NEWS

Green survey ‘busts myths’

Greeks are well-informed about the risks posed by climate change, positive about initiatives aimed at harnessing relatively untapped renewable energy sources and opposed to the use of nuclear energy, according to the result of a survey carried out by polling firm Public Issue on behalf of conservation group WWF Hellas. A large majority (86 percent) of respondents said they believed Greece would be significantly affected by climate change, citing rising temperatures, dwindling rainfall and drought as the most serious of the repercussions. Asked their opinion about energy planning, four out of 10 (38 percent) said they thought the government should give priority to renewable energy, while exactly a quarter said environmental protection should top the agenda. Six out of 10 (59 percent) of respondents said they were determined to reduce their energy consumption this year, 45 percent said they would buy energy-efficient appliances and 44 percent vowed to use their cars less. A very small proportion (6 percent) expressed an interest in achieving energy self-sufficiency in their homes. Commenting on the results of the survey, which was carried out shortly before the submission in Parliament in mid-March of draft legislation for the harnessing of renewable energy sources, WWF Hellas director Dimitris Karavellas said the findings constituted a «unique opportunity.» «They bust a series of convenient myths that blame citizens for delays in tapping renewable energy sources. The responsibility is now in the hands of those in government,» he said. «The bill… could be a unique opportunity to dynamically penetrate the field of green energy.» In a related development, the Greek arm of conservation group Greenpeace slammed a new tax bill, saying it would freeze the growth of the green economy that the government has promised to foster. Specifically, it criticizes a provision limiting tax returns on energy saving investments to 10 percent.