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Climate Change

Slovenia contributes to combating climate change at both national and international levels

Climate has its natural variability over time, but the mankind – through the emissions of greenhouse gases – has caused an unprecedented increase in global mean temperature in recent decades. Climate change is now one of the biggest threats to humanity. It is no longer avoidable, so we should respond to it appropriately and in a timely manner.

 

Slovenia contributes to combating climate change at both national and international levels. In 2009 the Government established Government Office of Climate Change of the Republic of Slovenia. The new central body of state administration coordinated the policies and measures of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia related to climate change. On 9 March 2012 the compence of the Office were transfered to the Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment.

 

The work of the Government Office of Climate Change was based on the climate science showing that global mean temperature was rising, entailing many adverse impacts. It results in change of weather patterns with more severe droughts and more intense precipitation, changes in water regime, sea level rise, shifting of vegetation zones and plant communities, increased possibility of heat waves and other adverse consequences. These changes are already underway, although relatively slow and muffled in stochastic patterns of natural processes. It is possible to adapt to them at relatively low costs provided that they are taken into consideration in long-term plans and investments; they can, however, bring about high costs and damages if we don’t address them adequately. The EU is promoting ambitious near-, mid- and long-term greenhouse gas emission reduction goals so that the rise of the global mean temperature would be stabilised below 2°C relative to preindustrial levels (which would still mean 3-4 degrees increase in Southern Europe, including Slovenia).

 

The Kyoto target of Slovenia is a reduction of annual greenhouse gas emissions in the period 2008 – 2012 on the average by 8 % compared to the base year 1986. For the future, Slovenia works as a member of the EU towards an ambitious, legally binding and fair agreement to be reached at a global level within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. In this sense Slovenia associated itself with the Copenhagen Accord after the Copenhagen conference in 2009, and in 2010 joined the REDD+ Partnership (REDD+: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation + Preservation, sustainable forest management and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries).

 


Activities of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia in the field of climate change

To meet the commitment of an 8 percent reduction in GHG emissions under the Kyoto Protocol,  the Government of the Republic of Slovenia adopted the Operational Programme for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2012 (OP GHG) in December 2006. In July 2009, on the basis of the evaluation of the implementation of the Programme, the Government adopted a revised Operational Programme (OP GHG-1), defining the measures required to meet the obligations assumed by ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. It is likely that Slovenia will fulfill part of its Kyoto obligations though the use of flexible mechanisms. The implementation of the measures defined in the OP GHG is monitored on an annual basis.

 

In order to provide leadership and good example of the state administration, the Office has launched a programme called “Environmentally Efficient State Administration” with the approval of the Recommendations for an Environmentally Efficient State Administration by the cabinet of ministers in mid 2010. Environmental measures have already been introduced in office operations of some governmental bodies, which, after a short period of review, have produced positive results. These bodies are already recording reductions in electricity consumption, consumption of paper and cartridges, and other office supplies. In addition to reduced pollution, funds were saved. The Government wishes to extend these environmentally friendly office operations to the entire state administration, primarily on voluntary basis.

 


Long-term goals: Sustainable Development and Low-Carbon Society

In 2010, the Government Office of Climate Change drafted the Climate Change Act and prepared the long-term low-carbon strategy of Slovenia to determine the national policy of climate change mitigation and adaptation till 2050. 

 

The adoption of the act and the strategy is still in progress.

 

The proposed new act mainly targets the non-ETS sectors through the system of planning, including the long-term climate strategy adopted by the National Assembly, and medium-term (most probably linked to internationally defined commitment periods) operational programmes for climate change mitigation and adaptation. 

 

The draft act includes proposals on:

  • regulating carbon footprint of activities (voluntary), products and plans and programmes,
  • taking into account the external costs of GHG emissions,
    carbon budgets for the non-ETS sectors (set in the operational programmes),
  • funding of climate related measures in developing countries,
  • and monitoring of progress.

Slovenia Reduces CO2: Panel Climate Discussions

Since 2010, a project entitled "Slovenia Reduces CO2: Panel Climate Discussions " has been in progress within the framework of a partnership between the European Commission and the Government of the Republic of Slovenia for the purpose of the communication of European issues.  Within the scope of the project, numerous panel discussions on the challenges presented by long-term climate change have been taking place in Slovenia. It is possible to join the discussion at:  www.slovenija-co2.si  and to follow live broadcast of the discussions.