Greece: Fossil fuels offer ‘new path’ to green transition | Economic news


ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece will accelerate plans to exploit offshore natural gas fields, the country’s prime minister said on Tuesday, describing a return to fossil fuel dependence as a temporary necessity due to disruptions caused by the war in Ukraine.

Investigations in six regions in western and southern Greece are expected to be completed by the end of next year, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing international energy crisis have added to the very serious level of uncertainty in all of our lives,” he said.

“I want to emphasize that this new path in no way distracts us from the long-term goals of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.”

Low oil and gas prices in recent years have been blamed for stalling gas exploration in the Greek Ionian Sea and off the island of Crete.

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But last week the government announced plans to increase domestic coal production and expand its natural gas infrastructure to increase its liquefied natural gas capacity with additional storage space at an existing facility and plans to build two more.

The expansion will eventually allow Greece to export gas to its northern neighbors Bulgaria and North Macedonia, which also rely heavily on Russian gas.

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