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President Pirc Musar Travelled To A Climate Conference With The Falcon Jet

“Unfortunately, this is the only way we can coordinate and carry out all of the President’s commitments before, during and after the conference,” the President’s office told the media outlet N1. The President travelled to Dubai for the climate conference in a Falcon jet, rather than on a scheduled flight. Before her election, Pirc Musar promised to take care of the environment and her carbon footprint.

The COP28 United Nations Climate Change Conference is taking place in Dubai from Thursday, the 30th of November, to Tuesday, the 12th of December, with many heads of state and wealthy people, such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and other influencers, arriving on their private jets. 14 thousand NGOs are also there. The President of the Republic, Nataša Pirc Musar, travelled there in a government Falcon. Was this justified?

It is important to note that before taking office, the President of the country vowed to “check the carbon footprint of each route before it is taken. And I will commit to that.” Well, Pirc Musar has certainly not followed through on her own promises this time, opting instead for the more expensive and more environmentally controversial option of not taking one of the scheduled flights to the United Arab Emirates, one of the world’s best-connected destinations. Although the President’s office claims that taking the Falcon there was the only way for her to get to and from Dubai, we have verified that this is not the case.

The Zagreb airport offers several daily flights to Dubai, with prices ranging between 500 and 850 euros for a return flight. We are still checking how much the use of the Falcon and the entire stay of the staff of the Office of the President will cost us citizens. However, the President is a regular user of the Falcon – in the past, for example, she used it for a trip to the coronation of King Charles III that took place in London, which is also one of the best-connected destinations in Europe.

On Friday, Pirc Musar addressed the gathering at the climate conference. Read her message on the war against the climate crisis below.

Pirc Musar recalled the catastrophic effects of climate change that Slovenia experienced last summer and this summer. On the one hand, catastrophic fires and, on the other, floods affecting a third of the country. She added that extreme and rapidly changing weather patterns everywhere are a wake-up call that the time for mitigation is running out and a warning that much more flexible adaptation is needed to maintain the new normal. To keep global warming within the 1.5 degrees Celsius target, Pirc Musar said, we must first agree to phase out fossil fuels and fossil fuel subsidies. “If coal production continues to increase until 2030 and gas and oil production until 2050, we have no chance of reaching this target,” she stressed.

Phasing out fossil fuels must go hand in hand with tripling our renewable energy capacity and doubling our energy efficiency, she said. And we must make every effort to develop nature-based solutions when developing flexible and sustainable adaptation measures. “Nature is our greatest ally in the fight against climate change. Let us never forget that,” she added.

In light of the upcoming 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the President warned that a new set of human rights is emerging “as a result of climate change and our reckless attitude towards nature.” Among these, she mentioned the rights to a clean and healthy environment, to water and clean air. “Then there is climate justice, which is and must be an imperative – many countries would agree. A green transition must include the most vulnerable among us. My country is ready to contribute,” she stressed, and then, in addition to Slovenia’s contribution of 1.5 million euros to the Loss and Damage Response Fund, she also announced a commitment to significantly increase the country’s contribution to the Green Climate Fund.

The President also drew attention to the fact that there are too many armed conflicts in the world, which represent an “often overlooked and serious obstacle” to making progress in mitigating the climate crisis. “These wars are devastating, especially for the people affected, but also for their environment and ecosystems. Gaza today is a devastating humanitarian and ecological disaster, as is Ukraine, as are all other conflicts around the world,” she pointed out, adding that every conflict takes its toll, not only on civilians but also seriously threatens their environment.

In light of this, she pledged that world leaders should wage only one war that truly makes sense. “This is a war against the climate crisis, biodiversity loss and pollution,” she stressed.

She called for action and an end to the shifting of responsibilities to future generations. “Is this fair? Is this responsible? We all know the answer,” she concluded.

M. P.

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