A truly sustainable economy requires a stable energy base. This is something fossil fuels cannot offer; as finite natural resources, they have an expiry date, and extracting and burning them causes irreparable damage to the planet. Even though today’s world depends on oil and, Greece in particular, on lignite, these sources cannot solve the future energy problem, especially considering how using them is fueling climate change, which is currently one of the greatest threats to our planet.

We need energy from clean and renewable sources and less energy waste. Fortunately, a lot can be done when it comes to saving energy and a great part of it lies in our own hands. In addition, renewable energy technologies are becoming increasingly accessible.

Reducing emissions

To address the threat of climate change, we push for the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions by 80–95% by 2050, in line with the dictates of science. For industrialized countries, this reduction target entails that by mid-21st century 100% of their energy should be exclusively generated by renewable sources.

Our country’s share of gray

In 2005, total greenhouse gas emissions in Greece were 139 million tonnes CO2eq. CO2 emissions account for the largest share (81%) of greenhouse gas emissions, followed by nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) emissions, which add up to 15%. HFC, SF6 and PFC emissions are relatively low, adding up to 4%.

No more carbon dioxide! That was the message of primary school pupils to the Greek Parliament in June 2007.

© M. Binihakis / WWF Greece

The largest share of greenhouse gas emissions emanates from public energy and heat generation (41%), followed by industry (17%) and road transportation (14%). Agriculture and the residential sector contributed 10% and 8% to total emissions respectively in 2005. Smaller shares came from oil refining (3%), waste (2%) and the service sector (1%).

Green energy: utopia or feasible choice?

WWF Greece’s scientific report entitled Solutions to Climate Change: A Low Carbon Vision for Greece in 2050 - the first to be published in Greece regarding the country’s energy course for the first half of the 21st century - demonstrates that Greece can pursue a path of green growth in time and, as a result, reduce the short-term economic cost. The report shows that it is possible for Greece to have reduced its emissions by 67% in relation to 1990 by the year 2050. Annual costs are around 0.7% of the GDP, minimal compared to the cost of non-compliance with obligations or taking into account the creation of new employment by, for example, the promotion of renewable energy sources and energy saving.

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