Lower energy costs for industries in crisis-stricken member states, integration of the internal energy market, energy security and the interconnection of isolated island regions are the priorities of the Greek Presidency, according to Yiannis Maniatis, Greece’s environment and energy Minister. Unless Minister Maniatis surprises Europe by supporting clean energy policy initiatives, hopes are dim that the Greek EU Presidency will show the much needed climate leadership during the political debate on the 2030 climate and energy framework.
Minister Maniatis, who will chair the crucial March 4th Energy Council discussing the 2030 Climate and Energy Framework, is known for his support to fossil fuels. Standing firm in his conviction that the Greek seas hide a mythical treasure of oil and gas, Maniatis has elevated hydrocarbon exploration into a top priority in the country’s political agenda and created a national hype by launching the first seismic survey in 2012. Moreover, being the political boss of one of Europe’s biggest climate polluters, the Public Power Corporation, Maniatis consistently ignores evidence of financial and environmental unsustainability and has provided ample support to the national utility’s plans to construct the Ptolemaida V lignite-fired plant of 660 MW, scheduled to commence operation in 2020.
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