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Environment minister: Greek climate change initiatives achieved goals

Δημοσίευση 24 Δεκεμβρίου 2010, 13:21 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Environment minister: Greek climate change initiatives achieved goals
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Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Tina Birbili, in comments to the ANA-MPA on Thursday, said Greece had been behind two promising international initiatives for dealing with climate change in 2010 - the Initiative for Climate Change in the Mediterranean and 'Greening the Black Sea' - both of which had achieved their goals.

Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Tina Birbili, in comments to the ANA-MPA on Thursday, said Greece had been behind two promising international initiatives for dealing with climate change in 2010 - the Initiative for Climate Change in the Mediterranean and 'Greening the Black Sea' - both of which had achieved their goals.

She noted that 2010 was a year when global efforts for averting global warming did not get off to a good start but was ending more hopefully with an agreement on protecting biodiversity and the Cancun climate change agreement that bore the signature of all UN member-states.

"We considered that discussions before international meetings should take place between countries that need to adapt to the results of climate change in the same way," she said, noting that Greece's climate was much closer to that of Eastern European and North African countries than to Finland or Norway.

The second stage of these initiatives was to find shared programmes that would bring all sides closer to a 'green development' model, the minister added.

She said that Greece intended to help Malta and Turkey prepare the agenda for the next meetings on climate change in the Mediterranean. In Malta the emphasis will be on drawing up a regional action plan for adapting to the repercussions of climate change, while the meeting in Turkey would examine action in the framework of green growth and the green economy.

On the issue of environmental refugees, Birbili pointed out that UN reports predicted the arrival of hundreds of thousands of environmental refugees in EU countries as a result of climate change.

She pointed out that this would not be linked to transitory or occasional extreme bad weather but things such as chronic water shortage, where populations no longer had the basic means of survival. She noted that these would lead to either migration of populations fleeing such areas or refugees from conflicts triggered by competition for natural resources.

Birbili noted that countries had to plan ahead for such environmental refugees when drawing up plans for adapting to climate change repercussions. She said each country had to have its own national plan for dealing with such issues but, since many of the problems would extend beyond national borders, countries could also draw up regional plans as well.