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Greece: Measures to Reduce Emissions

green-car1(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Measures to cut the carbon dioxide emissions produced by vehicles were on the agenda during an inner cabinet meeting yesterday, chaired by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis.   Following the meeting, Town Planning, Public Works and Environment Minister George Souflias announced that higher “environmental taxes” will be levied on vehicles based on the amount of emissions produced by their engine.  Owners of so-called “green” vehicles will reportedly enjoy a reduction in license and road taxes, whereas owners of gas-guzzlers and older technology cars could see increases of between €50 to 150. The new rates will come into effect from 2010.  
Souflias announced a new programme (2009-12) to provide incentives for scrapping old cars in an effort to take off the road vehicles that pollute the environment. Also, he referred to changes for the current restricted zone in central Athens, according to which cars that pollute heavily would be excluded from entering it.

Greece at the UN Climate Change Conference in Poznań

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Today the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference in Poznań, (December 1-12) concludes with the participation of 192 United Nations member states and representatives from international organisations and NGOs. The purpose of the conference is to lay the foundations for the conclusion of a global climate treaty which will succeed the Kyoto protocol. The final agreement is expected to be signed in Copenhagen in 2009. Member states are called to agree upon specific targets and deadlines to curtail carbon emissions, a matter which is directly linked to the course of their economic activity. The conference has set out the goal of reducing carbon emissions by 60-80% by the year 2050. Addressing the conference, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for global solidarity on climate change and talked about a new “Green Deal,” while the European Commissioner for Environment Stavros Dimas stressed that the European Commission aims at shifting the gear towards concrete negotiations and reducing carbon emissions by 20% by 2020. In regard to Greece, the Commissioner noted that Greece’s economy will benefit immensely should the country choose to comply fully with the European aspirations. European Commission: Commissioner’s speech in Poznan & UN Climate Change Conference 2008; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greek chair @ Human Security Network- Policy Papers on Climate Change; Secretariat General for Information: About Greece-Environmental Protection & About Brand Greece-Environmental Strategic Policies