The Slovenia Times

Aided by pandemic, Slovenia met two of three climate goals in 2020

Economy

Ljubljana - Slovenia met its greenhouse gas emission reduction and energy efficiency targets in 2020 in sectors not covered by the Emissions Trading Scheme, shows the 2022 Climate Mirror report. While stressing the key contribution of measures related to the pandemic, the report notes the country did not meet its renewable energy target.

"Although two of the three binding targets have been met, the longer-term targets are more challenging and implementation will need to be significantly strengthened and upgraded," the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning said as the fifth Climate Mirror report was unveiled on Wednesday.

A collaboration of the Centre for Energy Efficiency at the Jo┼żef Stefan Institute (IJS) and partners in the LIFE Climate Path 2050 project, the report shows that in 2020, Slovenia curbed its greenhouse gas emissions by 9.8% in sectors not covered by the ETS, bringing them 20.7% below the target.

The major drop is mainly due to reduced transport activity as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The pandemic has drastically changed trends, making the pre-2020 findings an important guide for managing emissions in the future. Emissions have decreased by 16.7% compared to 2005," the 2022 report states.

In energy efficiency, primary energy use was 11.1% below target. Primary energy consumption in 2020 was 73.7 terawatt hours (TWh), down for the third year in a row, this time by 5.5%.

The authors also stressed here that what is the biggest reduction in the monitored 2010-2020 period and the lowest value after 2000 is largely the result of pandemic-related measures and is not representative - the amount of electricity produced was actually higher compared to the previous year.

"We should also note that the energy efficiency targets were set at a time when there was not yet a broader political consensus for more decisive action against the global climate crisis. The target for primary energy use is therefore not ambitious enough from today's point of view."

Meanwhile, Slovenia did not meet its binding renewable energy target in 2020, staying 0.9 percentage points bellow the targeted 25% share of renewables in gross final energy consumption. The increase on 2019 was 2.1 percentage points, but again on account of the pandemic.

In order to reach the binding national share of 25% under EU rules, Slovenia bought the missing share (465 GWh) on the European energy market through the statistical transfer mechanism.

"Slovenia must immediately start implementing all the measures adopted to promote the use of renewable energy sources, otherwise ... statistical transfers or purchases abroad will continue to be necessary," the authors of the report pointed out, noting the costs of the latter exceed those of incentives for new renewable energy capacities in Slovenia.

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