Greece prepared its first Climate Law and the government hopes it would be adopted by the end of the year. One of the most important measures in it is a ban on the sale of new cars with internal combustion in 2030.
The legislation package that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s cabinet endorsed last week is the country’s first draft Climate Law. He said that from 2025 all the new taxis and one third of rental vehicles in Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-biggest city, would have to have zero emissions. Furthermore, the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines would be banned five years after that, he stressed.
The European Union set its target for ending the sale of new diesel- and gasoline-fueled cars for 2035. The European Commission referred Greece in July to the Court of Justice of the EU for poor air quality caused by high concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in the air in Athens.
According to the draft, which Mitsotakis expects to be passed in parliament by the end of December, all new homes built from 2023 won’t be allowed to use oil burners if they have access to the gas network. Many households are currently using heating oil and diesel for heating.
Mitsotakis: Greeks are backing national green agenda
“I know that these goals are ambitious, but they are necessary and, with the plan we have at our disposal, they can become reality. After all, all Greeks now agree with these initiatives, first and foremost our young people,” Mitsotakis said.
The proposition includes a greenhouse emission cut target of 80% for 2040 and the basis for making so-called carbon budgets or ceilings for transportation, the electricity sector, buildings and other segments of the economy. Local authorities will need to prepare similar action plans.
The Ministry of the Environment and Energy has also prepared bills that would regulate the development of offshore wind power plants and battery storage projects and improve and simplify the licensing system for renewables.
PM rolls back coal phaseout target
Of note, Mitsotakis said at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 that Greece would abolish the use of coal by 2028, though that it would make efforts to do it earlier, and that all existing lignite-fired power plants would be closed by 2023.
The statement drew criticism from environmentalists as the prime minister referred to the old deadline even though government officials and national electricity producer Public Power Co. (PPC) already said the Ptolemaida 5 plant, currently under construction, would be switched to gas by 2025.
Greece supports the European Union’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 and to become climate neutral by mid-century, Mitsotakis stressed in Glasgow at the COP26. He noted that the country accounts for 20% of global shipping and underscored the need for investment in alternative technologies in the sector so that domestic shipowners can “be in the front line of innovation” in their sector.