Climate transformation and social and economic impacts

The EU has set a goal for all Member States to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. To attain this goal, Slovakia has set a target to reduce CO2 emissions in the non-ETS sector by 20% by 2030 compared to 2005, achieve a 19.2% share of renewable resources in the energy mix, and achieve a 30.3% improvement in energy efficiency. However, these goals will probably have to be reviewed to make them even more ambitious, and they will be affected by the current geopolitical situation, which may further accelerate the need to additionally reduce Slovakia’s dependence on fossil fuels.

Total GHG emissions in Slovakia are in excess of 40 million tonnes of CO2 eq. (excluding CO2 absorption from land use, land-use change and forestry – LULUCF).

The energy sector creates the largest percentage of GHG emissions, as transport emissions which account for two-thirds of all emissions are reported within this sector. Emissions from industrial processes account for about 20% of total emissions. This means that the highest contribution to decarbonization in Slovakia will have to come from the energy, transport, and industrial sectors.

Therefore, the right strategies and measures for the reduction of CO2 emissions must be put in place, e.g. by reducing the proportion of fossil fuels in the energy mix, increasing the share of renewable energy sources, promoting decarbonization measures in industry, improving the energy performance of buildings, and supporting sustainable mobility and public transport.

Each of these measures brings challenges in the form of social and economic impacts. Technological changes in industry and the phase-out of carbon-intensive sectors are likely to adversely affect employment rates, average wages, and regional economies in general, as well as demography, i.e. the depopulation of certain regions. The change to the energy mix and promotion of renewable energy sources may impact final energy prices and put certain population groups at risk of energy poverty.

All these aspects need to be considered when designing and implementing climate goals and policies in order that the transformation to carbon neutrality is fair and the negative impacts are kept at a minimum. In this context, we assist national and local governments with the assessment of climate-related goals and the design of appropriate climate change mitigation measures.

We can help our clients in various areas, for example, we:

Analyse the current status, existing strategies, policies, and goals related to climate change;

Propose climate change mitigation measures and recommendations according to international best practice;

Perform macro-economic and social and economic modelling of impacts of climate change mitigation measures;

Develop national and regional strategies for climate-related transformation;

Develop and assess hypotheses to make informed decisions; 

Organize a participatory process for developing climate change mitigation strategies and measures.

From the initial situation and the analysis of hypotheses to strategy:

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