At the Climate Change Summit, Greece is at the forefront of developments in Europe

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Unprecedented forest fires last summer, very high temperatures, which exceeded 40⁰C, as well as similar extreme weather events around the world, indicate in the most tragic way that the effects of climate change are now undeniable and are here.

Writes the Anna-Michelle Assimakopoulou *

For this reason, the Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, spoke from the first moment about the phenomenon of the climate crisis, emphasizing that the effects of climate change are so extensive and intense, that we should now talk about an issue of global environmental crisis.

The “Conference of the Parties” (COP26), of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to be held from 31 October to 12 November 2021 in Glasgow, United Kingdom, calls on States to take crucial decisions. The central issue is the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change and the response to the global climate crisis.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wants Europe to lead this global effort, in line with the European Green Agreement. At the same time, he points out the importance of the rules for achieving the goal of reducing emissions by 55% by 2030. The creation of the Global Coal Markets, which he proposes, is a typical example of such a framework of rules.

In addition, the President announced that The European Union (EU) will contribute € 1 billion to end deforestation, as well as the new EU-Catalyst cooperation, Which is launching a $ 1 billion investment in financing and commercial development of new green technologies in Europe.

Focusing on Greece, Our country has shown, once again, quick reflexes in the face of the challenges of the climate crisis. The green and digital transition, after all, is the key to a sustainable future, at European and national level, for us and our children.

In this context, Kyriakos Mitsotakis presents the innovations that have already been launched in Greece, at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change. Specifically, with the creation of the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, it highlights the responsibility and determination with which Greece responds to the challenges arising from the climate crisis.

Greece is going to proceed with the carbonization of Greek shipping, a fact that is a global innovation, while In the field of tourism, the Prime Minister announced, at the Summit, the “GR – Eco Islands” initiative, through which he will gradually turn our islands into 100% green, energy autonomous and sustainable destinations.

The government’s innovations in dealing with the climate crisis, however, are not limited to these. Important initiatives are also taken in the field of renewable energy sources. Greece is also a pioneer in this field, as it turns to offshore wind energy, until 2030, but also to hydroelectric energy. In addition, the de-ligation of the country, by 2028, a demand of decades and a firm commitment of the government, is gradually taking shape.

Alongside, our country is actively present in the protection of ecosystems, with particular emphasis on the protection of marine biodiversity, banning fishing in 10% of the Greek seas, until 2030, while also promoting a program to protect mountains and their ecosystems.

The insight of the Greek Prime Minister is proven by his intention to turn Greece into a regional hub of green energy. The agreement with Egypt in the field of electricity interconnection is an important step in this direction. After all, our country is a point of entry for the European energy market for the green hydrogen produced in the Middle East and North Africa.

At the Climate Change Summit, Greece proves, once again, that it is at the forefront of developments, with innovative ideas, proposals for a green transition and a vision for a safer and more sustainable tomorrow. She is present and optimistic, and as the Prime Minister characteristically states, “starting today, we can stand up to this challenge.”

*Anna Michelle Assimakopoulou is an economist, lawyer and Greek member of the European Parliament with the European People’s Party.

He is Vice-Chairman of the Committee on International Trade (INTA), a member of the Special Committee on Artificial
In the Digital Age (AIDA), member of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO), member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET), member of the Development Committee (DEVE) and member of the ́ Committee on the Future of Science and Technology ( STOA).

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