Talk by Nikos Mantzaris titled “The time has come: Lignite phase-out!” in the context of the open discussion forum KOSMOSLabs which was entitled “Νo more coal, challenges and opportunities for a coal free economy”, on May 6, 2019.
The open discussion was organized by the political initiative KOSMOS, which was represented by Petros Kokkalis, MEP candidate with “SYRIZA – Progressive Alliance”. Other members of the discussion included Tasos Krommidas, policy expert in energy and climate change and member of the Green Tank’s Advisory Committee, Takis Grigoriou, energy and climate change officer at Greenpeace, and Dimitris Tsekeris, special advisor to the Minister of Environment and Energy.
In his talk Nikos Mantzaris highlighted that Greece was one of seven EU countries that have yet to initiate a discussion on a coal phase out date. He demonstrated that Greece persists on lignite even though this most-polluting fuel has had the greatest contribution to the country’s GHG emissions and important cross-regional and cross-border impacts on the environment and public health. He also showed the economic cost that render lignite electricity production as non-profitable, a fact that leads to a never ending chase of exemptions for the ever stricter provisions of environmental and climate legislation. In addition, he noted the need of more national and EU funds for the National Just Transition Fund, which was recently established as the first such fund by an EU member state to support the lignite dependent local communities transition to sustainable economic activities.
A lively discussion with participants, as well as questions from those following through the live web-streaming followed. Issues raised concerned the emissions trading scheme, the balance between the development of renewables and the need to ensure nature conservation, energy communities as well as the National Plan for Climate and Energy.
You can watch the whole event (in Greek) by clicking here.
You can read the comments submitted by the Green Tank during the public consultation on the draft National Plan for Climate and Energy here.