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PM Mitsotakis' meeting with John Kerry meeting focuses on climate crisis and green transition

Featured PM Mitsotakis' meeting with John Kerry meeting focuses on climate crisis and green transition

"It is our great pleasure to welcome you to Greece. I really enjoyed the last meeting we had in Riyadh. It is a great privilege that we are able to discuss with you the global challenges we face in relation to energy, biodiversity, climate change", said the Prime Minister, at the beginning of the meeting.

Renewable energy sources

"You know how committed Greece is to this agenda and how much progress we have made on numerous fronts over the past three years. I would particularly like to point out the rapid penetration of renewable energy sources into our energy mix. We plan to add 2 gigawatts of Renewable Energy in 2022 alone. And that ranks us among Europe's leaders on this front,” he added.

Our Ocean Conference

The discussion was particularly concerned with the preparation of organizing the International Conference "Our Ocean Conference" in 2024 in Greece, as stated in the relevant announcement.

"Of course, our climate agenda is very broad. I am particularly interested in the issue of protecting our marine ecosystems and I am very happy that we will be able to organize the “Our Ocean Conference” in 2024. I would also like to congratulate the Secretary for his commitment to this cause. I am sure it will be a very successful Conference. It will also be an opportunity for us to highlight the special importance we attach to the protection of the very sensitive marine ecosystems of the Mediterranean. I have a huge interest in this particular issue", noted Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Referring to the importance of the Conference, John Kerry said for his part: "We are very excited about the fact that Greece will host the "Our Ocean Conference" in 2024. Many do not realize the connection between oceans and the climate crisis. One cannot solve the issue of the climate crisis without also addressing what is happening in the oceans. And vice versa. One cannot solve the problems related to the oceans without paying due attention to the climate crisis, because the acidity levels of the oceans are changing dramatically."

"With 90% of the warming ending up in the ocean, it has a huge impact on phenomena such as flooding, storm intensity and weather conditions. We are in this together. The fact that Greece, with its amazing shipping and maritime history, will take the reins after Panama is a perfectly logical choice. So this will be a great step," he added.

It is noted that this important Conference was instituted in 2014 during Mr. Kerry's tenure as US Secretary of State and has already mobilized more than 1,800 commitments worth more than $108 billion, including in the areas of climate change, sustainable fisheries, "blue" economy, marine protected areas, marine safety and pollution.

The Greek initiatives for the green transition

The Prime Minister informed Mr. Kerry about the initiatives undertaken by Greece for the "green" transition and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, especially in the shipping sector, in view of their participation in the upcoming COP27 Summit in Egypt in November .

The US President's Special Envoy for the Climate pointed out "the special position that Greece has at the moment, in relation to the rest of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Cairo, in relation to the Summit that will take place. Greece is at the center of developments. You are at a defining point for the transmission of electricity, but also the (energy) transformation that should be accelerated. We look forward to our collaboration and look forward to discovering new ways of working together."

The energy transition of shipping

During the meeting, the priority given by the two countries to the promotion of ambitious but at the same time feasible solutions for the energy transition of shipping was also emphasized.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis welcomed US initiatives to reduce energy footprint of shipping and expressed the hope that they would contribute substantially to the rapid adoption of global measures, under the auspices of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

He also emphasized the pivotal role of the Greek-owned ocean shipping industry - the largest in the world - for the success of any goal of developing sustainable solutions in this sector.

Meeting of delegations

This was followed by a meeting of delegations in which, from the Greek side, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias, the Director of the Diplomatic Office of the Prime Minister Ambassador Anna Maria Boura, the Head of the Economic Office of the Prime Minister Alexis Patelis and the Advisor to the Prime Minister for Energy Affairs Nikos Tsafos participated .

On behalf of the US government, the US Ambassador to Greece George Tsunis, the Communications Director of the Office of John Kerry Whitney Smith, the Climate Change Advisor at the US Department of State Rohemir D. Ramirez Ballagas and the official of the US Embassy in Greece Andrea Aquilla participated.