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Greece is only breathing – we can fall now

According to the rules of the European Union Carbon Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), a total decrease of 56.3% in 2020 in Greece was measured in all relevant sectors. This is the ratio compared to the 2005 rule, which makes the Greeks the third best player in the federation – Wrote (a) Balkan News for Green Energy.

Nor was it far from the top two: Denmark fell by 58.3 per cent and Estonia by 56.4 per cent. However, the Greek environmental think tank Green Tank has estimated, in fact, that Greece has the largest reduction in carbon dioxide emissions among the coal-producing countries in the European Union.

One of the driving sectors for reducing emissions in Greece is coal-fired power plants. The reduction and restriction of electricity production from lignite in the period 2018-2020 alone resulted in about 14 million tons of carbon dioxide not being released into the atmosphere, moreover: from 43 million tons per year in 2005 to 10 million (9.3) million tons) last year . Among the coal-producing countries in the European Union (including producers of black and lignite), Greece achieved the highest reductions in CO2 emissions at 78.9 percent, while large coal miners such as Germany (49.4 percent) and Bulgaria (43.3 percent) achieved The Czech Republic (35.9 percent) or Poland (26.5 percent) lags far behind.

On the other hand, Belgium, Sweden and Austria have already stopped burning coal for energy purposes in recent years. The latter, Stand Milas, was reported in our research paper last year, and we write regularly about how it warns in Europe, such as the UK, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands, but also in the rest of the world (like here, here and here) to say goodbye to coal. Nowhere is change easy or cheap to implement, but the world has moved in that direction even further, toward emissions that must be drastically reduced.

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In the European Union, carbon emissions from coal fell by 51.8 percent between 2005 and 2020; However, most of this can only be “calculated” in the past seven years, when coal and coal-fired power plants have already had to pay for their emissions. Thanks to the carbon tax, its emissions fell by 49.5 percent between 2013 and 2020. This was not the case in Greece either, the country compensated for the slowdown in lignite extraction and combustion by installing additional natural gas capacities. This seemed like a good solution for nearly a decade, but according to the magazine, Greece is now one of the biggest emitters of fossil gas-based pollutants, so it’s time for the country to reduce its use of natural gas and better support and accelerate the transition to renewable energy.

Balkan Green Energy News writes that it is worth starting all this in the energy-intensive sectors. That is, in the electricity and heat generation sectors. Here again, Nikos Mantzaris, Senior Analyst at Green Tank, told the newspaper that the new EU regulations now being adopted (Fit for 55 package) call for more bold reforms from Greece to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by year 2030. . True, this was calculated not on the basis of 2005, but on the basis of 1990.

Hungary: At the end of the line

It’s good that the real wrestling for the adoption of the Fit for 55 package in the EU has only just begun, and it is already known that the emissions realignment in Hungary will affect more than 170 companies. As stated in class one and a half WroteOf these, only seven — Mátra Power Plant, Dunaújváros Power Plant, Danube Ironworks, Százhalombatta Oil Refinery, Mol Petrochemicals, Gönyü Power Plant and Péti Nitrogen Plants — account for half of total emissions, while 100 companies are at the other end of the line. A total of 5 percent.

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From this point of view, it is difficult to understand the statement made today by Foreign Minister Attila Steiner of Brdo Pree Krango, Slovenia, on the informal meeting of EU environment ministers through MTI to Fit for 55. According to him, “the proposal in the Commission package is to extend the costs of CO2 emissions to the housing and transport sectors as well,” which “imposes an additional burden on European families and therefore on Hungarian families.” ITM’s Secretary of State, responsible for developing circular economy, energy and climate policy, outlined the Hungarian government’s idea: they want to make more money and more freedom to send money.

Steiner did not talk about whether reducing emissions in the housing and transportation sectors actually meant investments in energy efficiency (insulation, stimulating building of renewable energy homes, etc.) or promoting electronic mechanization (replacing diesels and then petrol vehicles). Nor did the politician add that Hungary has done badly enough in this area, because it has practically delayed the third period of EU-ETS, which, as explained above, was renewed in Greece, because since 2005 Hungary has hardly reduced its emissions.

Even if calculated on the basis of 1990, it is an EU army driver with 32 percent of its own property, however, in the Hungarian climate plan presented in Brussels, ITM wrote that by 2030 the reduction will exceed 40 percent. Which also cannot be called a radical or significant commitment, the crucial part of which can be completed by the closure of the Matra Power Plant in 2025/2026. On the other hand, 55 per cent potential requires much more.

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