Financial News: Environment minister: Greece within targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Greece is within the targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the roadmap for the transition to a low carbon economy that looks, inter alia, to covering 100 percent of the country's electricity needs with Renewable Energy Sources (RES) will be completed by the end of summer, Environment, Energy and Climate Change minister Tina Birbili said Thursday, addressing the 15th Economist Round Table with the Greek Government on the theme "In the aftermath of the global economic crisis: What next?"
According to figures cited by the minister, carbon dioxide emissions have already been reduced to 23 percent above the base year, against a target of 25 percent by 2012 under the Kyoto Protocol, and emissions are continuing to decline.

On the roadmap to the year 2050, which will soon be put to public debate, Birbili said it will contain the following targets:

-Meeting 100 percent of electrical energy production through RES
-Increasing installed RES power to 40 GW (giga-watt) from 15 GW in 2020
-Reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 60 percent
-Containment of energy consumption at the present levels
-Increase in transport activity conducted by rail
-Energy upgrading of buildings
-Increased use of biomass and biofuel
-Improvement and extension of energy transport networks
-Increase of energy storage capacity, chiefly with dams and electricity-powered vehicles
-Improvement of productivity in the energy sector.

Birbili explained that the roadmap is founded on existing technologies, and pending is the calculation of the cost-benefit of the relevant actions.

At European level, she continued, the transition to a low carbon economy translates into the creation of 6 million new jobs and an increase in the European GDP by 6 percent.
Birbili further said that the tragic events in Fukushima and unrest in the Middle East have shown that a change of the growth model is mandatory in order to meet the challenges, and reiterated the Greek government's opposition to the use of nuclear energy.

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