The Green Tank’s comments on the National Climate Law

The Green Tank submitted its comments to the public consultation on the National Climate Law that is being conducted on the opengov website.

The environmental think tank points out that the proposed national climate law is a very important reform for the country’s climate policy.

It contains many progressive elements, such as setting ambitious climate targets for 2030, 2040 and 2050 and a process for establishing a sectoral carbon budgeting for seven sectors of the economy. Such budgets, which are included in the most progressive climate laws in Europe, will contribute to better monitoring of the country’s climate course, but mainly to the involvement of all sectors of the economy in achieving the climate goals. The climate law also sets several ambitious targets, such as banning the sale of internal combustion vehicles in 2030, five years earlier than the European Union’s time frame, the mandatory covering of at least 30% of large building surfaces with solar power utilization systems (photovoltaic or solar thermal) or reducing total greenhouse gas emissions on the interconnected islands by 80% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels. In addition, it integrates the dimension of climate change into environmental permitting, while, apart from the preparation of plans at a national and regional level, it includes a series of measures for the adaptation to climate change, such as the establishment of an Observatory for Adaptation to Climate Change and the compulsory insurance of housing in areas of high vulnerability from 2025 onwards.

However, the law needs to be improved in many areas in order to be a modern tool for the exercise of the national climate policy, in line with the requirements of science and the urgent need for climate action. More specifically, it is necessary to:

  1. Clarify that the climate law sets the climate targets for 2030 and 2040 while the NCEP specializes them, divides them into areas of economic activity and formulates the measures and policies required to achieve them;
  2. Accelerate lignite phase-out by 2025;
  3. Set a time limit for ending hydrocarbon mining activities;
  4. Set 2035 as the year in which the country will reduce to zero its emissions in the field of electricity generation;
  5. Set RES penetration targets for building heating, as well as improve and supplement the provisions for mandatory installation of solar energy utilization systems in buildings;
  6. Ensure that investments financed for climate change mitigation and adaptation projects with public funds are fully compliant with Green Taxonomy rules and related delegated acts;
  7. Strengthen citizen participation in climate policy consultations (annual progress report and five-year coal budgets) and establish a debate in Parliament each year on the annual report to be submitted by the Scientific Committee on Climate Change.

You can read the Green Tank’s detailed comments (in Greek) here.