New Greek climate law aims for zero net emissions by 2050
Greece has enacted the country’s first climate law to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. The law also establishes a system to monitor and further tighten regulations on an ongoing basis over the next three decades.
The National Climate Law adheres to European Union targets to cut emissions by at least 55% by the end of this decade and by 80% by 2040. But the law also calls for the development of sectoral carbon budgets, making it among the most progressive climate laws in Europe.
Specifically, the law details the development of five-year carbon budgets for seven sectors of the economy: electricity and heat production, industry, transport, agriculture, buildings, waste, and land use & forestry. These sectoral carbon budgets will allow the government to monitor and adjust emissions targets on a continuous basis, providing for even tougher goals in the future.
For example, the law affirms Greece’s commitment to completely eliminate the use of lignite in power production by 2028. But by next year, in 2023, the deadline for phasing out fossil fuels will be reviewed, allowing for that deadline to be moved forward, possibly to as early as 2025, taking into account the issue of energy security.
Under the National Energy and Climate Plan, Greece aims to double installed renewable energy capacity to around 20 Gigawatts by the end of the decade. And within the next few weeks, the Ministry of Environment and Energy is expected to unveil its new regulatory framework for the development of offshore wind parks. Already there has been strong foreign investor interest in offshore wind facilities in Greece, with several groups waiting for the new framework to launch projects.
Among them: Norwegian state energy giant Equinor has expressed interest in investing in Greek offshore wind facilities. Other major players from Spain, Denmark and the UAE have also entered into agreements with local companies for the joint development of offshore wind farms in Greece.