The Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Janez Janša, today attended the international conference entitled 'Climate Change: an Opportunity for Growth'. In his speech he stressed that the dangers of climate change also bring an array of opportunities.
(Photo: Primož Lavre/Slomon 2000)
"Opportunities for economic growth and new jobs, sustainable energy supply and innovative technological solutions, greater harmony with nature and enhanced joint action. And, to refer to the title of today's conference, they also offer us an opportunity for progress," said the PM. "Only if every one takes action now will we act in a sustainable fashion and still relatively economically. Estimates say that the cost of the aftermath would be much higher than the cost of prevention," he said.
Slovenia addressed the issue of climate change with a network of measures which take into account their economic, social, development and technological dimensions. According to the PM, one of the key elements is encouraging the sustainable use of energy, particularly based on renewables. In addition, Slovenia endorses investment in research and development, and increasing innovation in the energy-climate sector. "We are developing new energy-efficient technologies, for example the sustainable energy and hydrogen economy project, which carries the potential for a third industrial revolution in Europe. Although there are many unknowns with regard to hydrogen technology, we cannot disregard the potential it has for storing and distributing energy in the future," stressed the PM.
"Climate change is not only a problem for the government and the economy; it is a challenge for the wider society and every individual," said the PM, adding that if households reduced their heating by only one degree Celsius, we would reduce CO2 emissions by three hundred kilogrammes a year, while using energy-saving bulbs would eliminate another four hundred. "A global approach is essential if we want to prevent the black scenarios of border conflicts, new waves of migration and humanitarian crises."
Slovenia, which will be at the helm of the EU in a couple of weeks, has made issues regarding energy and climate one of its four priorities. "We strive to make the discussion on the new energy efficiency package as smooth as possible. We realise that member states have objections, which we will have to overcome by reasoned debate, mutual trust and a readiness to compromise. We count on the help of all participants," said the PM, adding: "It is imperative that we do not impose our goals on third countries, but give them the opportunity to have their say and to draw up their own guidelines first. On this basis we can then negotiate constructively."
In conclusion, the PM said that a great majority of EU citizens are worried about climate change; and an even greater number believe that the Union should lead efforts to reduce global warming. "Let us take these numbers and expectations as a challenge. Only with the joint efforts of politics, the economy, experts and civil society can we emerge from the fight against climate change as winners," concluded Mr Janša.