Austrian environmental spending plan attacked

Environment ministry rejects Green party assertion that budget increase is "laughable"

The Austrian Green party today described governmental spending plans for the environment as "laughable" and attacked it for failing to present to parliament a climate strategy launched by the cabinet last month. The attack by environment spokesperson Eva Glawischnig follows condemnation of the climate strategy by environmental groups (ENDS Daily 22 September).

Responding to Ms Glawischnig's attack, the environment ministry robustly defended last week's cabinet approval of the 2001 budget. This had provided for an increase in environment spending from euros 34.5m (AS475m) this year to euros 40m in 2001 and 47m in 2002, it noted. "An increase of 30% within two years is hardly laughable, it continued.

The Green party maintains that it will cost euros 109m to implement the climate protection measures launched in September. It has demanded a special climate budget, claiming that money spent on climate protection is money invested in job creation, in the regional economy, in wealth creation and in support of high technology exports.

Follow Up:
Austrian green party, tel: +43 1 532 1175, and statement; Austrian environment ministry, tel: +43 1 51 52 20, and press release.

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