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Call to protect and care for the environment

In 1972 the United Nations General Assembly declared 5 June to be World Environment Day, the aim being to raise awareness of the environment and of specific environmental issues. Slovenia is one of the most biodiverse countries in Europe.

Further evidence of this is the fact that Slovenia has a higher proportion of Natura 2000 areas than any other EU member state, covering a full 37% of the country. Special efforts are made to protect the natural world in Slovenia’s protected areas, which cover 13% of the country.

The main theme of this year’s World Environment Day is air pollution. Our lifestyles, which require large resource consumption, are additionally contributing to air pollution and global warming. We are producing and consuming more than ever before – and therefore creating more greenhouse gases and air pollution in the form of chemicals and solid particles. Although it seems that climate change and air pollution are two very different things, they are closely connected. By reducing air pollution, we can also protect the climate. The quality of the air we breathe depends on our everyday choices as dictated by our lifestyles. The Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning calls on everyone to protect and care for the environment. It highlights the fact that environmental policy is helping to protect the environment, but that there are still many challenges that we will have to face together.

The Slovenian government has already launched preparations for the Long-Term Climate Strategy, which follows similar scenarios for the long-term objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, with an interim 2030 target. Economic analyses will also form an integral part of the expert analyses, where emphasis will be placed on taking all direct and indirect costs into account. EU and global studies clearly show that the net benefits (including financial benefits) of a transition to a carbon-neutral society far outweigh the costs. This gives us the confidence to embark decisively on the preparation of all relevant documents here in Slovenia as well. The path to a carbon-neutral society is the path to sustainable development, green jobs, and a healthy and safe society for all.