Hot topics

Slovenia Business Week no. 19: Conference Looks for Opportunities of Climate Change

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (CCIS) sees climate change as an opportunity for Slovenian companies which develop new technologies, which is why it staged a conference in Ljubljana to push for changes that would encourage the corporate sector to go green

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (CCIS) sees climate change as an opportunity for Slovenian companies which develop new technologies, which is why it staged a conference in Ljubljana on Wednesday, 16 May to push for changes that would encourage the corporate sector to go green.

Environmental protection is not just a cost, but it is necessary to change habits and influence decision-makers to give technological changes adequate incentives, CCIS interim president Samo Hribar Milic told the conference dubbed "Let's Cool Slovenia".

Hribar Milic hopes the conference, which brings together business executives and experts, will give the CCIS arguments to achieve changes that would be bearable for the economy. "This is not to say that we are shying away from responsibility for the environment, while the interests and experience of Slovenian companies must be taken into account."

Representing decision-makers, Environment and Spatial Planning Minister Janez Podobnik highlighted energy efficiency as one of the major factors in cutting greenhouse gases, reducing dependence on the imports and increasing the share of renewable sources of energy.

"Estimates by the European Commission show that the economic potential for energy saving is around 20% in industry, and twice as much in buildings," Podobnik said and added that the potential would be even bigger given higher energy prices and better technologies.

Slovenia's economy expanded by about 5% last year, while energy consumption increased by 3%. "This is a right direction, but the question is whether it is right enough," Podobnik wondered. Until 2013, Slovenia will earmark about EUR 190m for sustainable energy, EUR 160m in EU funds.

Alleviating the consequences of climate change is not enough, said Lucka Kajfez Bogataj of the Ljubljana Biotechnical Faculty. She believes it is necessary to adapt to the consequences and deal with our vulnerability to them.

"The corporate sector will feel three types of pressure as a result of climate change: changed weather conditions, demand for reduction in emissions, while it will also be expected to adapt to new conditions," the climate expert said, sharing Podobnik's view that energy saving was the only smart choice.

Source: Slovenian Press Agency STA

Author: STA, Slovenian National Press Agency