Climate Change

Mitsotakis: In face of climate devastation, new Greece is emerging

Mitsotakis In face climate devastation new Greece emerging

Photo: Prime Minister GR / X

Published

December 4, 2023

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Published:

December 4, 2023

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The environmental, economic, but also geopolitical benefits of a rapid transition to renewable energy have never been more obvious, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told the delegates at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28 in Dubai. Highlighting this year’s catastrophic wildfires and floods, he said a new Greece is emerging nevertheless.

Over 80,000 people are expected to attend the 28th UN Climate Change Conference – COP28, also known as the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change). Scientists and top officials from governments, multinational companies and civil society organizations are seeking a way to get the planet on track to prevent global warming from exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100.

In his speech at the plenary session in Dubai, Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis presented his country’s efforts and achievements. In addition, he urged for more funds for resilience, adaptation to climate change and a just transition for the communities facing an economic blow from decarbonization measures.

“The evidence of the climate crisis has never been clearer. Equally, the benefits of a faster transition to a net-zero economy have never been more obvious. Greece embodies this economy probably better than many countries. In just a few weeks, we experienced forest fires that burned over 1% of our landmass and rains that brought more water in a single day than most places receive in a year, causing unprecedented floods. And yet alongside this climate devastation, a new Greece is emerging,” Mitsotakis told the delegates at COP28.

Solar, wind power shield from energy crisis

The Balkan country reduced its coal use by more than 80%, he noted and added that emissions are 43% smaller than in 2005, attributing the shift to the acceleration of the deployment of renewables. It is one of the best results in Europe, Mitsotakis pointed out.

Mitsotakis: Greece had world’s fifth-highest renewables capacity per capita last year

“Last year, our penetration of wind and solar was the seventh highest in the world, and our installed capacity was the fifth highest on a per capita basis. The wind and sun now generate over half of our electricity and they shield us from the energy crisis that Russia caused when it invaded Ukraine. The environmental, economic, but also geopolitical benefits of a rapid transition to renewable energy have never been more obvious,” the prime minister stated.

Mitsotakis vowed to decarbonize the domestic maritime transportation sector and said Greece would soon deploy offshore wind power plants on the Aegean Sea.

Greek islands are laboratories for sustainability

The Greek leader referred to the country’s islands as “laboratories of cutting-edge sustainability practices.” On the sidelines of the event, the government announced that it is including the island of Poros near Athens in the national GR-eco Islands program.

The project was launched in cooperation with Masdar – Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. Moreover, last week the European Commission selected six Greek islands including Astypalea and Tilos within its ’30 Renewable Islands for 2030′ initiative.

The renovation of homes and offices in Greece reached an unprecedented rate, he asserted. Greece is building a carbon capture and storage value chain for the heavy industry, Mitsotakis stressed.

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