Proper preparation and decisive action will be key for Greece to achieve its target of slashing carbon emissions by 55% by 2030. This can be accomplished by focusing on financially attractive and mature technologies such as renewable energy sources and electric vehicles, and investing in more innovative technologies so as to prepare the country for the further reduction needed by 2050, the chairman and chief executive officer of McKinsey & Company in Greece, Giorgos Tsopelas, tells Kathimerini.
However, this will require investments of 500 billion euros by 2050 and major shifts in the production model and consumer habits, Tsopelas warns, pointing to the findings of the Net Zero Greece survey. This is a project by McKinsey aimed at analyzing alternative scenarios for the country’s gradual decarbonization and assessing the risks and opportunities it will bring to the economy and to society as a whole.
To meet its climate goal for zero emissions by 2050, Greece will need to slash carbon emissions by 85 megatons. In the context of the Paris Agreement, Greece has pledged to cut its emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 and achieve neutrality by 2050.
The reduction of emissions can be reached in every sector by adopting a different pace and actions, taking into account the existing momentum and introducing significant changes, says McKinsey. There is significant uncertainty, however, and it will be crucial to have strategic investments made in new technologies, such as carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS), green hydrogen and biofuel.
At the same time it is vital to generate demand management by modifying consumer habits.
“The transition of the Greek economy into a zero-emission state will also bring a change to the country’s production model toward high investment at the start and reduced operation costs later,” says Tsopelas.
“Funds of €500 billion in total, of €16.6 billion per annum must be invested by 2050: They include €425 billion (or €14 billion every year) in existing technologies and €75 billion (or €2.5 billion annually or 1% of the gross domestic product) in additional investment in green technologies,” he adds.