VNR: Austria and the 2030 Agenda

Austria’s first Voluntary National Review of the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is an essential document: It shows on the one hand the achievements to date and on the other hand the need for further action to ensure the achievement of the global goals and the Paris Agreement. The review presents strategies, programmes and action plans of the Federal Ministries as well as particularly inspiring initiatives. Special attention is given to the three main topics “Digitalisation”, “Women, youth and ‘leaving no one behind’” as well as “Climate action and adaptation to climate change”.

Despite making considerable progress, achieving all SDGs in Austria remains a challenge. A set of SDG indicators, which is constantly being refined by Statistics Austria, has enabled trend forecasts to be made on the domestic implementation of the SDGs since 2017. The overall picture shows that Austria has made substantial progress towards many of the goals. For instance, there is significantly less poverty in Austria compared to the EU Member State average. With regards to nutrition and food production, Austria has a high percentage of organically farmed land, making it the leader in this area in the EU. The level of education in Austria continues to rise, and Austria is well above the EU average in lifelong learning. Access to safe and affordable drinking water is ensured, as is access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services. Renewable energy already accounts for one third of the total energy consumption (as of 2018). Austria’s GDP growth is consistently in the European midfield. The ratio of CO2 emissions by industry and gross value added declined from 2010 to 2017. As regards digitalisation, Austria ranks among the top countries in digital public services according to the eGovernment Benchmark report published by the European Commission (EC), scoring highly in availability and user-centricity. When it comes to key technologies, Austria is a frontrunner in electronic identification (eID), electronic document transfer (eDocuments) and the use of registers.

The trend analysis does however also show a concrete need for action in some areas. For instance, the analysis shows that women still perform more unpaid work than men and that the gender pay gap continues to be above the EU average, although there are positive trends to be observed. Energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from traffic rose from 2010 to 2018, posing concrete challenges to the achievement of the climate goals. Land use for building and traffic areas as well as recreational spaces increased over the same period. Raw material consumption per capita is above the EU average. There is also room for improvement with regard to the amount of official
development assistance.

Source: Government of Austria