The huge raise in the electricity (50%), natural gas (82%) and heating oil (30%) costs starting this month is big news in Greece these days.
How will Greek citizens be able to afford these extra costs, when these commodities are already among the most expensive in the EU? They simply won’t, and they will turn to even more wood burning in order to heat up their houses this winter. That’s a huge problem that will make the Air Quality (AQ) of this country, which is already among the worse in the EU, even worse.
Here is a two-part video interview to Prof D. Sarigiannis of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, who explains, in Greek language, the dangers of Air Pollution, especially of Wood Smoke, in Greece. Prof Sarigiannis discusses about a great variety of issues related to Air Pollution and health in our country, and it’s really worth to listen to the whole program.
The interview was done by journalist Christina Tsorba for the TALEME TV Programme of Vergina Television on 15/01/2020.
Now that producing renewable electricity has become cheaper than producing electricity from the burning of fossil fuels, Greek authorities should seize the day and work hard to finally produce the right policies in order to make the transition towards sustainable electricity happening faster. Electricity costs should actually be falling instead of going up. Coupled with good subsidies to abandon wood, oil and gas stoves – to be replaced by heat pumps, and to replace old vehicles with electric ones (EV’s), the result would quickly improve the AQ of our country to reach the safe limits recommended by the WHO (actually, the WHO AQ guideline has finally been updated (it hadn’t been since 2005) and will be published on September 22nd, 2021).
But instead, this winter the Air Quality will get significantly worse than the previous years because it’s unlikely that the Government will do something about the soaring energy prices. We will all pay the price for that in terms of reduced health on the long term.