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APCC Special Report: Challenges and opportunities in reaching the Paris Agreement “Structural conditions for climate friendly living”

Project Leader
Görg Christoph, BOKU Project Leader
Austrian Climate Research Programme (ACRP)
Type of Research
Basic Research
Project partners
Technical University Graz, Graz, Austria.
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, Austria.
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
Smetschka Barbara, Sub Projectleader
Muhar Andreas, Project Staff
Gugerell Katharina, Project Staff
Penker Marianne, Project Staff
Haas Willi, Project Staff
Wiedenhofer Dominik, Project Staff
Pichler Melanie, Project Staff
Plank Christina, Project Staff
Dorninger Christian, Project Staff
BOKU Research Units
Institute for Landscape Development, Recreation and Conservation Planning
Institute for Sustainable Economic Development
Institute of Landscape Planning
Institute of Social Ecology (SEC)
Funded by
Klima- und Energiefonds, Leopold-Ungar-Platz 2 / Stiege 1 / 4.OG / Top 142, 1190 Wien, Austria
For an encompassing deep decarbonisation of the Austrian society, changes in production and living are required which entail changes in mobility, nutrition, housing and leisure activities, as much as in technology, labour and production methods (e.g. digitalisation). Thus, achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement requires a wide-ranging societal transformation, which without doubt represents an enormous challenge for any society (Brand 2016; Görg et al. 2017; Schleicher and Steininger 2017, 2018; Meyer and Steininger, 2017; Steininger et al., 2018; Pichler and Steininger, 2019). It requires the involvement of actors at all levels, from national governments, federal states and municipalities to the private sectors, civil society organisations, organised interests and other groups. Moreover, it must address living circumstances of all to provide structural conditions that allow for accommodating changed consumer attitudes, practices, desires, wants and needs to stimulate new values or mental maps for climate friendly behaviour in nearly all dimensions of the daily life. Moreover, the need for adaptation to an already observed changing climate may trigger additional social changes; such adaptation needs can be used for a comprehensive transformation towards climate friendly living if addressed in an appropriate way.

This special report aims to condense the available literature in order to identify potentials, options, tendencies and limits for achieving structural conditions that facilitate, normalize, and sustain climate friendly living in different contexts within Austria. It provides a stocktaking of the scientific discussion on societal transformations in this area, deals with the range of transformation options across five major fields of action and identifies cross-cutting issues like governance, innovation or finance. By including legal and financial perspectives, it acknowledges the highly contextual nature of societal change and takes into account the multi-layered legal and economic system’s “inherited regulatory landscapes” (Brenner and Theodore 2002:351) that reflect and impact on structural conditions of climate-friendly living. A synthesis of scientific evidence on both, the analysis of the fields of actions and the cross-cutting issues will be provided.
Climate change; Environmental research; Sustainable economics; Environmental sociology; Environmental policy;

Gaube, V; Smetschka, B (2021): Zeitnutzung in der Langzeit Ökosystem Forschung – wie kann die Brücke gelingen?.

Zeit und Nachhaltigkeit, 07.20.2021 - 08.10.2021, Berlin, Germany

Smetschka, B; Wiedenhofer, D; Gaube, V (2021): Zeit zwischen Klimakrise, Alltagsstress und Lebensqualität.

Zeit und Nachhaltigkeit, OKT 7-8, 2021, Berlin, Germany

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