Greece unveils new climate law to slash greenhouse gas emissions
The Greek government has unveiled the country’s first climate law that aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55% within the next decade − and achieve climate neutrality by 2050 – with ambitious new efforts to slash the use of fossil fuels and introduce zero emission vehicles over the next 10 years.
The legislation also sets benchmarks to measure − and accelerate – emissions targets through the use of five year carbon budgets, making Greece one of the first European Union countries to adopt such an initiative.
“The climate law will be the country’s roadmap for achieving the ambitious climate targets for 2030, which are of course the first step on the way to fulfilling the European goal of achieving climate neutrality in 2050,” said Environment and Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas.
The plan reaffirms the government’s goal to completely phase out the use of lignite in power production by 2028 and possibly sooner; ban the use of home heating oil within 10 years; and outlaw the use of diesel oil for power generation by 2030 on islands with autonomous electrical grids.
From 2023, one quarter of all new private vehicles and light trucks sold in Greece must meet low-emission standards and by 2030 only zero emission vehicles will be permitted for sale. Starting in 2025, all new taxis commissioned and one-third of new rental cars in Athens and Thessaloniki – Greece’s two largest cities – must be electric.
Likewise, by 2023, companies in a range of sectors, including all businesses listed on the stock market, in the financial sector, utilities, logistics companies and major retailers, will be required to publish annual reports on their carbon footprint.
Graph data source: Ministry for the Environment and Energy