Ljubljana, 22 August – As a society and economy, Slovenia uses as much resources as if it had three Slovenians at its disposal, the national Environment Agency (ARSO) said on Earth Overshoot Day, a date calculated to show when humanity consumes natural resources beyond the Earth’s capacity to regenerate them that year.
While the world arrived at Earth Overshoot Day, previously known as Ecological Debt Day, later than before due to the coronavirus crisis, Slovenia reached it already on 26 April, a day earlier than in 2019.
According to ARSO, Slovenia’s ecological footprint is largely a result of unsustainable energy use, foremost in households (heating) and transport.
To reduce it, the country set down a 20% drop in its ecological footprint by 2030 compared to the reference year 2013 as part of the Slovenian Development Strategy.
In collaboration with ARSO, the Environment Ministry drafted a set of measures to improve energy efficiency, increase the use of renewables and change forest management.
Implementing them would also contribute to adjusting to climate change, as well as improve the quality of air and water.
However, calculations show that more effort will be needed to reach the national ecological footprint goal, ARSO said.
The agency highlighted that the ecological footprint of nine of Slovenia’s twelve statistical regions exceeds the regions’ capacity to renew their resources.
It thus urged sustainable spatial planning, reducing dependency on imports, and sustainable habits, such as sustainable mobility and energy efficiency at regional level.
Of utmost importance are long-term investments in transport and other infrastructure, ARSO stressed.
Globally, 2020 is the first year the world has arrived at Earth Overshoot Day later in the year than usually. Last year it happened on 29 July.