Green ideas supported, but modernisation is a pressing need

A.D. Papagiannidis and Nikos Frangakis
The new Greek government of centre-left Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) has strong “Green” beliefs. The run-up to Copenhagen and the workings of Copenhagen proper were closely followed in the media and by public opinion, while a feeling of “lost opportunity” was the main judgment on Copenhagen’s results. Given the ever-present/latent anti-American feeling in Greece, the fact that the USA were (along with China) hesitant in following the EU and adhering to the active environmental agenda of Copenhagen led to strong public sentiment deploring the lack of progress and of tangible results of the conference.[1]

There is support for stronger EU environmental initiatives in the follow-up to Copenhagen. Both the internal implementation of measures (in a direction enhancing the so called ‘20-20-20’ objectives) and the international efforts at binding emissions ceilings are deemed necessary for climate change to be credibly faced. Still, the fact that Greek industry – especially power production through the burning of lignite – is visibly trailing the goals set for emissions limitation is little discussed or realised.[2]

[1] Emm. Doussis: Seal the Deal: A new approach to Climate Change [in Greek], in: From Bush to Obama: International Politics in a Changing World, Papazissis Athens 2010, p. 240.

[2] For an overall assessment of Copenhagen, see Spyros Kouvelis: What did not happen in Copenhagen [in Greek], International and European Politics (Vol. 17), p. 161; Theodore Skylakakis: Copenhagen: Great Expectations, a Painful Let-down [in Greek], in: International and European Politics (Vol. 17), p. 165; Dimitris Papadimoulis: After Copenhagen, Where to? [in Greek], in: International and European Politics (Vol. 17), p 168.