Δευτέρα 15 Απριλίου 2024
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Economist conference: There is no turning back from transitioning to green energy

Economist conference: There is no turning back from transitioning to green energy

Day 2 of the Economist conference

The necessity of the transition to greener forms of energy through specific policies, actions and measures was highlighted on the second day of  the Economist’s 27th Round Table Discussion with the Greek Government on The great transition: Geopolitics-Environment-Technology, by.

Among other things, it stressed that investment in fossil fuels must be stopped, with Sir David King, Chair of the Climate Crisis Group, former UK Special Representative for Climate Change warning that “we are simply too late to start reducing greenhouse gases.”

The Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of the GEK TERNA group underlined the need to create a new Green GDP, while the Minister of Environment and Energy, Theodoros Skylakakis, noted that the energy landscape in Greece does not only include natural gas – for which research is already being done and mentioned to the Euroasia Interconnector.

For his part, the American ambassador to Greece, George Tsunis, said that Greece exports energy and manages to remove Russia from the “neck” of Europe.

Sir David King, Chair of the Climate Crisis Advisory Group, former Special Representative for Climate Change, United Kingdom

“We’re just too late to start reducing greenhouse gases,” the chair of the Climate Crisis Group and former UK Special Representative for Climate Change, Sir David, said from the floor of the Economist’s annual conference. King, making it clear that with this level of gases “there is no way human civilization can survive.”

Sir King referred to the melting of Arctic ice due to rising temperatures, explaining that it is raising sea levels causing increasing complications on the planet: “Vietnam will be 90% underwater at least once a year.”

He particularly emphasized the damage caused by methane gases, even talking about scenarios of an increase in the temperature of the planet by 5-8 degrees in the next 20 years.

Sir King spoke of the biggest threat the planet has ever faced and called for an end to investment in fossil fuels. He also pointed out that the scientific community is considering innovative methods to refreeze the Arctic with human intervention.

Georgios Peristeris, Chairman of the Board and CEO, GEK TERNA Group

“We need to deliver significant economic growth to the national and global economy, to create a new ‘Green GDP‘, rather than simply requiring people to pay higher prices ‘because it’s the right thing to do for the environment’” , the Chairman of the Board and CEO of GEK TERNA Group, Georgios Peristeris, said characteristically from the floor of the Economist’s annual conference, emphasizing:

“This is the real essence of the green energy transition: to design and implement policies, strategies, plans and measures, which not only deliver measurable environmental and climate benefits, but also reduce energy costs and encourage economic growth in new sectors , which overcompensate and redistribute income from traditional polluting sectors such as fossil fuels.”

Theodoros Skylakakis, Minister of Environment and Energy

The importance of Greece’s access to liquefied natural gas (LNG) was mentioned by the Minister of Environment and Energy, Theodoros Skylakakis, stressing that it “proved to be a “saviour” in terms of energy dependence, when Russia invaded Ukraine”. After two years, he added, the country is adding a second source of LNG, which exceeds domestic needs and is beginning to cover the needs of neighboring countries as well.

Furthermore, he noted that there are more opportunities to import LNG and that there is a willingness to find new entry points in order to reduce dependence on Russian gas. Mr. Skylakakis noted that there is historical dependence on pipelines that mainly brought Russian gas, adding that in the last 20 years there has been an effort to have an additional presence of pipelines from the countries of central Asia. At the same time, the minister pointed out that the energy landscape in Greece does not only include natural gas – for which investigations are already underway.

“We have”, he added, “extremely interesting discussions and we are moving forward quickly with the Euroasia Interconnector”, which concerns the electrical connection of Greece, Cyprus and Israel. In conclusion, the Minister of Environment and Energy also focused on the effort to develop offshore wind farms in the Aegean, with the goal “to have the first ones before 2030”.

George T. Tsunis, American Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic

The position that Greece is reshaping the energy landscape in Eastern Europe in a way that makes energy safer and cleaner was expressed by the American Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic, George Tsunis. Referring to energy dependence on Russia, he noted that Europe had trusted a single supplier for a very long time, which “acted extortionately”. “I don’t think it’s a good idea to have just one supplier for anything,” he said. At this point, he praised the “responsible role” played by Greece in alleviating the energy crisis after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In particular, the American Ambassador referred to last winter, when many countries were worried about whether they would have enough energy to keep the lights on, to add that Greece, thanks to its nature and geography, played a role and developed infrastructure, so that it receives, and also supplies energy. Furthermore, Mr. Tsunis focused on the decarbonization of Greece, stressing that it makes energy greener. He added that it is among the top 10 countries in the world that use energy, which comes from renewable sources. In conclusion, he referred to his recent meeting with the Minister of Environment and Energy Theodoros Skylakakis, pointing out the following: “I was surprised by the emphasis he places on RES. Greece exports energy and succeeds in removing Russia from the “neck” of Europe”.

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Δευτέρα 15 Απριλίου 2024