NEWS

Greek PM tells conservationists green agenda a top priority

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Brandishing his eco-friendly credentials, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis reiterated on Friday to representatives of 18 environmental groups that a green agenda is among his government’s top priorities. 

During the meeting at the Maximos Mansion in Athens on Friday, Mitsotakis highlighted the government’s determination to undertake bold steps, spearheaded by what he described as the “emblematic” decision to reduce the country’s dependence on lignite to zero by 2028 at the latest.

The goal, he said, is to place Greece at the forefront of environmental policy in the European Union.

“We’ve known each other for many years, from the time I was president of [Parliament's'] Environmental Committee, and I am happy that conditions have now matured for effective and daring policies regarding environmental protection,” he told the delegates, assuring them that he will take a personal interest in the issue.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the meeting reflected the government’s multifaceted agenda, which includes environmental protection through the promotion of a green economy and citizens’ participation.

The meeting touched on a wide range of issues – from the effort to do away with lignite dependence and the ban on single-use plastic bags to zoning with respect to biodiversity, the development of an efficient and functioning national system of protected areas, as well as the need for Greece to implement environmental diplomacy.

Mitsotakis’ aim to significantly increase the generation of electrical power from renewable energy sources (RES) was reportedly discussed extensively during the meeting. The objective is to increase the share of RES in the energy mix to 35 percent by 2030 – compared to the previous target of 31 percent.

Mitsotakis’ intentions were also highlighted at last month’s United Nations climate summit in New York and his meeting in Paris and Berlin with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.