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Mitsotakis: Greece a Protagonist in Europe's Endeavor to Be the First Climate-Neutral Continent

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Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during the inauguration of a 10 MW photovoltaic park by R-Energy 1 company, held at Corinthia region on Tuesday.(Photo by Eurokinissi/Dimitris Papamitsos)

ATHENS -- Greece will be the protagonist in Europe's endeavor to be the first climate-neutral continent, said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during the inauguration of a 10 MW photovoltaic park by R-Energy 1 company, held at Corinthia region on Tuesday.

"Our duty to ensure that we do not hand over to our children a planet that is literally ruined is not just a national duty, or a European duty, it is a global duty," stressed the premier, and continued: "We have already made our own commitments. We will be the first climate-neutral continent in 2050. And my ambition is for Greece to be the protagonist, not a mere follower, in this very big effort."

Commenting on the photovoltaic park investment inaugurated at Corinthia on the day, he said that local communities are fully aware of the benefits thereof: "Access to cheaper electricity, compensatory benefits, and new jobs, either in construction or in maintenance. It is very important that local communities help in this effort."

Talking about the significance of renewable energy sources, Mitsotakis noted that the government "insists on the modernization of the framework on the spatial planning for renewable energy sources, but also on the opening of new opportunities, new challenges, such as offshore wind farms, which enable us to take advantage of the very rich wind potential that we have over our seas."

Mentioning the transition away from lignite dependency for power production towards RESs, he said that apart from the fact that lignite is very expensive, RESs are overwhelmingly friendlier to the environment, and they happen to be a lot cheaper too."

"Greece has been at the frontline also in this particular part of the European bid towards RESs, securing funds for the Fair Transition [EU Initiative] of areas like western Macedonia and Megalopolis.

Finally, the prime minister said that energy consumers will not bear the brunt of global price hikes in natural gas, "because part of the policy of protecting citizens is to protect them from fluctuations in energy prices."

These increases "are often the product of this extremely complex and often unpredictable process of green transition," he concluded.