Key areas of research

  • Climate change
  • Energy
  • Sustainable Development

Current research projects (selected)


A Survey oA Survey of Abatement and Firm Behaviour  in the EU ETS

funded by the OeNB’s Anniversary Fund


The project SAFE aims at contributing to the research on the functioning and effectiveness of emissions trading schemes. We focus on two research questions: (1) Has the EU ETS despite a considerable surplus of allowances and low prices spurred abatement activities of the covered firms and have firms perceived a change in the incentives provided by the scheme over time? (2) How did firms engage in allowance trading and has their trading behaviour changed since the start of the EU ETS? SAFE will deliver information on abatement activities and trading by Austrian participants in the EU ETS, differentiated by sectors, installation and firm sizes. In addition, we will focus on the timing of activities, to assess potential differences between the three trading phases. Especially the comparison between Phase 2 and Phase 3 will be of interest as a significant change in the allocation mechanism occurred (EU-wide cap, increased share of auctioning).



Completed research projects (selected)


Carbon Taxes in Austria: Implementation Issues and Impacts

funded by the Austrian Klima- und Energiefonds


This project focuses on carbon taxes as a policy instrument for achieving emission reductions particularly in non-EU ETS sectors. We perform a systematic review of carbon taxes in EU Member States in quantitative terms and a qualitative assessment of the implementation processes, barriers, related legal and political science aspects. A model-based analysis of the effects of introducing carbon taxes in Austria will be performed and policy recommendations are developed for Austria and the EU.



The Status of Climate Policy Integration and Coherence ? Progress in the EU and in Austria


Climate change represents the greatest environmental problem our societies face. In order to tackle climate change it has to be recognised that climate policy is a cross-cutting issue and needs to be firmly integrated in other policy areas that frame economic activity and societal development. Experience shows that there is a gap between general climate policy commitment and climate policy integration (CPI). The proposed project focuses on policy integration of climate change mitigation aspects on EU level and in Austria: We develop criteria for the evaluation of CPI based on an extensive literature survey. On EU level strategic and energy policy documents are analysed. For Austria we structure our analysis according to the ministries with climate related competencies and focus on Styria as a case study for regional CPI. Policy recommendations are developed focussing on the reduction of structural, political and procedural barriers and potentials for improving CPI.



Climate and Energy Policy Indicators in the Context of SDGs

funded by the Austrian Klima- und Energiefonds

ClEP aims at contributing to improved measurement approaches in the context of the national requirements resulting from the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN SDGs. The project focuses on developing a coherent set of energy and climate policy indicators that covers the whole energy chain from energy services to energy supply as well as the three dimensions of sustainable development and thus addresses issues relevant for both, the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN SDGs, especially for the goals "Affordable and Clean Energy" and "Climate Action".
ClEP integrates the energy service based research perspective and measurement approaches for sustainable energy development aiming at developing consistent energy service based indicators and applying them for Austria and selected EU Member States.




Indicators for energy policy: Residential buildings and electricity and heat supply


Climate change is a global key challenge. In order to reach the long-run emission reduction targets a fundamental transformation of our societies is inevitable. Such a transition also requires adequate measurement systems. Sets of indicators are considered an appropriate tool to account for the complexity of an extended perspective of welfare and development, i.e. for the interaction between economy, society and ecosystems. We develop a set of indicators for sustainable energy development for Austria, extending the approach of IEA/IAEA (2001) in two respects: 1. We emphasise the role of energy services instead of energy flows for welfare and development focusing on residential buildings, a major area of final energy consumption, complemented with indicators for energy supply. 2. We develop service-based composite indices for energy sustainability. The indicators will serve policy makers in the design and monitoring of climate and energy policy and in the communication to the public.



Cost of Inaction: Assessing Costs of Climate Change for Austria

funded by the Austrian Klima- und Energiefonds


Climate change impact analysis is available in Austria for different thematic areas at very different levels of maturity. The core objective of COIN is to assess costs of climate change for public and private budgets in Austria (i.e. damage costs with presently agreed mitigation but without adaptation measures), and scope the information where full assessment is not yet possible. Therefore a consistent framework will be developed and applied across the various thematic areas. Due to a lack of maturity in some areas and given time and budget restrictions application will partly encounter limitations. All fields of activity/sectors of the Austrian national adaptation strategy are explored by recognised experts. Climate scenarios will be interpreted according to each sector?s special needs for certain climate parameters and indices. Instead of delivering a grand total cost sum for all sectors with a top‐down assessment from some average climate triggers, this project applies a broad bottom‐up approach acknowledging sector specific risks and trends. Cross‐sectoral plausibility checks will allow a realistic total range of costs of climate change without adaptation for Austria.



Paradigm Shifts Modelling and Innovative Approaches


PASHMINA aims at improving the assessment of global changes in a long term time perspective (2030-2050). A first set of tools - new generations of models and indicators - with enhanced capabilities is developed to analyse interactions between the economy and the environment as well as paradigm shifts in the energy-transport-environment nexus and land-use and territorial functions.



Coping with Complexity in the Evolving International Climate Policy Institutional Architecture

funded by the Austrian Klima- und Energiefonds


The overall objective of the project is the analysis of the implementation and effects of a complex climate policy framework. This comprises the analysis of the performance of the EU Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS); the development of effort sharing indicators based on an integrated structural model; the exploration of the sectoral and trade dimensions of diverse climate policy agreements for energy-intensive sectors; the evaluation of the regional dimensions of climate change agreements in a new climate change regime; the analysis of potential interactions of various policy instruments (e.g. climate policy and renewable energy regulation); and the analysis of the linking of carbon markets and sectoral commitments



The Challenge of the European carbon market ? emission trading, carbon leakage and instruments to stabilize the CO2 price

funded by the Austrian Klima- und Energiefonds


In the ETCLIP project the performance, the future design of the EU Emission Trading Scheme and the resulting effects will be assessed. This includes an analysis of the first two trading periods as well as the aspects of carbon leakage and institutional approaches for a liquidity control in the CO2 market.