The Slovenia Times

Climate expert: Countries disregarding millions of youngsters


She deems it far from noteworthy, except for the fact that negotiators ignored calls for action by millions of young people and other citizens who demand change.

Not surprised by the outcome of the latest climate summit, she told the STA that climate experts had gotten used to such disappointments by now.

Nevertheless, the Madrid meeting stood out in one way - countries ignoring masses of young people and other citizens demanding change and thus impeding cooperation, a move that disappointed the expert.

Kajfež Bogataj pointed at scientific facts showing that the world is massively lagging behind in the fight against climate change.

"Global greenhouse gas emissions are currently growing by 2% per year. We should not only stop the growth but also cut emissions by 7% in 2021 - a feat no country has pulled off so far."

According to her, this failure means that the world "will not accomplish necessary reduction even with the best of intentions".

Nevertheless, we should not give up on global negotiations, she highlighted, noting that the world is currently internationally organised through UN agencies. "Sadly, there is no other form of cooperation even though this one turns out to be quite ineffective," she added.

There are also untapped opportunities in technological breakthroughs facilitating the green transition, but to meet these goals manufacturing, distribution and trade need to be transformed first.

The EU could play an important role in this transition. The new EU Commission started its term making commitments regarding carbon neutrality and despite certain member states halting the progress, the expert believes that the major EU countries are determined in their efforts.

Europe does not really worry her, but it is vital that it delivers on those promises not only for its own sake but also to serve as an example for others.

The EU developments will have more impact on the global situation than the US presidential election, which will not address environmental issues as much. "A European sustainable development model which would also be economically viable could change things."

Meanwhile, there has been an opinions shift in Slovenia as well, including in parliament and a climate task force set up by President Borut Pahor. "Requests for what Slovenia needs to do for this transition are at least in principle ready - including setting up new organisational forms and legislation on energy efficiency and taxes."

However, the country needs to start implementing these plans as soon as possible, a process which requires strict laws. Without those, there will be no progress, she highlighted.


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