Renewed attempt in parliament to declare climate emergency

Drought Landscape Nature Sunset Climate Change

Ljubljana – The four centre-left opposition parties have filed a motion to declare an environmental and climate emergency after a similar attempt made in February failed to make it past the committee stage.

“We believe there has been realisation in Slovenia as well that the environmental and climate emergency is the biggest threat to humanity’s existence,” said Dejan Židan, an MP for the Social Democrats (SD).

They propose Slovenia commit to doing all in its power to prevent global warming exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius, cut greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990, and become carbon neutral by 2050.

They propose declaring an emergency due to climate warming, the impact of climate change on the environment, the state of biodiversity, a depletion of natural resources, deterioration in living conditions and the Earth’s reduced regeneration capacity.

The resolution they propose also declares Slovenia’s pledge to combat against energy poverty, and seeks for action in response to the environmental and climate emergency to be socially fair with a fair distribution of burdens.

“Passing the resolution at the National Assembly is a declarative act, however it sets out that all operational measures taken by the government or local communities need to follow the guidelines within,” said Židan.

“If we were late in dealing with the epidemic, we cannot afford being late in taking on the climate emergency,” said Edvard Paulič from the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ).

Nataša Sukič, an MP for the Left, argued the step should have been taken long ago, repeating warnings by scientists of a potential climate breakdown in 2030.

Židan quoted UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in calling on global leaders to declare climate emergencies in their countries. So far 33 countries with a population of over 800 million have done that, he said.

A similar proposal was filed by MPs of the SD, LMŠ, the Left and the heads of the deputy factions of the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) and Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS) in February, but it was voted down on the committee.

DeSUS, which is now part of the ruling centre-right coalition, has not joined the bid this time around.

Environment Minister Andrej Vizjak has recently announced that a long-term climate strategy by 2050 is to be debated by the government in first few months of next year so it could be passed in parliament by summer.