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Thursday, December 08, 2022

The Prime Minister of Greece said that the climate crisis is with us and the cost of ignoring it is “unimaginable”

The Prime Minister of Greece said that the climate crisis is with us and the cost of ignoring it is "unimaginable"

The Prime Minister of Greece said that the Mediterranean countries must take the lead in tackling climate change and warned that the cost of inaction is unimaginable and that humans may struggle to survive after the turn of the next century.

This summer, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, and Spain were ravaged by wildfires and record high temperatures, and scientists warned that the area had become a “wildfire hotspot”. Germany, Turkey, and China were hit by devastating floods.

“I don’t want to talk about climate change anymore. I want to talk about the climate crisis, it has already emerged,” Prime Minister Kiriakos Mizotakis told Reuters in an interview.

“In order to solve this problem, we need horizontal policies, which basically permeate all aspects of our economic and social life.”

A UN climate team warned that fatal heat waves, huge hurricanes and other abnormal weather events will only get worse.

The 53-year-old Harvard-educated Mizotakis has made climate action a priority for his government. Soon after the election in July 2019, he announced the ban on coal-fired power stations in 2028, and recently created a civil protection ministry tasked with dealing with crises.

On Friday, Mizotakis hosted the leaders of nine southern European countries in Athens. They are on the “front line” of climate change. They called for urgent global action as part of the “Athens Declaration” initiated by Mizotakis. .

The UN COP26 climate conference held in Glasgow on October 31 aims to extract more ambitious climate action and supporting funds from countries around the world.

Mizotakis told Reuters that in a potentially worst-case scenario, the climate crisis would represent “the destruction of human civilization as we know it.”

“We must be very, very, very clear. This is what is at stake. If the worst happens, by the end of this century, this planet will no longer be suitable for human habitation.”

“Here in the Mediterranean, we have nearly 6000 years of civilization, but our generation has a responsibility to ensure that future generations continue to live, prosper and prosper.”

The United Nations agency, World Meteorological Organization, has estimated that the number of disasters caused by climate change has increased fivefold in the past 50 years, causing more than 2 million deaths and total losses of US$3.64 trillion.

Mizotakis said that the cost of this crisis is “unimaginable” on a global scale and even in terms of the national economy.

He said that last year’s floods in Greece caused 5 billion euros in losses, and every crop that was damaged by extreme weather could suffer hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. Coastal erosion caused by sea level rise is another challenge that directly threatens the tourism industry, which is a particularly important area in Greece.

Mitsotakis said that since the end of 2019, the country has reduced 11 million tons of greenhouse gases by staying away from coal. The Greek authorities are also taking action “extremely fast” to set up flood protection barriers in the forests destroyed by the fire this summer.

Mizotakis was criticized for the government’s response to this summer’s fire, which forced thousands of people to flee their homes. He apologized for any shortcomings.

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