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Environment minister attends EU energy ministers' council

Δημοσίευση 4 Δεκεμβρίου 2010, 11:18 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Environment minister attends  EU energy ministers' council
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Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Tina Birbili on Friday participated in the EU energy ministers' council taking place in Brussels, presenting Greece's positions on achieving 2020 emission targets and energy networks.

Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Tina Birbili on Friday participated in the EU energy ministers' council taking place in Brussels, presenting Greece's positions on achieving 2020 emission targets and energy networks.

In an announcement concerning the Europe 2020 Energy Strategy, Birbili stressed the need to link this with 2050 targets for a low-carbon economy and asked the Commission to work on various scenarios with high participation of renewable energy sources (RES).

She noted that the strategy was trying to combine conflicting policies, promoting RES and energy conservation at the same time as increasing use of nuclear power and hydrocarbons. The minister supported a transition to a competitive low-carbon economy with enhanced policies seeking to balance a more efficient use of natural resources with protection for the environment.

Birbili stressed the Greek government's opposition to the use of nuclear power and its reservations concerning its further development and application.

"In terms of [nuclear power], we want to stress that we would not like to see a stronger role for nuclear energy. The EU has an obligation to concentrate on those areas where there is agreement. Nuclear energy is a national issue and divides European energy policy. Our basic tools must continue to be the binding targets for restricting gas emissions and increasing the percentage of RES in final energy consumption," she said.

On the issue of linking power networks, Birbili referred to the need to extend the EU electric power market to isolated areas, such as linking islands with the mainland systems and thus tapping into the rich wind and solar power potential islands in order promote RES.

She also supported the continuation of efforts to link Mediterranean countries to the power grid, creating a Mediterranean Ring, for the optimum utilisation of RES in the region.

Finally, she hailed the Commission's "balanced references" to the Turkey-Greece-Italy (TGI) natural gas pipeline and Nabucco pipeline in terms of the southern European natgas corridor.

Birbili underlined, in closing, that the key priorities for achieving the 20-20-20 targets were to construct electrical power networks that would ensure maximum exploitation of RES and diversification of sources and routes of natural gas.