The Greek government must act now to prepare for the impact climate change will have on its tourism and agriculture industries, a professor from Athens University says.
Speaking before government ministers, foreign service officers and policymakers at a summit in Athens this week, Konstantinos Kartalis said Greece requires a 30-year adjustment plan to address climate change.
Professor Kartalis, whose academic expertise includes environment, energy and climate issues, told attendees at the first Athens ESG & Climate Crisis Summit that his country needs an adaptation plan for each region.
“[The plan needs] to create infrastructure that will keep water on the surface, enrich water levels but also to restructure agricultural cultivation,” Kartalis said while presenting a study by research and policy institute diaNEOsis.
The study examined climate change’s impact on crucial sectors of the Greek economy for the period 2046-2065. Professor Kartalis, part of the eight-member research team conducting the study, said Greek tourism will be negatively affected.
He said high temperatures will “make life more difficult” and that they could potentially prolong the tourist season.
“We will have more need for cooling, more need for energy,” the professor said.
Kartalis said these demands for more energy will have a particularly negative impact on smaller islands which are not connected to a stable power supply system.
The first Athens ESG & Climate Crisis Summit, organized by Kathimerini, took place on October 19 and 20 at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.
Participants in the conference included Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, government ministers, Executive Vice President of the European Commission for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans, the United States and German ambassadors and policymakers from the public and private sectors.
The summit focused on the challenges, expectations and solutions of businesses and regulatory authorities in confronting climate change and adopting environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) policies and standards.
Featured image: Firefighters try to extinguish a wildfire in Athens, Greece, on August 5. New methods allow scientists to more accurately describe the role of climate change in promoting such extreme events. (Michael Varaklas/Associated Press)
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