Thoughts on the occasion of the approval of the European Climate Law

Nikos Mantzaris participated in the ERT3 TV show O3, sharing some thoughts on the the occasion of the approval of the European Climate Law.

The European Climate Law makes climate neutrality by 2050 a legally binding European Union (EU) objective. This target, although difficult, can be achieved, explained Nikos Matzaris as he spoke to journalists Eutuxia Konstantinidou and Nikos Pitsiakidis. Despite past negligence regarding climate change, gradually valuable lost time is being covered. He noted specifically that important changes in the EU legislation were triggered since 2015, when the Paris Agreement was adopted.

Referring to the EU 2030 of emissions reduction by 55% compared to 1990 levels, which has also become legally binding, he noted that this is not sufficient, given scientific requirements. Thus, he emphasized that, in order to achieve neutrality, more climate ambition is needed for 2030 as had been requested by the European Parliament, and several political groups (Green, the Left) that ended up voting against the final text. In the same vein are the calls originating from the young people across Europe, who have not ceased to push in this direction. In any case, it is extremely important to use appropriately the available funds for the transformation of various sectors of the economy, such as electricity generation, in the coming years.

Analyzing the case of Greece, Nikos Mantzaris said that it has the seventh worst climate performance in the EU, as it showed climate indifference by increasing greenhouse gas emissions for years. Based on the latest available official data of 2018, Greece has achieved only a -12% compared to 1990 levels. However, in 2019 and 2020 much progress was made, which is mainly due to delignitization.

On the occasion of the conclusion of the European Climate Law, Nikos Mantzaris also commented on the climate targets that must be included in the National Climate Law for Greece that is currently being drafted. Noting the practice applied when developing its National Energy and Climate Plan, during which Greece’s targets were similar or even exceeded those set at the EU level, he stressed the need for Greece to commit to climate neutrality by 2050 and a reduction of net emissions by at least 55% by 2030. Also following the European practice, Greece must establish sectoral carbon budgets for each sector of the economy.

Finally, he commented on critical influence of the election of President Biden in the US, which now must, along with the EU, push the major global polluters, and in particular China, to adopt more ambitious goals in line with their own. The US announced complete decarbonization of electricity generation by 2035, steering away from fossil gas. Greece must listen to this trend and avoid investing in new fossil gas plants that will be obsolete in a few years.

You can watch Nikos Mantzaris’ comments to the 03 TV show that was broadcast live on the TV station ERT on 26.06.2021 here: