A key law for the climate
The year 2022 brought to Slovakia the preparation of the first climate protection law, which can significantly help Slovakia prepare for the effects of climate change and set our country towards a sustainable, carbon-free and socially just future.
The form of the climate law that the Slovak Republic adopts will have an impact on the entire economy, from the private sector, the development of work sectors, or the functioning of public institutions. Its goal is to support the transition to an energy-efficient, carbon-free economy, to help create job opportunities in a fair and socially sensitive way, and to ensure a general improvement in social conditions and living standards of our country’s residents.
What a strong climate law must contain
We are particularly interested in ensuring that the adopted law is not just a formal document, but a functional legislative instrument.
If the law is to really fulfill the aforementioned functions, it must reflect the following features:
1. The goals for decarbonization should be ambitious, set in accordance with current data and a clear plan for each sector of the economy. At the same time, they must be designed so that we can monitor progress in a specific election period with room for possible updates.
2. Regions, cities and municipalities are a key element of decarbonization and need professional capacities, but also material and financial support to manage this process.
3. Data management (especially in relation to data on greenhouse gas emissions and capture mechanisms) must be uniform, with clear rules and procedures so that it serves to set the climate policies of all stakeholders.
4. Reporting on targets must enable legal and political accountability, be transparent and comprehensible, but also effective.
5. The expert monitoring and advisory body must be supra-ministerial, with well-defined competences, creation and overall framework of activities, which must be accessible to the public.
6. The judicial review serves as “insurance” that we are moving towards decarbonization in a timely and good manner. In case of non-fulfillment of climate goals, the public must have the opportunity to turn to the court.
What we have done so far for a strong climate law
Over the past months, we have translated the above-mentioned features into specific provisions and have repeatedly presented them to the Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic. A strong climate law must contain them, otherwise it will not fulfill its function.
Since its establishment, we have been in the working group of the MoE and actively, although without results, tried to make it serve to inform about all steps in the preparation of the law as well as for discussion between interested actors about its content.
We tried to maintain such a discussion, at least within our possibilities, through written communication, at meetings, and through the media. We held more than twenty meetings with various interested parties, including environmental non-governmental organizations, municipalities, business leaders, professional organizations, e.g. Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute and SAV, and other experts.
Links and information (in Slovak)