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Climate change

Why should we care?

Slovenia is characterized by large variability in weather and climate conditions, resulting in the increased number of extreme weather events. These affect the production of food, causing flash floods and landslides as well as the damage to buildings, in extreme cases, threaten human lives.

Climate change represents an increasing threat to environmental, social and economic development and requires rapid intervention.

Slovenia lies in the temperate geographical zone, which is characterised by great variability of climate and weather conditions. Slovenia’s territory is an interweaving of the effects of the Mediterranean, mountain and continental climate, and every year witnesses extreme weather events. Temperature measurements indicate climate change as has been observed elsewhere in Europe. The average temperature is rising, and the increase has been most noticeable over the last 20 years. Atmospheric warming is not the only consequence of climate change; it also brings changes in air currents, weather patterns, the distribution and quantity of precipitation and the frequency and strength of hazardous weather phenomena. The damage caused in Slovenia by exceptional weather and climate phenomena is rising steeply, in part because of the increasingly costly infrastructure and construction in areas previously not intensively exploited owing to the great exposure to natural forces.

Deviations from the normal distribution of precipitation through the year can cause drought or floods. In recent years Slovenia has frequently witnessed severe summer droughts, when a summer lack of precipitation has been accompanied by high air temperatures and unusual amounts of sunny weather. On the other hand damage is also caused by flooding. Slovenia is increasingly seeing green winters, with dwindling quantities of fresh snowfall in the lowlands. Plants are responding to the warmer atmosphere with extended growing seasons and are therefore more vulnerable to spring freezes.

Given their low-lying position, both glaciers in Slovenia – the Triglav glacier and the glacier below Mt. Skuta – are sensitive to climate change. With continued growth in atmospheric temperatures their transformation from glaciers to snowfields is expected.

In terms of number of storms, Slovenia is one of the top countries of Europe. Each year there are several severe storms which cause major damage, mostly from hail, strong gusts of wind and downpours. Strong short-lived downpours or abundant several-day rainfall can cause flooding, since the predominantly torrential character of watercourses means they rise very quickly. Saturation of the terrain can trigger landslides. In the future it is anticipated that the snowmelt will start earlier, bringing high river flows in the early spring. This is already causing a minimal rise in the sea level, which in the future will affect low-lying coastal areas, such as saltpans.

For the period up to the end of the 21st century, with the current trend of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and assuming the middle scenario will play out (IPPC, 2007), Slovenia can expect an increase in temperatures of between 3 and 3.5 °C, with summers heating up by 4 to 4.5 °C. On the annual level, the amount of precipitation should fall by approximately 10 %. This means summers will be significantly drier, by 15-20 %, while in winter we can even expect an increase in the amount of precipitation of up to 10 %. For this reason, green winters will be more common in lowland areas, and we can also expect more heat waves with stronger downpours and storms (Bergant, 2009). Another source (MKGP, 2008) states that in the period from 2001-2030 air temperatures are expected to rise by 0.5 to 2.5 °C, from 2031 to 2060 by 1 to 3.5 °C and from 2061 to 2090 by 1.5 to 6.5 °C. Predictions for the change to the annual level of precipitation range from +10 % to –30 %. There is even greater uncertainty surrounding the future quantity and distribution of precipitation by season. Some predictions point to a reduction in summer precipitation of up to 20 % (MKGP, 2008).

With the rapid population growth and excessive consumption of natural resources, society is becoming increasingly sensitive to climate change. The fact is that GHG emissions are growing, mainly from the energy and transport sectors. The growth in emissions is largely a consequence of economic growth both in Slovenia and the wider region, a consequence of which is the divergence between the economic and environmental components of development. Pronounced growth of emissions from transit traffic has been observed especially since the Slovenia’s entry into the EU. By signing the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Slovenia joined the efforts to reduce the impact of human activity on the environment, and by signing the Kyoto Protocol it is committed to reduce its emissions by 8 % relative to 1986 in the first target period of 2008–2012. In order to achieve the Kyoto Protocol targets, Slovenia will use a system of trading in rights to GHG emissions covering around 44 % of all emissions, while it will also claim GHG sinks and flexible Kyoto mechanisms. According to projections, Slovenia’s GHG emissions will fall between 2008 and 2012, but will still be above the target value of the Kyoto Protocol. Although the impact of the economic crisis on GHG emissions is unknown, based on past trends, even with the claiming of carbon sinks, the Kyoto target will not be met by Slovenia.

What are the related drivers and pressures?

The rapid population growth and excessive use of natural resources is increasing sensitivity to climate variability. The fact is that GHG emissions are rising in Slovenia. The biggest emmissions are from energy and transport sector. Growth in emissions is mainly due to economic development.

Slovenian ecological footprint reflects unsustainable patterns of energy use in transport and energy sectors, which contribute the most to total emissions of GHGs.

In 2005 a total of 51 % of Slovenia’s inhabitants lived in urban areas, which is much less than the European average of 72 % (IMAD, 2009). The population is moving from the bigger cities to surrounding areas, increasing pressure on farmland and on the existing municipal and social infrastructure. Daily mobility is also increasing.

In the economic sphere, the period of the last ten years has been marked by a relatively slow restructuring towards the strengthening and growth of services, with a rapid decline in the importance of farming and a gentle decline in the share of industry. Compared to the rest of the EU, Slovenia has a relatively high proportion of manufacturing industry, and the structure of the economy points to above-average shares of energy-intensive industrial processes in the metallurgical, non-metallurgical, and paper industries. These are sectors that rank among the worst in terms of the intensity of atmospheric emissions per unit of production (IMAD, 2009).

Since 1999 Slovenia’s ecological footprint has grown steadily. The major contributing factor is energy sector. According to data from the Global Footprint Network (GFN), in 2006 Slovenia’s footprint amounted to 3.9 gha /person, slightly below that of Europe – 4.5 gha/person. Since 1999, Slovenia has been in an environmental deficit, amounting in 2006 to –1.5 gha/person (GFN, 2009).

Figure 1: Ecological footprint, biocapacity and ecological deficit in Slovenia
Ecological footprint, biocapacity and ecological deficit in Slovenia
Source: GFN, 2009.

In 2007, GHG emissions in Slovenia amounted to 20,722 kt CO2 equivalent, with the estimate for 2008 standing at 21,331 kt.

Having signed the Kyoto Protocol, under which Slovenia is committed to an 8 % reduction of GHG emissions relative to 1986, in the period 2008–2012 the country will have to reduce total emissions to an annual level of 18,726 kt CO2 equivalent. In total combined GHG emissions in 2007, the major component was CO2 – 82 %. This was followed by methane, 10.5 %, mainly from farm waste; and N2O, 6.4 %, from farming and transport. Emissions of F-gases – HFC, PFC and SF6 – are contribute very little, 1.1 %, although owing to their high greenhouse effect, their contribution to atmospheric warming is not negligible. Despite the fact that relative to the base year, total GHG emissions have not changed much, in 2007 there was a significant change to their distribution by sector. The major contribution to total GHG emissions is from the energy sector, 32 % in 2007, followed by transport, 26 % in 2007. Increasing road traffic has led to total GHG emissions over the last two years increasing by more than a percentage point annually, cancelling out reduction efforts in all other sectors. The growth of emissions from transport is a consequence particularly of economic growth both in Slovenia and across the region. A marked reduction in emissions relative to the base year, from 22 % to 11 % in 2007, has been noted in the fuel consumption sector in industry and construction. No such major changes have been recorded in other sectors. Emissions from agriculture were slightly lower owing to a reduction in the number of cattle, the result of intensification of animal husbandry. Relative to the base year, emissions from waste management rose by 21 %, something contributed solely by emissions from municipal landfills. In this time wastewater emissions have fallen (PS03).

Slovenia has a relatively large amount of forest, covering 58.5% of its territory, (GZ04), which could be exploited as a sink, thereby reducing GHG emissions. According to recent estimates, around 5,000 ha of land is being overgrowing with forests each year in Slovenia. The latest census of forest resources for 2005 also contains the estimated accumulation of carbon in forests. According to data from this, the average annual accumulation of CO2 in forests – not taking annual felling into account – in the period 1990-2005 was as much as 9,867 kt CO2 equivalent a year, representing almost 50 % of annual emissions of CO2. Slovenia’s permitted quota of sinks is 1,320 kt CO2 equivalent (OP TGP-1, 2009).

In the energy sector, in 2007, the main contribution to GHG emissions was the consumption of energy, with a share of 81 %, and highest within this were heat and power generation and transport. For the period 2000–2007, owing to the generation of heat and power, emissions increased by almost 20 % – average annual growth 2.6 % – and in 2007 growth amounted to 3.3 % (EN01).

After falling in 2007, energy end-use rose markedly in 2008. The increase resulted from growth in transport and broad consumption, while it fell in industry. The biggest share in energy end-use was held by transport, followed by industry, households and other consumption (EN10).

Figure 2: Annual GHG emissions by sector in Slovenia
Annual GHG emissions by sector in Slovenia
Source: GHG Archive, Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, March 2009 (Ref: Environment Indicators in Slovenia, PS03)

Figure 3: Energy end-use by sector for the period 1992-2008 and shares of individual sectors in energy end-use in 1992, 2000, 2005 and 2008
Energy end-use by sector for the period 1992-2008 and shares of individual sectors in energy end-use in 1992, 2000, 2005 and 2008
Source: Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, 2009; Jožef Stefan Institute, 2009. (Ref: Environment Indicators in Slovenia, EN10)

Slovenia has in comparison with the EU high energy intensity

Slovenia has in comparison with the EU high energy intensity, which can be attributed to the low GDP per capita in the EU average, a high share of industry in GDP and the impact of transit traffic. In 2008 the energy-intensity of total energy consumption increased again after six years of reduction, representing a departure from the set goals. A comparison of intensity in 2007, calculated from gross domestic product (GDP) using purchasing power parity, shows that the intensity of the Slovenian economy is approximately 12 % higher than for the EU-25 as a whole (EN11).

In 2008 total energy consumption increased by significantly more than the average for the period 1992-2008. The greatest share was taken by liquid fuels, followed by solid fuels, nuclear energy, gas fuels and renewable energy sources. In 2008 there were increased shares of liquid fuels, nuclear energy and renewable energy sources. Growth of total energy consumption in Slovenia is higher than in EU-15 (EN16).

The proportion of renewable sources in total energy consumption in 2008 increased, amounting to 10.9 %, which is still 1.1 percentage points lower than the national target that should be reached by 2010. A total of 55 % of all renewable energy is used for heating, and the remainder for electricity generation. Biomass predominates, accounting for 55 % of all consumption of renewable energy sources, while hydro energy accounts for 41 % (EN18).

In 2008, electricity generation from renewables was markedly higher than the previous year owing to higher water levels in rivers and the start of co-incineration of wood biomass in large thermal power facilities. Nevertheless Slovenia attained a proportion that was 13 % lower than the target (EN19).

By 2007 GHG emissions from transport had increased in Slovenia by 165 % relative to 1986, the biggest rise being in road transport, 174 %. The increase in emissions stems from the growth in the number of vehicles and transit traffic – especially after 2004, when Slovenia joined the EU (PR09).

The volume of tonne-kilometres completed by Slovenian transporters increased by as much as 52 % from 2004 to 2007. The number of goods vehicle crossings of the border with Hungary in the same period rose by 112 % (PR02). Introducing biofuels in Slovenia and the objectives in this area are lagging behind the reference values given in the EU directive promoting the use of biofuels and other renewable fuels in transport, which amount to 2 % by the end of 2005 and 5.75 % by the end of 2010. Slovenia’s lag is largely due to the limited scope for producing biofuels in the country (PR13).

Figure 4: The trend of total energy consumption, GDP and total energy intensiveness in the period 1995–2007 relative to 1995 and comparison with the intensity trend in EU-25
The trend of total energy consumption, GDP and total energy intensiveness in the period 1995–2007 relative to 1995 and comparison with the intensity trend in EU-25
Source: Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, 2009; European Statistical Office, 2009. (Ref: Environment Indicators in Slovenia, EN11)

Figure 5: Development of goods transport in Slovenia (road traffic – tkm of Slovenian transporters at home and abroad, rail transport – net tkm on the Slovenian network, maritime transport – t of goods arriving and shipped at ports, air cargo – t of goods arriving and dispatched at airports)
Development of goods transport in Slovenia (road traffic – tkm of Slovenian transporters at home and abroad, rail transport – net tkm on the Slovenian network, maritime transport – t of goods arriving and shipped at ports, air cargo – t of goods arriving and dispatched at airports)
Source: Statistical Yearbook of the Republic of Slovenia. Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (SORS), 2009. (Ref: Environment Indicators in Slovenia, PR02)

What is the 2020 outlook?

GHG emission projections for 2020 indicate a decrease, despite the projected economic growth. It seems that the Kyoto goal for Slovenia in 2012 will not be reached.

Predictions of how climate change will be reflected in the physical environment are to a large extent hampered by the interweaving of mountain, continental and Mediterranean climates, and by the geographical characteristics of Slovenia. Relative to the current values of GHG emissions, projections have been made for the period 2010-2012-2020.

GHG projections are related to two possible scenarios of reduction - the first with some measures and the second scenario with additional ones. The second envisages a greater intensity of implementing measures in broad consumption and industry and increased financing amounting to €100 million. Since higher energy efficiency will only affect industry, the projections in broad consumption will only be impacted by greater intensity of implementing measures – additional funds for energy efficiency measures in buildings and additional funds for awarding favourable loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy measures (OP TGP-1, 2009).

Base GHG emissions for Slovenia amount to 20,354 kt CO2 equivalent. A reduction of 8 % means that in the period 2008–2012 Slovenia would have to achieve average annual emissions of 18,726 kt CO2 equiv. In achieving the Kyoto target, in accordance with resolution 11/CP.7 of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Slovenia can use CO2 sinks tied to increased wood biomass in forests in the amount of 1.32 Tg CO2 equiv. It follows from this that in the Kyoto period Slovenia must reduce average annual emissions to 20,046 kt CO2 equivalent (OP TGP-1, 2009).

Projections of GHG emissions using the scenario with measures for the period 2008–2012 indicate a reduction in emissions to the value of 21,112 kt CO2 equiv. or, with additional measures, 21,083 kt CO2 equiv. both of which are above the target value of 18,726 kt CO2 equiv. Even claiming the permitted sinks– the average permitted sinks for the period 2008–2012 amount to 1,320 kt CO2 equiv. – the Kyoto target will not be met (Poročilo ETS, 2009). For this reason, based on both projections and permitted sinks, Slovenia will not fulfil its Kyoto obligations. The difference in emissions will have to be compensated by using flexible Kyoto mechanisms. At the envisaged price of 15 €/t CO2, purchasing the necessary rights to emit GHGs in the period 2008–2012, based on projections that still do not include the effects of the economic crisis on emissions, Slovenia will need to spend a little less than €80 million (OP TGP-1, 2009).

Table 1 Projections of GHG emissions taking into account measures and additional measures, and comparison with Kyoto targets.

Projection with measuresProjection with additional measures
YearBase year *201020122020Average 2008-2012201020122020Average 2008-2012
Emissions without sinks (kt CO2 equiv.)20,35421,00520,93219,77721,11220,98520,86319,70821,083
Emissions with sinks (kt CO2 equiv.) 19,68519,612 19,79219,66519,543 19,763
Kyoto target (kt CO2 equiv.) 18,72618,726 18,72618,72618,726 18,726

* Base year (CO2, CH4, N2O – 1986; F-gases – 1995)
Source: ETS Report, 2009.

The chief sources of GHG emissions are energy supply and transport. In 2008 emissions from these two sectors should, together, remain the same – a reduction of emissions from heat and power generation as a result of lower quotas in the EU-ETS system, balanced by an increase in emissions from transport due to a major growth in sales of diesel fuel, largely to transit traffic. After 2008, emissions from generation should hardly change, mainly due to the set quotas for the period 2008-2012. Emissions from transport should gradually fall, in part due to the economic crisis and in part to the construction of railway infrastructure and an increase in public passenger transport. After 2012, owing to the reduced quotas in the EU-ETS system, a reduction in GHG emissions from energy supply is envisaged, and an increase in emissions from transport. The latter should be ascribed to increased transport, as a result of the enlargement of the EU to include the countries of the western Balkans. After a slight rise in the period 2008-2012, partly from industrial emissions not included in EU-ETS, emissions from industry will decline after 2012 markedly. This also applies to broad consumption, especially after 2009. A reduction will be the consequence of implementing measures in buildings and increasing the share of renewable energy sources in heat production. In agriculture, owing to the growing numbers of animals, emissions will show a modest increase, while, owing to reduced quantities of biodegradable waste being disposed of, emissions from waste will fall. (OP TGP-1, 2009)

In 2010 GHG emissions compared to 2007 should be lower from energy supply, -8 %; industry, -11 %; and waste -1 %; but higher in transport, +12 %; other areas, +34 % in the scenario with some measures and +33 % in the scenario with additional measures; and +2 % from agriculture. The scenario for 2020 points to a similar situation – compared to 2007, emissions will be lower in energy supply, -24 %; industry, -22 %; and -16 % from waste; but higher from transport, +24 %; from other areas, +18 % or +14 % depending on the scenario; and +4 % from agriculture (OP TGP-1, 2009).

Emissions from those bound by the EU-ETS system for the period 2008-2012 have been determined through the amount of rights to GHG emissions under the National Plan for Allocating Emission Coupons for 2008-2012. The average annual quantity of rights allocated to existing facilities in this period amounts to 8,168 kt CO2, while for new entries 131 kt CO2 of rights have been reserved. In total, emissions from EU-ETS sources amount to 8,299 kt CO2 equivalent. Based on projections, actual emissions from EU-ETS sources in 2008-2012 have been forecast at 9,514 kt CO2 equivalent. The difference or direct effect of EU-ETS equates to 1,215 kt CO2 equivalent.

Table 2 Comparison of actual emissions from EU-ETS sources and allocated rights based on the national plan for allocating emission coupons

Actual emissions       
Generation of electricity and heat[kt]648870036970685170226839
Industrial processes[kt]732754770957984752
Emissions from EU-ETS        
Generation of electricity and heat[kt]608960896089555950296089
Industrial processes[kt]656656656753682656
Difference – direct effect of EU-ETS       
Generation of electricity and heat[kt]40091488112921993750
Industrial processes[kt]769811420430396

Source: ETS Report, 2009

After 2012, the EU-ETS scheme should include all existing sources from the period 2008-2012 plus additional sources involved in aluminium production. In order to determine emission rights after 2012, the annual quantity of rights in the period 2008-2012 was reduced each year by 1.74 %, using 2010 as the base year. Taking into account that emissions from sources in EU-ETS with allocated rights to GHG emissions are already determined, we may calculate from the total target a target for the period 2008-2012 for sources of emissions that are not included in EU-ETS. Fulfilment of the Kyoto obligations depends entirely on these sources. Taking into account sinks for fulfilling the Kyoto obligations, the average annual emissions from other sources in the period 2008-2012 would have to be lower than or equal to 11,747 kt CO2 equivalent.

Figure 6: Emission trends and projections of GHG emissions taking into account measures and additional measures, and comparison with Kyoto targets
Emission trends and projections of GHG emissions taking into account measures and additional measures, and comparison with Kyoto targets
Source: ETS Report, 2009

Figure 7: GHG emissions to date by sector to 2007 and projections with measures to 2020
GHG emissions to date by sector to 2007 and projections with measures to 2020
Source: OP TGP-1, 2009

What are the policy responses?

To achieve the objectives of the Kyoto Protocol, Slovenia will use the system for trading GHG emissions, which cover about 44% of all emissions, enforce GHG emission sinks and the Kyoto flexible mechanisms.

For the purpose of reducing GHG emissions, Slovenia has taken steps under national operational program.

In 2002 Slovenia ratified the Kyoto Protocol and assumed the obligation to reduce GHG emissions in the period 2008-2012 on average by 8 % relative to the agreed emissions in 1986. To fulfil the obligations, Slovenia adopted measures and key instruments, which are defined in detail in the Operational Programme to Reduce GHG Emissions by 2012 (OP TGP-1, 2009). With the adoption of European legislation as part of the EU Climate-Energy Package, the importance of measures adopted within the operational programme is further enhanced, since consistent implementation of the planned measures to fulfil the Kyoto Protocol is an essential condition for fulfilment of the obligations of the Climate Energy Package legislation. In its essence, OP TGP-1 (2009) deals with the set of measures up until 2012, and their effect in reducing GHG emissions should also be clear in the period 2013-2020 (OP TGP-1, 2009).

The operational programme highlights, as urgently needed measures in the area of promoting high-efficiency, combined heat and power generation, use of renewable energy sources including a system of guaranteed purchase prices and financial incentives, co-natural development of transport by notifying consumers of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, taxing motor vehicles in respect of CO2 emissions, etc., co-natural waste management and measures tied to Slovenian Government measures to mitigate the consequences of the economic crisis – promoting efficient energy use in broad consumption, especially in the public sector and industry, through CO2 levies, GHG emission trading, etc. In particular, the OP TGP-1 stresses the exploitation of permitted quantities of sinks. If Slovenia is unable to justify the sinks, this would mean an additional shortfall in achieving the Kyoto targets amounting to 1,320 kt CO2 annually, and the urgent need to ensure additional funds for purchasing rights to GHG emissions amounting to €99 million (OP TGP-1, 2009).

By signing the Climate-Energy Package, Slovenia is committed to achieving the following goals:

  • 9 % saving of end-use energy by 2016 relative to previous consumption (implementation of Directive 32/2006/EC on energy end-use efficiency and energy services);
  • increasing the proportion of electricity generated from renewable energy sources to 33.6 % of energy consumption by 2010 (Resolution on the National Energy Programme, ReNEP 2004 and Directive 2001/77/EC;
  • increasing the share of biofuels in accordance with the aims of Directive 2003/30/EC on the promotion of the use of biofuels or other renewable fuels for transport. The current Slovenian target is defined by the Decree on promoting the use of biofuels and other renewable fuels in transport (Uredba o pospeševanju uporabe biogoriv in drugih obnovljivih goriv v prometu), which sets out the proportion of the annual quantity of biofuels placed on the market to power motor vehicles, with the target raising it by 1 percentage point each year until 2010 and then by 0.5 percentage points annually up to 2015, when the target value is 7.5 % of the entire annual quantity of fuel placed on the market to power motor vehicles. Increases in GHG emissions will need to be limited to a maximum of 4 % by 2020 relative to 2005 in sectors that are not in the EU–ETS – in other words for transport, broad consumption, waste, agriculture and small industrial plants. Emissions from plants that are in the ETS are exempted from the obligations of Member States, and their reduction is governed by the ETS on the EU level. The number is not yet final and will be adjusted in the light of changes to the selection of plants included in the ETS.
  • 25 % of renewable energy sources in energy end-use by 2020;
  • at least a 10 % of energy products from renewable energy sources in the consumption of energy by motor vehicles (OP TGP-1, 2009).

In order to implement the domestic measures under OP TGP-1, in the period 2009-2012 the Slovenian Government will provide public funds amounting to €604.7 million. For Slovenia to fulfil its Kyoto Protocol obligations, in addition to financing the domestic measures defined in this document, in the period up to 2012 at least a further €80 million will be needed to purchase rights to GHG emissions amounting to 1.07 Mt CO2 equivalent a year, which, in the event of exceeding this, will have to be purchased on the international market. In order to ensure the funds, Slovenia envisages the introduction of an environmental tax on motor fuels of up to EUR 0.02/l.

To achieve the Kyoto Protocol targets Slovenia will primarily use a system of trading in rights to GHG emissions, covering approximately 44 % of all emissions, sinks and Kyoto flexible mechanisms.

Kyoto flexible mechanisms have an influence chiefly on the electricity and heat generation sector, energy use in industry and construction and on industrial processes. Slovenia will need to make use of them, since the latest projections of emissions for the period 2008-2012 point to an excess of 1.10 Mt CO2 equivalent annually. Using Kyoto flexible mechanisms envisages the acquisition of emission coupons in one of the ways described below:
- through the publication of a public call for applications for the sale of AAU (Assigned Amount Units) units through implementation of a joint investment project and, under an appropriate procedure as set out in the draft law, to conclude a contract on their purchase with the manager of the joint investment;
- by purchasing assigned amount units (AAU) from a Kyoto Protocol party selling such units;
- by purchasing ERU, CER or emission coupons (EUA) on the market (OP TGP-1, 2009).

Given the possibility of using forest sinks, Slovenia wishes in future to manage forests sustainably and exploit CO2 sinks. In accordance with the Marrakech Agreement, it can use forest sinks in the amount of 1,320 kt CO2 equivalent. The recent accumulation of wood stocks is the result of long-term concerted work in the forestry profession based on sustainability, a co-natural and multi-purpose approach, which is also the primary goal of the Resolution on the National Forestry Programme (ReNGP, 2007). Forest management, regardless of ownership, is steered by the Slovenian Forest Service. The greatest possible felling is determined in forest management plans covering a 10 year period – the last one ran 2001-2010. Under these plans, the highest possible felling is 4,050,000 m3/year, but this is being raised. Accumulation of carbon in forests, a result of the planned increase in wood stocks, is a key element in claiming carbon sinks under the Kyoto Protocol. In order to show the increase in wood stocks, Slovenia will use the third level of difficulty (Tier 3). With this intention, a national inventory of the state of forests was carried out in 2007, and this must be repeated in 2012. Current data indicate that forests are actually accumulating three to four times more CO2 than Slovenia can exploit in achieving its Kyoto protocol obligations under resolution 11/CP.7, 1.32 Mt CO2. Accumulation of CO2 in forests is just a temporary solution, since the stocks of carbon in forests cannot be increased ad infinitum. Upon balancing the flow of CO2 into and out of forests, over the longer term forests could undergo a shift and become a source of CO2 (OP TGP-1, 2009).

In relation to the priorities of climate change policy measures, Slovenia takes the view that in general special attention needs to be focused on those sectors where:
- there is already a pronounced vulnerability to the current climate change potential, for example, agriculture which already has a sectoral strategy of adapting to climate change;
- the current directions of development increase vulnerability to climate change, for example, urban development, use of the physical environment, etc.;
- the period of adjustment is longest, and later changes in development are associated with the largest costs, for example, use of physical environment, infrastructure, forestry, urban development, building funds, etc.


Slovenian Environment Agency
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