The recovery plan is a joint response of the EU countries to the severe decline of the economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its main goal is to continue reforms and investments that continue to catch up with the EU average standard of living again.
Reforms and investments in the area of the green economy make up the largest part of the recovery plan - up to 2.17 billion euros.
They respond to the ambitious goals of achieving carbon neutrality in the European Union by 2050 and reducing greenhouse gases by 2030 by reducing emissions by 55% compared to 1990.
THERE ARE 5 KEY COMPONENTS IN THE GREEN ECONOMY IN THE RECOVERY PLAN
1. Renewable energy sources and energy infrastructure
Investments in supporting the construction of new capacities of renewable energy sources (RES) and the modernization of existing facilities producing electricity from RES in a total volume of 220 MW of installed capacity will contribute to reducing the carbon intensity of the energy industry and support the achievement of the EU goal of a 32% share of RES in final energy consumption by the year 2030. Digital investments in the electricity system will support faster, more reliable and more cost-effective integration of renewable sources.
2. Restoration of buildings
Energy efficiency, air quality and adaptation to climate change will be increased by the construction of new energy-efficient public buildings, hospitals and schools, and the renovation of existing buildings in both public and private ownership, including 30,000 family homes, with an emphasis on improving thermal insulation properties, replacing inefficient sources of heat and hot water, and application of climate change adaptation measures. Support for intelligent building management systems will contribute to reducing their energy consumption. Investments from the renovation plan should contribute significantly to the goal of reducing energy consumption in buildings by 40% by 2050 and at the same time reduce emissions from buildings by 79% compared to 2020.
The restoration of 30,000 family homes is in charge of the Slovak Environmental Agency.
3. Sustainable transport
Reforms in the field of strategic planning of transport infrastructure and subsequent investments in ecological transport, especially in the reconstruction of over 69 km of railways, the dispatching of over 100 km of railways and the construction of 200 km of new bicycle transport infrastructure, will create a cleaner, smarter, safer and more efficient transport sector. Through the measures in the recovery plan, the share of ecological forms of transport in the total distribution of transport work will increase and the volume of transported goods in ecological intermodal transport will also increase, which will significantly reduce CO2 production in the transport sector, which is one of the sectors with the highest growth in emissions. The construction of a skeleton network of urban and long-distance infrastructure for vehicles with an alternative drive will also contribute to the reduction of transport emissions.
4. Decarbonization of industry
One of the main goals of the Slovak Republic in the transformation of the economy to a low-carbon one is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from industrial production and industrial processes. Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in industry by at least 2.6 mil. tons of eqCO2 per year should be achieved mainly by introducing innovations and circular economy principles into industrial processes, increased use of the best available techniques (so-called BAT, "Best Available Technologies"), modernization of energy- and material-intensive operations, or transition to cleaner methods of energy production and products also through the use of energy sources without greenhouse gas emissions.
5. Adaptation to climate change
Adaptation reforms and investments will increase the long-term resilience of the country's ecosystems as a response to climate change, by expanding undisturbed parts of protected areas and national parks with the highest degree of protection, renaturing watercourses and reducing the impact of natural disasters. The reform will define the maintenance of landscape structures, which will be of fundamental importance for the ecological stability of the country in the context of climate change and the protection of biodiversity. A framework will be created for more efficient management of watercourses, better conditions for achieving their favorable condition, the ability of the country to retain water will be increased and flood protection of settlements and the country will be ensured. Nature protection will be complemented by development plans for soft tourism in two national parks, which will support ecological recreation and build quality infrastructure for diverse and modern national parks in Slovakia. Supporting natural ecosystems will ensure resilient forest ecosystems that will contribute to greater biodiversity and carbon neutrality.