K. Mitsotakis at Politico on the climate crisis: time is running out for all of us

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The Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, refers to the 6 + 1 points program for the climate implemented by our country in an article published in Politico, in which he recalls, among other things, that to face the climate crisis “we must set ambitious goals, act quickly and take the lead by paving the way ”.

The six initiatives concern maritime transport, tourism, renewable energy sources, coal emissions, green energy interconnections and ecosystem protection and, as Mr Mitsotakis points out, are supported by a new law on the climate, the final draft of which will be approved by the Council of Ministers this week “.

It should be noted that the Council of Ministers is expected to meet on Thursday.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ article in Politico reads as follows:

“Time is running out for all of us. The Greeks are experiencing what is happening.
This past summer, our country, quite simply, was faced with flames. We have all experienced the dramatic and catastrophic consequences of global warming with record temperatures that have remained above 40 degrees Celsius for several days. What followed was an unprecedented environmental disaster with forest fires destroying valuable ecosystems within days.

What is happening is not just climate change in action and underway, but an unprecedented threat to our way of life and the future of our children. And to face it, we must set ambitious goals, act quickly and take the lead in leading the way. Because if we have the courage to work together – quickly, on a large scale, and now – to overcome financial difficulties, we can build something new through this crisis.

Greece is a medium-sized European country, a maritime power with 20% of the world merchant fleet and a major tourist destination. We could possibly be satisfied with an observer role, simply waiting for the others, the countries responsible for the biggest greenhouse gas emissions, to act. After all, the amount of carbon dioxide we emit is relatively small. But we won’t. Even smaller countries, like Greece, can significantly influence the green transition internationally.

Along with eight other EU Member States, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Cyprus, Malta and Slovenia, Greece recently adopted the Athens Declaration on Climate Change, which focuses on mitigating the effects on the climate throughout the Mediterranean.

We have also created the Ministry of Climate Crisis and are implementing a 6 + 1 point climate program across Greece. Six initiatives – on maritime transport, tourism, renewable energies, coal emissions, green energy interconnections and ecosystem protection – supported by a new climate law covering all these issues, the final draft of which will be approved by the Council of Ministers this week.

The green transition is, however, a capital intensive transformation. Greece has so far succeeded in mobilizing significant European resources to deal with the effects of climate change. But it’s not enough. Europe needs more innovative approaches to financing and fundraising on a scale commensurate with the work we do collectively. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that when the need arises, we can fund large-scale research and innovation with great results.

We must therefore work to support interoperable and transnational intelligent infrastructures across borders, governed by transparency, accessible and harmonized in a secure manner with the rules of equal competition. We can only put new ideas and innovative companies into practice if the private sector, governments and investors work together. We must therefore remove the barriers to international capital investment and support the markets that will be created, as well as the ideas on which green technologies and alternative fuels will be based.

This involves investing in renewable energy sources, such as offshore wind and research and development (R&D) projects, such as the new EU Sustainable Maritime Transport Research Institute, which supports the development of green technology ideas aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. the footprint of shipping in the future. But also projects like those of Astypalea and Halki, which will make these islands 100% green and energy self-sufficient destinations for sustainable tourism with the support of Volkswagen and Citroën.

If we can work together, we can build the green industrial revolution of tomorrow. We can connect our citizens and our businesses to the benefits of the green transition. It is time to understand that ending this crisis is not a burden that increases costs and undermines economic growth. It’s the opposite: a green technological revolution with enormous potential for wealth production and redistribution. “

Apostolos Chondropoulos


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