Austria aims to be carbon neutral by 2040

OeVP leader Sebastian Kurz’s party will have 10 ministers in the new government while the Greens will have 4. (AP pic)

VIENNA: Austria will aim to be carbon neutral by 2040 under plans laid out Thursday by the country’s first coalition uniting conservatives and the Greens.

People’s Party (OeVP) leader Sebastian Kurz said that his party would have 10 ministers in the new government while the Greens would have four to implement the programme aiming to make Austria a “forerunner” in Europe to protect the climate.

The coalition agreement comes three months after snap elections that saw both parties make gains following the collapse of Kurz’s previous coalition with the far-right.

“The distribution of posts corresponds to the priorities of each party,” the 33-year-old said, adding his own party would head the interiors, foreign, defence and finance ministries among others.

The Greens will hold the environment, justice, social affairs and sports and culture portfolios with Greens chief Werner Kogler, 58, nominated as Kurz’s vice-chancellor.

Besides the carbon neutrality goal, the 300-page programme spells out that all electricity should come from renewable resources by 2030 and more will be invested in public transport.

Regarding immigration and security – the OeVP’s campaign platform – the coalition wants to introduce preventive detention and extend a headscarf ban for school girls.

The two parties have also vowed to increase transparency, including guaranteeing freedom of information.