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Conference “Climate protection in concrete terms: How the energy and mobility transition can succeed”

Fueled by the climate crisis and against the backdrop of the war of aggression against Ukraine, the conference “Climate protection in concrete terms: How the energy and mobility transition can succeed” took place at the Johannes Kepler University Linz on April 21st, 2022. Around 120 participants from politics as well as experts from (legal) science, research and practice were present. The event was organized by the Institute of Environmental Law in cooperation with the departments of technology law of the Institute of Administrative Law and Administrative Sciences (JKU), the LIT Future Energy Lab (JKU) and the Energy Institute (JKU).

Energy transition – and how?

Among others, Wilhelm Bergthaler, Emil Nigmatullin and Johannes Hartlieb, discussed this central question with current findings in and around the topic of renewable energies. The lectures focused on the enormous importance of the expansion of secondary energy sources (solar, biomass, wind and hydropower) and of the energy supply system in order to achieve the climate targets set by the EU and its member states – keyword: EU Green Deal. At the same time, the speakers also drew attention to the constitutional and administrative procedural obstacles associated with the rapid expansion of renewable energy carriers. The division of competencies between the federal and state governments, lengthy procedures in the nature protection and environmental impact assessment as well as appeal procedures and the fundamental right to property stand in the way of the path to climate neutrality.

Discussion potential

The participants in the panel discussion put forward numerous proposals and initiatives to overcome the hurdles associated with the energy transition. On the one hand, there was a collective desire for an (at least partial) transfer of responsibility for environmental protection matters to the federal government, which would allow the cross-state expansion of secondary energy sources to be promoted in a timesaving and resource-saving manner.  On the other hand, the calls for privileges for renewable energy projects in administrative procedures became louder – be it through shorter deadlines or through the exclusion of the suspensive effect in case of an obvious overriding public climate protection interest.

Mobility transition – And how do we continue?

The lectures in the second block showed that, in addition to an energy transition, a paradigm shift in the mobility sector is also essential on the way to climate neutrality. A transport system that is as efficient as possible is the ultimate goal. In any case, this requires congruence of the objectives of all transport carriers (rail, car, ship) in order to give the mobility transition a decisive boost.

Alternative fuels will play an even more important role in the fight against climate change in the future. Both e-fuels – fuels produced using electricity, water and carbon from the air – and hydrogen are considered climate-neutral due to their production and exhaust emissions.

One thing is certain: multimodal transport systems and alternative fuels will determine our future. Further information can be found in the press release.

Photos: © Cityfoto / Roland Pelzl; © Michael Herb; © Anja Hartl


20. May 2022

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