The climate crisis is a fight that “will be difficult” but one which countries don’t have the right to lose” for the sake of future generations, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in an op-ed article published by the Spanish newspaper El Pais on Friday, penned on the occassion of the EU Med9 summit which is being held in Athens.
Mitsotakis proposed action to protect the environment from the threat of the climate crisis and raised the alarm about the future. Noting the recent natural disasters that have occurred around the world as a result of the climate crisis, he said that the EU Med summit is called upon to propose solutions for the current and future generations.
“This is something confirmed by the experience from this year’s summer in the Mediterranean and Europe, which were tested simultaneously by fires and flooding,” he wrote.
He proposed an alignment of public and private investments for adapting to climate change and achieving climate neutrality, speeding up infrastructure free of carbon emissions and highlighted the need to restore the environmental damage from floods and fires to preserve biodiversity, as well as to exchange experiences and technologies. He also called for joint action and measures to control overfishing, manage the recovery of tourism post-Covid and upgrade the European Civil Protection Mechanism.
“The Presidents of France and Cyprus, the prime ministers of Italy, Spain, Croatia, Malta, Slovenia and Greece, the foreign minister of Portugal are in the city that gave birth to democracy to serve two universal goals: peace, security and cooperation in the Mediterranean but also the protection of life from nature’s vengeance,” Mitsotakis noted, referring to the record temperatures and extended drought during the summer in Greece and other countries, where lives and forests were lost to wildfires.
“The climate crisis, therefore, is no longer an abstract concept. It has landed on our beautiful shores and poses a visible threat to our environment, our societies and our economies,” he added.
Mitsotakis also expressed confident that the summit will agree on an plan for immediate and ambitious action in this direction, as well as reaffirming the commitment to containing global warming to 1.5C and working with other EU partners ahead of the UN Climate Conference COP26.