Proposals for the climate and nature

Participation of Ioli Christopoulou in the event organized by the Greens political party, entitled “Which policy for RES? Defending AND the Climate AND Nature” on Thursday 24.06.2021.

The online discussion was opened by Nikos Chrysogelos and Giannis Paraskevopoulos from the Greens, while Theodota Nantsou from WWF Greece, Nikos Charalambides from Greenpeace Greece, Antonis Broumas from Klima 500 initiative, Apostolis Kaltsis from the Hellenic Ornithological Society, Christos Fassoulas from the Network of bodies and citizens for the protection of Agrafa also participated in the event. Costas Vlachopoulos from the Green Ecologists (Oikologoi Prasinoi) party, Vasso Leventakou from the Animal Party, Thrasos Fotinos from the Green Left party and Penelope Petropoulou from the Pirate Party of Greece made interventions.

Ioli Christopoulou set as a starting point of her presentation that the climate crisis and the loss of biodiversity are interconnected and mutually reinforce another. Referencing the conclusions of the recent joint IPCC and IPBES Report, she noted that neither of the two crises will be addressed effectively if the consequence of the solutions to one do not take into account the consequences these may have on the other.

Based on this assertion, she shared proposals for the establishment of ambitious national climate targets (emissions reduction and renewables (RES) targets), making special note of the reference to the role of energy communities, and the formulation of a national nature policy equal to Greece’s natural wealth.

She further stressed the need to elaborate a new Spatial Plan for RES based on interdisciplinary approach, through the establishment of Special Scientific Committee, with experts from the energy and nature sectors, as well as social scientists.

Beyond the need for this Committee, she noted that the elaboration of the new Spatial Plan must also be accompanied by an extensive and open dialogue, in order for mutually acceptable solutions to be reached. In this context she also made note of the online dialogue organized by the Green Tank and the Heinrich Boell Foundation, emphasizing that dialogue must be promoted instead of parallel monologues, the reproduction of myths and polarization.

Regarding the national nature policy, she mentioned the imperative to cover new (preparation of a New Biodiversity Action Plan) and old needs, such as the definition and adoption of conservation objectives for Natura 2000 sites, the completion of the Special Environmental Studies for the designation of nationally protected areas, the reform the appropriate assessment process, in line with the European Union Nature Directives, and, finally, the adoption and implementation of action plans for endangered species. All these elements of nature policy are necessary also for the deployment of renewables in Greece, as they will lead to measures that better mitigate their impacts.

Finally, moving beyond the topic of site selection, she focused on terms that are applied upon the approval of specific projects. She noted the differentiated approaches followed in the definition of terms at the environmental permit stage of wind farms, especially as they relate to the protection of birds, as was found in the recent analysis by the Green Tank and NCC. She thus proposed the adoption of a harmonized framework of environmental permit terms, which can be applied uniformly, based on uniform specifications, throughout the country’s territory that will include systematic monitoring programs as well as programs of systematic carcass search and collection, and scaled for areas of greater sensitivity and others that are under protection status, or with high concentration of wind farms.

You can watch the whole event (in Greek) here or only her speech here :