In Carinthia, Salzburg and Tyrol, VERBUND and the Upper Tauern National Park are direct neighbours. Near the National Park, VERBUND generates clean electricity in its hydropower plants. In the VERBUND Climate School with the Upper Tauern National Park, school pupils should get to know what each of us can do in everyday life to support climate protection, and what wide-ranging effects that can have on our environment.
The Climate School is planned as a mobile school. For the time being, its offerings are conceived for the schools in the National Park communities. Later, the schools in the three National Park provinces of Carinthia, Salzburg and Tyrol should be involved as well. The teachers are specially trained National Park rangers who can give school pupils in their fourth to tenth year of school a better understanding of the connections between the climate, energy, and climate protection. The lessons should have the character of project weeks. With a variety of methods and an interdisciplinary approach, the aspiring climate protectors should be able to see, hear, smell and touch the topics.
Project partners – Association of Friends of the Upper Tauern National Park
Since 1993 the Association of Friends of the Upper Tauern National Park has been supporting projects in the areas of ecology, conservation and science/research. Prominent companies such as Swarovski, Ja!Natürlich, Stiegl and VERBUND, as well as private persons, promote the concept of the Upper Tauern National Park. The goal of the innovative education programme is to give tomorrow's decision-makers an understanding of climate factors and interrelationships so that they can intentionally contribute to climate protection. The project partnership with VERBUND is a further step in this direction.
Electricity from Hydropower – Contribution to Climate Protection
With the Climate School, two climate protectors – the National Park and VERBUND – have joined forces to get young people interested in the topics of climate and climate protection. VERBUND makes an important contribution to climate protection with its electricity, 90 % of which is generated by hydropower, and with efficient power grids. Within the EU, VERBUND is by far the electricity producer with the highest proportion of electricity from renewable energy sources; and regarding the specific CO2 emissions, VERBUND belongs to the European frontrunners.
Upper Tauern National Park – active for climate protection and climate research
As central Europe's largest National Park (more than 1,800 km²) and the oldest National Park in Austria, the Upper Tauern National Park has been active in climate protection since its founding in 1981. Glacial experts have been using the area for their research for decades. Over the past several years, the biodiversity within the National Park has been recorded and preserved for future generations by means of a biodiversity archive.
Changes – the disappearance of species or the immigration of new species due to climate change - can thus be optimally documented. Reintroduction projects with vanished or severely endangered species (e.g. bearded vultures, a local indigenous trout species, etc.) as well as creating awareness among youth are likewise priorities of the National Park. With its wealth of experience in the areas of natural resources management, science and education, the Upper Tauern National Park offers ideal conditions for starting the Climate School, which should be successful beyond the borders of the National Park as well.