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Pollution and other environmental burdens are an inevitable consequence of the development of civilization and affect both the environment and the health and well-being of people. As an environmentally conscious country, Slovenia strives for sustainable development by promoting technological improvements to reduce negative impact on the environment and restricts and controls the amounts of harmful emissions through legislative measures.

Environmental protection is part of the development challenge

Living environments all over the world are exposed to pollution, even with increasingly complex substances. Human activity and predominant patterns of consumption are the main causes of pollution. The main focus of environmental protection is thus shifting from limiting pollution to ensuring sustainable development, organisation of the economy, infrastructure, settlement and lifestyle within the carrying capacity of the environment and natural resources.

Respecting the environment among key industrial development factors

Industrial production plays an important part in ensuring the economic prosperity of and sustainable development in Slovenia, but it also has a considerable impact on the environment. Large industrial plants contribute a significant share of key air pollutants and also greatly affect the environmental in other ways, mainly through releases to water, soil pollution, waste generation and energy use.

The Slovenian national environmental protection programme focuses on three areas of action: protection, conservation and enhancement of natural capital; development towards a low-carbon and resource-efficient society that prevents waste and reuses or recycles; and protection against environmental risks.

The limit values for pollution are set in accordance with the high EU environmental standards. In individual areas, for example light pollution, the limit values are even stricter. Air and water quality are regularly measured and the exposure of the environment to radiation is regularly monitored.

Environmental data is publicly available

An important element of EU environmental strategies and regulations, also consistently implemented in Slovenia, is ensuring public access to environmental information. In addition to environmental monitoring data, the public has access to proposals, environmental regulations in force and other documents and has the opportunity to participate in environmental decision-making.

The European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register provides data on the annual amounts of key pollutants in releases to water and air and on off-site transfers of waste from Slovenian companies included in the register. The European Environment Agency annually publishes industrial pollution country profiles. The reports include data on releases to air and water, waste generation, and energy and water consumption, estimating the amounts by taking into account the significance of the industry in which they are generated.