Greece has elected a far-left socialist government that plans to dump austerity (and perhaps the Euro currency with it) into the dustbin of history. The socialist government is also likely to harsh some mellows among enviro-socialists who think socialism is the path for saving the planet. The Guardian reports the reality:
Syriza’s election victory has kindled hopes of an environmental champion pushing for greater climate ambition on the European stage, but the party will need to balance its green credentials with a commitment to new coal plants, and ambivalence about a major gas pipeline. . .
Syriza is torn between an economy that has contracted at a scale and speed not seen since the 1930s and a sizeable chunk of its party that is eager for growth now, at any cost. The government will need to quickly reframe the debate about ‘sustainable growth’ or lower green expectations, or both. . .
Syriza’s commitment to growth itself would be challenged by many European Greens, but Konstantatos said that ‘degrowth’ ideas would be viewed as “absurd” in the austerity-wracked Greece of today. Leading party thinkers see the ‘keep fossil fuels in the ground’ idea as equally inappropriate – when even Germany continues to burn coal.
“If we face fiscal difficulties from abroad in the medium term, then to burn more lignite instead of importing energy will seem a wise thing to do,” a Syriza source said. “If we don’t have money to import petrol then we will burn lignite which is free – not of a carbon footprint – but relatively cheaper. One way or another Greek lignite will be exploited.”
Those darn socialists. They let you down every time.