Nikos Mantzaris participated in the special news show “Coal phase-out hour zero” with Synthia Sapika.
Deputy Minister of Development and Investments Nikos Papathanasis, former Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy Socrates Famelos, Coordinator of the Just Transition Development Plan Costas Mousouroulis, Chairman of the Committee of Legal Scientists for phasing out coal Ioannis Tzortzis, the Regional Governor of Western Macedonia George Kasapidis, the Mayor of Megalopolis Thanasis Christogiannopoulos, as well as representatives of PPC, IPTO, the Energy Regulatory Authority, OAED and of productive and scientific bodies also participated in the show.
Responding to the questions of Synthia Sapika, Nikos Mantzaris described the benefits that have already been recorded as a result of the rapid reduction of lignite production. In particular, he referred to the large reduction of harmful gases to the environment and public health emitted by lignite plants (sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, microparticles, heavy metals, etc.), as well as of carbon dioxide emissions, the main greenhouse gas.
When asked about the biggest challenges of the next day in the country’s lignite areas, he focused on the urgent need to increase the participation of local communities and the inclusion of their representatives, especially young people, in the governance structures currently developed to implement the transition plan. He also stressed the importance of maximizing the economic benefit for the citizens of the lignite regions, referring specifically to the PPC’s commitment to offer 5% of its photovoltaic investments in the area to citizens as a positive initiative which, however, has not evolved since last year’s announcements. He also highlighted the need to quickly resolve the numerous problems that hinder the development of community-based energy communities in lignite areas. In addition, he suggested a more active involvement of the PPC in the transition and explained that the financing of the transition must be forward-looking in order to stop the immense immediate problems faced by the local communities and especially the tendency of young people to leave.
The show was broadcast live on ERT 3, on Monday, November 29, 2021.
You can watch the show (in Greek) here.