OECD Praises Slovenia's Environmental Performance, Issues Remain
OECD singled out in its report transport and waste as the two most concerning areas, where Slovenia will have to make a lot of effort to improve the situation.
In general, the report notes that many of major challenges "stem from Slovenia's highly decentralised governance system combined with limited controls on local development".
This has fostered a relatively high use of road vehicles and helped to lock the transport system "into a highly carbon-intensive pattern that will take many years to change", according to the report.
"These are difficult issues for any country, but we think a more coherent approach to dealing with climate change and transport emissions is needed," Director of Environmental Directorate at OECD Simon Upton noted at the presentation in Ljubljana on Wednesday.
He noted that Slovenia had significantly decreased air pollution over the past decade, but daily levels of hard particles and ozone exceeded border values too often. Slovenia's urban areas have one of the highest concentrations of hard particles in the EU.
Agriculture and Environment Minister Franc Bogovič, who said that this report would serve as a valuable guideline for the government's work, meanwhile noted that his ministry had established three expert groups to deal with three major pollution hotspots - Maribor, Ljubljana and the Zasavje region.
He moreover stressed that the Environment Ministry set management of waste, water, PM-10 hard particles, as well as sustainable management of protected areas, environmentally acceptable agricultural policies and green tax policies as priorities for this term.
Upton moreover said that issues related to greenhouse gases emissions had not been tackled uniformly in Slovenia. While the industry lowered its emissions, it had not done enough to positively affect the traffic emissions.
OECD applauds in its first report of Slovenia's environmental performance since the country's joining in 2010 the establishment of the Government Climate Change Office as well as the introduction of compensation for changing the land use categories for agricultural plots.
"It is becoming clear that access to natural resources and lower impact on the environment is key for development. New development strategies will have to include green growth and clear environmental goals," stressed State Secretary at the Economic Development Ministry Uroš Rožič.