DUBAI - Austria has established a Green Budgeting Alliance that will promote green budgeting to bridge between budget and climate policy, Magnus Brunner, Austrian Finance Minister, who is heading his county’s delegation to COP28, told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

“The method of Green Budgeting is still in its early stage. Therefore, we think that peer-to-peer learning between Parties with the aim of unifying strategies, standardising methods, and magnifying impact is key. It is, therefore, my privilege to announce this alliance,” he said on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai.

Alliance partners

Asked about the members of the Alliance, the minister said he already approached the EU Commission last week and called for a coordinated green budgeting approach for Europe.

“The Austrian Ministry of Finance is already holding talks with the other countries that are members of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action. The first members will be announced in the coming weeks.”

Recognising the challenge presented by the goals of the Paris Agreement, also from a budgetary perspective, Austria sees a clear necessity to expand the discussion on green budgeting, he said while elaborating on the importance of this topic.

“In this regard, we aim to holistically analyse the challenge towards climate neutrality by looking at where we are spending money on climate change-related measures and on their impact. This should help us to identify the most cost-effective decarbonisation pathway,” Brunner explained.

COP28 marks initial success

Brunner congratulated Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and President of COP28, on the organisation and success of the climate conference so far. “Important decisions have already been taken in the first few days, such as on Loss and Damage,” he pointed out.

Austria is a partner to ensure an ambitious outcome of COP28, the Austrian official emphasised.

“Austria and the UAE have been strategic partners for many years. We look forward to further expanding this partnership, especially in the field of renewable energies.”

Climate challenge

The fight against climate change is the greatest challenge of our generation and all policy areas must make a contribution here, Brunner observed.

“At COP28 in Dubai, we discuss how we can efficiently achieve our common goals.”

Talking about his role as Finance Minister in green budgeting, he said, "I must also ensure that public funds are used in such a way that Austria becomes fit for the future in terms of climate and energy policy without overburdening the budget. We are doing this through our green budgeting approach."

Brunner has been serving as Austria's finance minister since December 2021. He was formerly state secretary and member of the Federal Council.