The critical environmental and sustainability issues of Slovenia:
- Gender Inequality
The GII is an inequality index constructed by the UNDP and measures gender inequalities in three important aspects of human development—reproductive health, measured by maternal mortality ratio and adolescent birth rates; empowerment, measured by proportion of parliamentary seats occupied by females and proportion of adult females and males aged 25 years and older with at least some secondary education; and economic status, expressed as labour market participation and measured by labour force participation rate of female and male populations aged 15 years and older. On a points basis (ranging from 0 to 100), a higher point level implies a lower inequality between men and women, and therefore lower loss to human development.
Gender inequalities are most pronounced in Slovenia in the knowledge domain of the Gender Inequality Index (GII) with 56.0 points. Slovenia achieves its highest score in the domain of health (87.1 points). Since 2005, Slovenia’s scores improved the most in the domains of power (+ 21.1 points) and money (+ 4.7 points), resulting in 57.6 and 82.4 in 2019, respectively. This suggests a reducing, but still existing gender inequality in the employment sector. Slovenia’s score in the domain of work is 73.3, showing progress of 2.1 points since 2005 (+ 1.5 points since 2015), with a decreased gender gap in the sub-domain of participation. Challenges also remain in the domains of time and health, wherein progress has stalled (– 0.5 and + 0.8 points).
The employment rate (of people aged 20-64) is 72 % for women and 79 % for men. The full-time equivalent employment rate remained stable but low for women (47 %) and decreased for men (from 60 % to 58 %) between 2005 and 2017, narrowing the gender gap from 14 percentage points to 11 percentage points.
Poor nutritional status is reflected in two ways: in excess body weight (particularly male adults and children), and in malnutrition of many older adults who need institutionalised forms of care, and of certain groups of patients (e.g. cancer patients). Slovenia faces the challenge of a rise in excess weight and obesity: 66.6% of men and 42% of women (2012), as well as 25.8% of boys and 21.6% of girls (2013), have a body weight that exceeds the recommended guidelines. The goal of Slovenia in this field is to reduce the percentage of adults and children with excess body weight by 2025.
- Economic Growth
The population in Slovenia as well as around the world is ageing, which means that a diminishing workforce is supporting an increasing number of seniors. Regional instability and risks from climate change are emerging global trends. Technological disruption and rising inequality are immense challenges the society is already facing today. Since the beginning of the financial crisis, Slovenia has been especially affected by the slowdown in economic growth. Slovenia recovered only in part from the economic and financial crisis and returned to relatively stable economic growth (2.5% in 2016 vs negative growth of 7.8% in 2009). The forecast for 2020 is 2.7%, which is still relatively low to sustain consistent well-being for all. The stability of the banking system and of public finances, which was undermined during the crisis, has only been restored in recent years.
- Climate Action
Slovenia’s objective by 2020 is that greenhouse gas emissions will not increase by more than 4% compared to 2005, i.e. that they will be smaller than 12.117 kt CO2 eq. in 2020. The trends of emissions differ by sectors: in the period from 2005 to 2011, the emissions from traffic increased, namely by 28.7%, while the emissions from the fuel consumption in households and service activities reduced by 24.4%, and in farming by 5.1%. This will need to be revisioned at the end of 2020.
- Clean Energy
In Slovenia, 0.8% of occupied dwellings do not have access to electricity. Material consumption per capita in Slovenia is equal to the EU average. However, with regard to the efficiency of the use of resources and energy, Slovenia is below the EU average, and their progress is also too slow concerning the productivity of carbon use. With its new national development framework,
Slovenia aims to give one of the central roles to the successful transition to a low-carbon circular economy. To achieve this, the connection between economic development on one hand and increasing material and energy consumption and the resulting increased environmental pressures on the others must be severed.