Slovakia

   

Environmental Policies

#17
Key Findings
With growth given a higher priority than conservation, Slovakia falls into the upper-middle ranks (rank 17) with regard to environmental policies. Its score on this measure has improved by 0.2 points relative to its 2014 level.

The country’s approach to environmental issues has been somewhat patchy, with weak implementation of existing laws. Energy demand for industrial production is high.

Despite reliance on nuclear power, which generates more than half of the country’s electricity, CO2 emissions increased in 2016. The renewables share is less than 10%. Completion of two additional nuclear plants, the country’s third and fourth, has been repeatedly delayed.

The country ratified the Paris climate accords in 2016, but the country is not an international agenda-setter. The government has questioned EU renewable-energy targets, which will be difficult for Slovakia to achieve.

Environment

#28

How effectively does environmental policy protect and preserve the sustainability of natural resources and quality of the environment?

10
 9

Environmental policy effectively protects, preserves and enhances the sustainability of natural resources and quality of the environment.
 8
 7
 6


Environmental policy largely protects and preserves the sustainability of natural resources and quality of the environment.
 5
 4
 3


Environmental policy insufficiently protects and preserves the sustainability of natural resources and quality of the environment.
 2
 1

Environmental policy has largely failed to protect and preserve the sustainability of natural resources and quality of the environment.
Environmental Policy
5
Slovakia has considerable natural resources. However, interest groups and policymakers have traditionally assigned priority to economic growth rather than the protection of the environment. Although NGOs have helped draw attention to environmental issues, and EU accession has come with the obligation to meet the European Union’s strict environmental standards, this negative legacy is still present in policymaking. As a result, each government’s approach to environmental issues has tended to be patchy rather than holistic. A second major problem has been the weak implementation of environmental laws and regulations. A third problem is the country’s strong industrial production, which keeps energy demand high. Although the Fico government relies heavily on nuclear power, carbon dioxide emissions increased in 2016. The planned completion of the third and fourth nuclear power plant in Mochovce has been postponed several times, and is planned for 2018 and 2019 respectively. Nuclear power stations keep generating the highest share of electricity in Slovakia (53.8%). Fossil fuels account for 19.4%, hydropower for 17.7% and renewables for 8.9%. Slovakia has not developed a supply of wind energy. Slovak legislation and regulation hinders the installation of small wind turbines that generate electricity for households, and there are only two small wind parks in the country.

Citations:
European Environment Agency (2017): Trends and projections 2017. Tracking progress toward climate and energy targets – Slovakia. Copenhagen (https://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/climate/trends-and-projections-in-europe/trends-and-projections-in-europe-2017/country-profiles-greenhouse-gases-and-energy).
Liptáková, J. (2017): Slovakia to boost the utilization of renewables, in: Slovak Spectator, November 13, 2017 (https://spectator.sme.sk/c/20648728/slovakia-to-boost-the-utilisation-of-renewables.html).

Global Environmental Protection

#12

To what extent does the government actively contribute to the design and advancement of global environmental protection regimes?

10
 9

The government actively contributes to international efforts to design and advance global environmental protection regimes. In most cases, it demonstrates commitment to existing regimes, fosters their advancement and initiates appropriate reforms.
 8
 7
 6


The government contributes to international efforts to strengthen global environmental protection regimes. It demonstrates commitment to existing regimes and occasionally fosters their advancement or initiates appropriate reforms.
 5
 4
 3


The government demonstrates commitment to existing regimes, but neither fosters their advancement nor initiates appropriate reforms.
 2
 1

The government does not contribute to international efforts to strengthen global environmental protection regimes.
Global Environmental Policy
5
Slovakia has not acted as an international agenda-setter for global environmental policy. It is rather difficult for a small country to shape the global framework. Moreover, given Slovakia’s state of economic development, environmental issues are not the top priority of policymakers. The overall policy framework regarding climate change in the Slovak Republic is in line with EU strategies. Slovakia also complies with international treaties. In September 2016, the Slovak parliament ratified the Paris Agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, making the country the fourth to do so. The ratification of the agreement by all key states, including the European Union, featured prominently among Slovakia’s priorities during its EU presidency in the second half of 2016. More recently, the Fico government questioned the EU target of producing 27% of final energy consumption from renewable sources by 2030, which will be difficult to achieve for Slovakia.
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