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EconClim Field of Research

The EconClim Research Group investigates the socio-economic aspects of climate and environmental change, especially on how individuals and society contribute to global climate and environmental change and how they are affected by this change. The research focuses on the options individuals and society have to adapt to as well as to mitigate climate and environmental change. The geographical focus of analysis is on the Austrian and sub-national scale, taking account of the European and the global level.

Four research themes are addressed:

  • RTEC#1: Low carbon strategies for Austria

    1. Identification of key elements for the transformation to a low carbon economy and society, based on the concept of energy services, in terms of core technologies and behavioral changes.
    2. Economic evaluation of low-carbon transition processes.
    3. (Macro-)economic assessment of uncertainties and risks, as well as opportunities and chances connected to low-carbon transitions.

  • RTEC#2: Climate policies and international trade

    1. Analysis of strategies and policies to support low-carbon technologies such that both energy- and non-energy-related GHG emissions are reduced in a global context.
    2. Effectiveness of climate policies in a trade-connected world economy, focusing in particular on the implementation of the Paris Agreement including aspects of climate justice and financing
    3. Socio-economic analysis of energy-related policy

  • RTEC#3: Adaptation strategy assessment

    1. Macroeconomic consequences of sector-specific impacts and adaptation, with a special focus on public decision makers and on costing of the Austrian National Adaptation Strategy.
    2. Effects of weather and climate risks on public budgets and assessment of different instruments to ameliorate these effects.
    3. Comparison of Austria’s domestic impacts of climate change to international spillovers from climate change impacts arising in other world regions.

  • RTEC#4: Local climate risks and resilience

    1. Evaluation of the autonomous adaptation options by private actors relative to the responsibilities they attribute to other actors
    2. Strategies to build up resilience by public and private actors, avoid maladaptation, and negotiate acceptable levels of residual risk within existing governance structures and expected socio-economic changes.
    3. Instruments for aligning individual and collective decisions in terms of shared responsibilities and costs, building upon the economic theory of fat tail events and with focus on good governance.


The group collaborates with ReLoClim on climate change impact and adaptation assessment in RTEC#3 and RTEC#4. These two themes are also integrated in Wegener Center’s Joint Research Focus on “Hydrological Extremes in a Changing Climate”. Within RTEC#1 there is a link to ArsCliSys in physical basics for renewable energy supply, as well as to the Institute of System Analysis, Innovation and Sustainability Research and the Institute of Geography and Spatial Research. In RTEC#2 the group collaborates with the Department of Economics and the Institute of Philosophy.

Research Group Leaders

Univ. -Prof. Dr.

Karl W. Steininger

Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 8441, 3451
Fax:+43 (0)316 380 - 9830

Assoz. Prof. Dr.

Birgit Bednar-Friedl

Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 7107

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