The Slovenia Times

Slovenia happy with historic climate deal, NGO more reserved


Following years of failed efforts to strike an ambitious and legally binding deal, envoys from 195 nations adopted a historic globally binding accord to stop global warming after two-weeks of marathon talks on Saturday evening.

Besides committing the planet to limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-Industrial Revolution temperatures, the accord also sets a new goal of net zero emissions by the second half of this century. It provides for financial support for developing countries in dealing with climate change.

Its adoption has been hailed worldwide by political leaders as well as NGOs as a potential new turning point due to a shift away from fossil fuels.

Slovenia's chief negotiator Zoran Kus said the deal set out an extremely ambitious plan that would require a lot of action from every party to it and from all globally.

Labelling the deal ambitious, universal and fair, Kus told the STA on Saturday evening he hoped it would be ratified by all the countries taking part in the conference.

This also because it strikes a good balance between adapting to and alleviating climate change, at the same time containing mechanisms securing transparency.

It contains all elements of sustainable development and confirms many basic constitutionally-guaranteed and human principles and human rights, he added.

Kus is convinced that the accord will enable Slovenia to start thinking about green, sustainable investments in a different manner.

"Companies must wake up. Municipalities, regions will have an opportunity for a different approach. The deal will provide possibilities for new green jobs."

He believes the deal gives the possibility for thousands of good ideas. "If we manage to follow it through, we'll achieve what we wanted and secure our children and grandchildren a planet they deserve."

Kus also said that the EU as a whole and its members were leaving Paris "extremely happy". "We've achieved more than the goals we set before coming to Paris."

He also believes that the EU was a fair negotiator. Its ambitious programmes and stances have encouraged many others to show more ambition as well.

Kus's view was largely upheld by the Ministry for the Environment and Spatial Planing, which said that for Slovenia, the deal meant "an encouragement to launch investments and make decisions on contemporary foundations".

PM Miro Cerar said Slovenia was among the countries which advocated as great a degree of environmental sustainability as possible.

Cerar, who spoke to the press after Sunday's coalition summit in Ljubljana, stressed that throughout the entire negotiating process, Slovenia had pushed for an ambitious deal which would be legally binding for all.

Environmentalists were however more reserved.

While admitting the deal was historic in that it signals a shift away from fossil fuels, Greenpeace Slovenia said it lacked ambition, as the majority of work still lied ahead.

Nina Štros of the NGO said the deal must be a clear signal to Slovenian decision-makers that climate change measures were not "an unnecessary expense".

She also stressed that Slovenia's energy concept, a document in the making, should make a transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050 its goal.

"This scenario does not involve burning coal at the TEŠ power station, fracking in Petišovci nor false solutions - such as a second nuclear reactor in Krško - which are strongly promoted by the Slovenian nuclear lobby," she wrote.


More from Nekategorizirano