The Slovenia Times

Experts, politicians disagree on climate situation


Ecologist Dušan Plut said the civilisation was at a turning point, which demanded big changes, including a "change of our ethical compass".

Climatologist Lučka Kajfež Bogataj echoed this, saying climate change should be treated as a national security threat. "Our food safety is in jeopardy, Slovenian forests are in jeopardy, water, which is our pride and strategic asset, will be affected," she warned.

Heat waves are killing the elderly, international investment flows are changing, climate refugees are coming, she said.

Gaja Brecelj of the NGO Umanotera said that amid this big climate crisis striving for zero net emissions by the middle of this century would be a compromise.

Studies show that in line with the principle of fair burden sharing, developed countries would have to reach this goal by 2040.

Brecelj thinks the next decade will be crucial. "We should reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 60% by 2030," she said.

Andreja Urbančič of the Jožef Stefan Institute said Slovenia was in a very good position to set ambitious goals, noting that the public was also very aware of the situation.

She called for more investment into innovative solutions for the distribution of electricity, public transport and the transition to circular economy. She thinks the economy too should get involved in climate efforts.

Mojca Dolinar of the Environment Agency noted that in the future as many as 90 days per year could be as hot as today.

She said the only sector that is aware of the dangers of climate change was agriculture, which was most affected.

Environment Minister Simon Zajc said "we must set our feelings aside and look at our options in a realistic way".

Describing the situation in the EU, he said that there was no opposition at the EU level to setting the goal of zero net emissions by 2050 but only concerns what this would entail.

Similarly, Infrastructure Ministry State Secretary Bojan Kumer stressed the importance of the path rather than the goal.

"We must bear in mind Slovenia's specifics," he said, noting that Slovenia was currently working hard to achieve the goal of having 25% of renewable energy sources by 2020.

Parties too have very different views on climate change, with Matej Tonin of the opposition New Slovenia (NSi), Jernej Pikalo of the coalition Social Democrats (SD) and Luka Mesec of the opposition Left calling for decisive action.

Jerca Korče of the ruling Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) was critical of strategies and plans drafted because of pressure from abroad, saying that there was no genuine desire for environmentally friendly development.

Gregor Perič of the coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC) said decisions would have to be made which not everyone would like. Maša Kociper of the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) said that "every step in the right direction counts".

In contrast, Zmago Jelinčič of the opposition National Party (SNS) and Branko Grims of the Democrats (SDS) downplayed the importance of climate change, saying ecology was foremost about money.

Pahor does not think the different views on the situation are a problem. "We need to create space where we can hear each other, argue and look for solutions," he said.


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