Title: On track towards carbon-neutrality? A case study of the climate strategies of major Austrian companies
Language: English
Authors: Schmid, Julian Egon 
Qualification level: Diploma
Advisor: Stepan, Adolf 
Issue Date: 2020
Number of Pages: 123
Qualification level: Diploma
Global warming is one of the largest threats our generation, our children and future generations (will have to) face. After wasted decades of taking all too small steps to tackle the problem, policy makers have set increasingly ambitious climate targets inrecent years, culminating in the Paris Agreement’s target to hold global temperature rise below +1,5°C or well below +2°C target, the European Green Deal’s plan to makethe EU carbon-neutral by 2050 and Austria’s even more ambitious declaration to become climate-neutral by 2040. Since, European and Austrian policies to achieve these ambitious goals will include all sectors, companies will undoubtably be key-actorsin the transition towards a near-zero emission economy. In concrete terms: All companies will need to decarbonise their entire activities within the fore seeable future.In this master’s thesis, twelve qualitative case studies of Austrian-based companieswere conducted to examine, whether their strategies are fit to achieve this goal. In order to assess the twelve companies’ climate strategies, specific analysis criteria are developed before hand. The selected companies, represent Austria’s most emission relevant sectors: energy, heavy industry, transportation, retail, construction, agricultureand forestry. Together, the twelve companies are currently responsible for -conservatively calculated - more than twice the annual territorial CO2 emissions of Austria and they employed more than 414.000 people in 2019. The results of the case studies indicate that all selected companies have certain climate strategies in place,which, however, vary massively in terms of comprehensiveness and ambition. By applying the analysis criteria, it turns out that none of the major Austrian companies covered by the case studies is completely on track to achieve carbon-neutrality by2050 or even 2040 yet. Nevertheless, four companies’ climate strategies are not veryfar from being on track to achieve this goal. Three companies have formulatedrelatively ambitious climate strategies - but, all in all, they are lagging behind considerably. Two companies are not on track, but are planning to issue strategies towards carbon-neutrality soon. Three companies do not have any substantial climatestrategy in place and are apparently not considering to change this. The master’sthesis ends with recommendations for research, policy and business to accelerate the transition towards a zero-carbon economy.
Keywords: Climate Strategy; Carbon Neutrality
URI: https://doi.org/10.34726/hss.2020.83012
DOI: 10.34726/hss.2020.83012
Library ID: AC15755268
Organisation: E017 - Continuing Education Center 
Publication Type: Thesis
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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