Green tide rising in Austrian elections

Prospect of Social Democrat-Green coalition points to stronger environmental policies

Austrian environmental policies could become significantly more ambitious if, as is being predicted, elections due on 24 November propel the Green party into government for the first time. The polls are currently forecasting a Social Democrat-Green coalition as the most likely outcome, which would replace the current right-wing government.

Recent Austrian governments - especially the current one formed by the Conservatives and the Freedom Party in 2000 - have been accused of watering down previously trend-setting environmental legislation. Recent data on air and water pollution, organic farming, renewable energy and greenhouse gases emissions, have not painted a positive picture (EED 23/08/01).

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