Greece's goal is to become a pioneer in the production of clean energy from renewable energy sources, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis underlined during a panel discussion on the climate crisis held on Thursday, in the context of the European People's Party (EPP) Congress and summit taking place in Zagreb.
He highlighted the need to change the energy mix in Greece with a complete phasing out of lignite by 2028 and repeated the government's target to ban all disposable plastic by 2021, overtaking the rest of Europe in this area.
Analysing the importance of taking measures to protect the environment, Mitsotakis said that there was a political and an ethical duty to implement policies that are friendly the environment. While the ethical dimension is obvious, he added, the "political dimension is also clear in my mind".
Referring to the responsibilities of political leaders, Mitsotakis said that "either we will chose to lead the effort by giving the right example through the implementation of essential policies with immediate results or lose touch with the younger generation, which genuinely cares about these problems, much more than our generation did."
The Greek prime minister noted that the climate crisis is not only a problem that has to be solved but also an opportunity. "I have said many times that growth will either be sustainable or not exist," he said.
Referring to the international meeting that will be held in 2020 in Athens on the impact of climate change on cultural heritage, Mitsotakis underlined: "We will try to raise people's awareness of an aspect of climate change that has been underestimated and concerns its repercussions on cultural heritage."