Slovenia                                                        By Barbara Kvac (Focus, Slovenia)


Basic information





Mt CO2



Mt CO2



2007 %



year  %

Kyoto target



















No target




GDP Growth



GDP Growth



GDP Growth (est.) %

Gross Inland Energy Consumption Change

Feb.2009/ Feb.2008     %








Source: EEA Report No. 5/2007






Public attitude towards Climate Change


Slovenia did not undertake any national surveys on public attitudes towards climate change. Nevertheless, the Eurobarometer's special climate-change survey, published in September 2008 (Europeans' attitudes towards climate change), clearly shows that a vast majority (80%) of the population is very concerned about climate change; 89% of Slovenians believe that climate change is a very serious problem. According to the survey most people also think that they are well informed about consequences, causes and ways in which to fight climate change. Most respondents also stated that they have already undertaken actions aimed at helping to fight climate change (79%) and 67% disagreed with the statement that there is nothing we can do against climate change. The survey also displayed the dissatisfaction of citizens with actions taken by different actors, including the national government, European Union and citizens themselves.


It is difficult to assess to what degree the public is informed about the Kyoto Protocol and about the responsibilities that it places on Slovenia, although the experience from interacting with public at different events/actions indicates that at least some citizens are aware of it and at the same time concerned about the USA turning its back on the Kyoto Protocol. This, however, does not seem to be a reason for citizens to believe that the situation is so critical that it can not be solved anymore.


NGOs activities


Only a few NGOs in Slovenia work on climate change.  There are currently three visible organisations in this field and only two of them work on policy issues. Although NGOs have had better access to policymakers in recent years, they are still not considered to be partners in climate debates. NGOs do have formal opportunities to express their views and positions, and there is hardly any record of their concerns’ being reflected in policies and measures.


IPCC 4AR is being widely used by NGOs as a source of information and as a reference in policy activities as well as in educational and awareness-raising actions. Slovenian NGOs believe that te most important and cost-effective measures for reducing GHGs in Slovenia are improvements in energy efficiency, and that the uptake of renewable energies and improvements in the transport sector are the next most important steps.


Media coverage of CC


Media picks up climate issues very sporadically, in most cases in connection with either extreme weather events or important policy developments. It must be noted, though, that recently this occurs much more often than, for example, 5 years ago. Some media interest in climate issues was generated during the Slovenian EU Presidency, when climate was one of the priorities of the Presidency. Most interest shown by media goes to issues related to European climate policy processes, especially if there are likely consequences for industry (e.g. EU ETS) or consumer prices. Much less attention is paid to international climate negotiations.


There is a discrepancy in the media about the attention given to the mitigation side of the climate problem and the adaptation to climate change. Adaptation is much less discussed, almost entirely linked to changing weather patterns and the need for adaptation in agriculture (e.g. changing crop seasons, resilience of certain types of crops, hail protection, etc.) and drinking-water availability.


A lot of information about climate change is available to the public, but the information is very dispersed. Various web pages contain information on causes and effects of climate change, policies, ways to take action, etc. It would be difficult to single out a specific source of information on climate change in the country, but information can be found on the web page of the Ministry of Environment as well as on web pages of NGOs active in the field and those of other actors dealing with the issue.


Policies and Measures


Post-2012 public debate

      No public discussion on post-2012 targets or on any other post-2012 issue has been started in Slovenia. This is likely to change with the change of the government (expected to be formed in November 2008) and in the run up to Copenhagen COP in 2009.


      So far the decisions of the government in relation to post-2012 were taken without public involvement and limited to the EU climate and energy package discussions. For the purpose of effective negotiations on the package, a special intra-governmental working group was established, including representatives from environmental, transport, economy ministries and from the governmental office for growth as well as from the Institute for macroeconomic analysis and development. At this point Slovenia does not have any comprehensive studies on potentials for GHG reductions up to 2020 and beyond.



      According to the European Commission’s proposal for effort-sharing, Slovenia would be allowed to increase its non-ETS emissions by 2020 by 4%. This proposal was accepted by the government, with slight concerns about possible difficulties to achieve it, since most of the non-ETS emissions are caused by transport which is the most difficult sector to tackle.


      On the other hand NGOs are convinced that Slovenia should take on stricter targets and decrease its overall emissions of GHGs by at least 30% by 2020 and at least by 80% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. Since Slovenia is in a different situation than most of the other new member states (for example, it does not have any hot air) it does not support the attempts of some of those countries to weaken the EU climate legislation.


Emissions trading

      Slovenian government considers EU ETS to be the main pillar of European climate legislation. In this respect it openly supports the scheme and sees it as a main tool to halt the emissions from big polluters. In the first phase of EU ETS there was some resistance from industry as well as heavy lobbying for allocation of allowances, which was more or less successfully overcome in the preparations of the national allocation plan for the second phase of the trading scheme. It is possible that some companies included in the emissions trading scheme have had profits due to overallocation, but evidence of such cases is not publicly available.


As already stated below NGOs are pushing for at least 30% emissions reductions by 2020 and at least 80% by 2050. These targets were selected on the basis of IPPC 4AR, literature on the need to bring down emissions to around 2 Tonnes/capita by 2050 (e.g. Stern report) and the fact that much more ambitious targets will need to be adopted by all developed countries if we are to achieve the 2 °C goal. Due to lack of any serious studies/research on the potentials for GHG-emission reductions and costs of specific measures it is however difficult to assess the likely economic consequences of achieving these targets.


NGOs also fear that government is not strong and ambitious enough to push for higher targets than those already proposed for 2020 in the climate and energy package. At the same time it is unclear how the public/consumers and industry might react to self-imposed stricter targets and what consequences these would have for the price of energy and for the economy in general.


The government itself did not launch any campaigns to inform the public about ways to reduce the impact on climate change, but it does supports awareness-raising and information-sharing activities of various stakeholders (e.g., NGOs) through financing the activities and to some extent providing expert support.


It also set up a chain of energy advisory centres which provide information to citizens and businesses on energy-efficiency measures and renewables. Another way of contributing to the information-sharing and awareness-raising activities on climate is adoption of appropriate legislation (e.g., obliging power suppliers to promote energy savings; recently adopted regulation on energy performance and RES in buildings; etc.). There is however still space to improve the role of the government in education and in other promotions of public awareness on climate-related issues.


RES support schemes

The main support mechanism for electricity production from renewable sources in Slovenia is the feed-in tariff system. The feed-in tariffs are supposed to be adjusted on a yearly base; the principle of priority dispatch is introduced. In 2007, e.g., the tariffs for CHP for district heating amounted to 69 EUR/MWh; those for biogas, 121 EUR/MWh; and for solar electricity, 374 EUR/KWh. The producers also have choices:  they may use the electricity produced on the spot of production or they may sell it on their own.  In these cases they are compensated through premiums for the difference between the guaranteed feed-in tariff and the market price of the electricity.


Promoting EE

In September 2008 Slovenia adopted regulation of energy efficiency in buildings[1], which thus far is the most important legislative measure to promote energy efficiency and the use of RES in buildings. The regulation includes all the new buildings and buildings being refurbished. It sets the technical requirements for efficient use of energy in buildings, such as insulation, heating, cooling, air conditioning, sanitary water heating and lighting as well as the way to calculate the energy characteristics of buildings.


Alongside the above-mentioned regulation, a regulation of the promotion of the efficient use of energy and renewables was also adopted. This regulation identifies the types of support, beneficiaries and the conditions for support for EE and RES measures. Support being introduced with these regulations will be available in the form of state aid for legal entities and individuals involved in for-profit activities; and as subsidies for households and public sector.


Apart from that, governmental support programs in the form of subsidies for EE and RES measures has existed in Slovenia already for some time. There is also a possibility of obtaining low-interest loans for such measures from Eco Fund, Slovenian Environmental Public Fund.


EE & RES vs. fossil fuels

Energy-efficiency measures are the most cost-effective measures for reducing GHGs. Slovenia has a vast potential in this field (buildings, transport, industry) which should be tackled immediately. Energy-efficiency improvements are also key for achieving mid- and long-term GHG reduction targets as well as RES targets by 2020 and beyond (according to the EC proposal, 25% final energy in 2020 should come from renewables in Slovenia). NGOs believe that Slovenia should adopt a mandatory energy-efficiency target of 20 % by 2020.



Fossil fuel power plants

Two new fossil-fuel power plants are planned in Slovenia: a new unit in a thermopower plant Šoštanj (TEŠ 6), 600 MW and a new unit in a thermopower plant in Trbovlje. The beginning of the construction of the TEŠ 6 has been postponed until 2014 and the destiny of the new unit in Trbovlje is still pretty unclear.


Nuclear energy

Slovenia is a nuclear country: The nuclear power plant Krško is located in Slovenia, but is owned 50:50 by Slovenia and Croatia. The idea of a new unit of Krško is now being discussed in the public. It was first publicly announced in the Resolution of national development projects for the 2007 – 2023 period (adopted by the government in October 2006). The main reasons for the need to build a new unit of the nuclear power plant, according to the government, are energy security and reduction of GHGs.



[1] Official Journal of RS, 93/2008: