Many Evia woes avoidable, says minister

Many Evia woes avoidable, says minister

Minister of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Christos Stylianides insisted Tuesday during the 1st Athens ESG & Climate Crisis Summit organized by Kathimerini at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center that if the forested areas of Evia island had been properly cleared and managed, many of the devastating consequences of last summer’s wildfires could have been avoided.

“If we had good clearing and management of the forest in Evia, I am sure we would have avoided a large number of consequences,” he said, talking to a panel of young people from the island. 

He assured that all the necessary measures are being taken so “that we do not have another Evia or another Mati.” Among these measures are the need “to build large firebreaks, to clear the forest, to manage it, to set up teams and companies that manage the forest.”

Stylianides also reiterated the government’s intention to purchase a total of six new Canadair firefighting aircraft.

“We will numerically reach a fleet that will be sufficient for the worst-case scenario,” he said.

Among the list of prominent participants Tuesday, European Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans said countries must present more ambitious nationally determined contributions (NDCs) in the runup to COP26.

He added that countries with no historical responsibility for the current pollution levels are also being asked to take difficult measures and they need our support in that. Timmermans further stressed that countries need to convince China – responsible for 28 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions – to peak earlier than 2030.

Wednesday’s participants include US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in a discussion with Kathimerini English Edition editor in chief Tom Ellis, who will also talk with German Ambassador Dr Ernst Reichel. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will also participate.

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