
  • present a plan for phasing-out oil, coal and fossil natural gas for room heating and
  • massively increase renewable energy.

At EU-level, Austria supports carbon border adjustments and the earliest possible phasing-out of financing and subsidising fossil infrastructures.

Austria advocates the decarbonisation of energy systems without nuclear power, the latter not being a viable option for combatting climate change.

Indicators measuring advances in achieving SDGs since 2017

SDGs have seen positive developments:

  • Concerning nutrition and food production, a high percentage of land being organically farmed makes Austria an EU leader in this regard;
  • A rising educational level and an above EU average in lifelong learning;
  • Renewable energy accounts for one third of total energy consumption (as of 2018). The ratio of CO2-emissions by industry and gross value added declined in 2010-2017;
  • Austria ranking among the top countries in digital public services.

However, significant challenges remain and action is needed in several areas, such as

  • women performing considerably more unpaid work than men and a substantial, although narrowing, gender pay gap still persisting;
  • energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions from traffic and land use having risen (2010- 2018).
Focal point
Minister Plenipotentiary, Deputy Head of Department, Development Cooperation of the EU and the UN

Documents & Reports

National Reports

National SD Strategy
Report Topics covered Process
2009 NSDS Profile

National Indicators of SD
Report Topics covered Process
2009 Indicators Profile

Partnerships & Commitments
The below is a listing of all partnership initiatives and voluntary commitments where Austria is listed as a partner in the Partnerships for SDGs online platform.
Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE)

The partnership aims at the establishment of the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) under the umbrella of the CARICOM Energy Policy. The regional centre of excellence will support the Caribbean Island Countries and Territories (CICTs) in the creation of an enabling environment for sustainable energy investments and markets by mitigating existing barriers. The centre will coordinate and implement programs, projects and activities in the areas of capacity and policy development, information and data sharing, as well as investment and business promotion. It will...[more]

Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centers (GN-SEC) - Towards a New Deal for Economies of Scale and Inclusiveness

UNIDO in partnership with sub-regional economic communities (RECs) is establishing the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centers (GN-SEC), an innovative south-south and triangular multi-stakeholder partnership to accelerate the energy and climate transformation. Since 2010, UNIDO assists RECs in the establishment and operation of sub-regional sustainable energy centres. The expanding partnership comprises a sub-network of centers for the African and the Arab region (with the EAC, SADC, ECOWAS, and the Arab League) and a sub-network for Small Island Developing States (with SIDS DOCK...[more]

Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO), Austria, Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM), East African Community (EAC), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Southern African Development Community (SADC), Spain, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (U...[more]
Sustainable Development Goals
Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centers for Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

The Partnership aims at the establishment of a Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centers for SIDS. The initiative follows-up on an official request of the Sustainable Energy Island Initiative (SIDS DOCK) of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) to UNIDO to assist the small islands in the Caribbean, Pacific, Indian Ocean and Africa in the creation of regional sustainable energy centers. The SIDS DOCK request was inspired by UNIDO´s technical work in the context of the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centers. The UNIDO Department of Energy is coordinating the network in...[more]

Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE)

The partnership aims at the establishment of the Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE) under the umbrella of the Framework for Action on Energy Security in the Pacific (FAESP). The regional centre of excellence will support the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) in the mitigation of existing barriers for the creation of sustainable energy markets. It will support the strengthening of local capacities for the development and implementation of sustainable energy systems, policies and standards. It will empower the local private sector and industry to ta...[more]

SIDS DOCK Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs)
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE)

PCREEE aims at improving access to modern, affordable and reliable energy services, energy security and mitigation of negative externalities of the energy system (e.g. local pollution and GHG emissions) by promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency investments, markets and industries in Pacific Island countries. PCREEE coordinates, executes and co-funds programmes, projects and activities in the scope of the following areas:

PCREEE, UNIDO, Austria, Norway
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Poverty-Environment Partnership (PEP)

The Poverty-Environment Partnership (PEP) is an informal network of bilateral and multilateral development agencies, UN organisations and international NGOs. The PEP seeks to integrate poverty reduction, environmental sustainability and climate resilience in global, national and local development agendas. With agreement to the SDGs , the PEP is launching a ‘getting to zero’ call to action—a unifying vision for the SDGs of reaching zero extreme poverty, zero net greenhouse gas emissions, and zero net loss of natural assets. This will be the cornerstone of PEP’s future strategy and comm...[more]

Members of the PEP Reference Group, which oversees PEP planning and activities, are: Asian Development Bank Austrian Development Agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Development Alternatives Durban City Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation Programme (ESPA) Finland Ministry for Foreign Affairs Government of Bhutan International Centre for Climate Chan...[more]
Sustainable Development Goals
6 Jun 2017
21 Jun 2012
13 May 2010
12 May 2008
9 May 2007
22 Apr 2005
29 Apr 2004
3 Sep 2002
United Nations