Needing Energy, Greece Will Allow Businesses to Keep Polluting

ATHENS – Soaring energy prices brought by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and trying to wean off dependency on Russian supplies has led Greece’s New Democracy government to move to suspend a climate change law that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had touted as critical.

The new law sent to Parliament that the party controls, ensuring its passage, will exempt energy-intensive industries included in the European Union Emissions Trading System from the obligation to reduce emissions 30 percent by 2030.

That target has previously been pushed back as each time a due date gets close the world’s governments can’t meet another delay is added despite what environmentalists said could be irreversible damage.

Also removed from the final text of the new law is the ban on the use of oil burners for heating homes after 2030 and the obligation to sell only zero-emission vehicles after 2030, said Kathimerini.

Many of the energy transition deadlines in other areas have been postponed by one to two years and the law also allows for the “adoption” of energy transition projects on islands.

The key climate targets remain the same: reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2040, no explanation if that could met because of the new setback.

A ban also remains on fossil fuel power generation in 2028, a date that can be expedited depending on power security and security of supply, the paper said, although the government has already returned to using coal after vowing to get off it.



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