Slovakia

   

Environmental Policies

#28
Key Findings
With growth generally given a higher priority than conservation, Slovakia falls into the lower-middle ranks (rank 28) with regard to environmental policies. Its score on this measure is unchanged 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.

The country relies heavily on nuclear power, with around 54% of the energy mix coming from this source, and more plants currently under construction. Renewable energy sources account for just 6.8% of energy production. Current regulations hinder the installation of household turbines, and the country hosts just two small wind parks.

The government has been drafting a new environmental policy strategy, slated to stretch through 2030. 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

#30

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.

Slovakia relies heavily on nuclear power, which means low greenhouse emissions, but this comes with other risks. Around 54% of the energy mix is nuclear energy, while around 19% come from thermal power and 17.6% from hydroplants. The share of renewable energy sources is a mere 6.8%. 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. The country’s heavy dependence on nuclear energy has made the planned completion of the third and fourth nuclear power plant in Mochovce a major issue for some time. After considerable delay, the completion of the third bloc now looks near.

In the period under review, the Institute of Environmental Policy at the Ministry of Environment has been drafting a new strategy for environmental policy up to 2030. An amendment to the act on support for renewable energy sources and highly efficient cogeneration in October 2018 has further limited the support of renewables.

Citations:
European Commission (2018): Energy Union fact sheet Slovakia. Brussels (https://ec.europa.eu/commission/publications/energy-union-factsheets-eu-countries_en).

Kapitán, P. (2018): Huba: Most people in top positions are are environmentally ignorant and illiterate, in: Slovak Spectator, January 11 (https://spectator.sme.sk/c/20735079/huba-most-people-in-top-positions-are-environmentally-ignorant-and-illiterate.html).

Minarechová, R. (2018): No new nuclear power plant planned, in: Slovak Spectator, December 18 (https://spectator.sme.sk/c/20721155/no-new-nuclear-power-plant-planned.html).

Ministry of the Environment (2018): Mid-term Progress Report of the Environmental Performance Review of the Slovak Republic. Bratislava (http://www.oecd.org/environment/country-reviews/Mid-term-report-EPR-Slovakia-feb-2018.pdf).

Global Environmental Protection

#17

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. 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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