Greece’s new energy challenge

The next gov’t will have to provide for the renewal of the property stock and the vehicle fleet

Greece’s new energy challenge

Besides its aging population, Greece’s assets are also showing signs of wear and tear. The European Parliament voted this month to impose a carbon tax on both housing and transport, but statistics point to a very serious problem in the deterioration of the quality of property and vehicles in this country.

The 2021 housing census that is expected to be published by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) will show that less than 7% of properties were built prior to 2005 (i.e. 18 years old), while the newest data on the age of vehicles – which concern 2021 – raise the average age to 17 years, which is also the worst performance in Europe.

These facts make it even more difficult for the country to adapt to the new reality that the European Union wants to introduce. In order to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the framework voted by the European Parliament calls for a carbon tax on transport and housing from 2027. The shift requires funds of tens of thousands of euros per household for either property renovations or vehicle replacement and for a change in heating systems. It is extremely doubtful how it will be accomplished in such a short period time for such a large number of people concerned.

It is therefore one of the key issues that will concern the country’s next government, as besides how the new framework of disincentives for the use of polluting vehicles and heating systems will be enforced (and from when, as it is clear that member countries will seek loopholes), ways should also be sought to facilitate citizens to adapt as quickly as possible to the new reality taking shape.

The tax on carbon dioxide emissions has until now concerned large enterprises or the production of electricity from polluting energy sources such as lignite. The text passed by the European Parliament foresees there should be almost universal application as almost all industrial sectors, shipping, aviation and of course private individuals are now targeted in the two ways mentioned above: transport (i.e. cars) and real estate, namely heating systems.

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