Aiming to push ahead with reforms that will help Greek cities become climate neutral in the face of climate change, the Greek Environment Ministry and 21 municipalities signed a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) for inclusion in the EU’s mission to achieve 100 smart European cities by 2030.
More specifically, participating in the Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities Mission are the Greek municipalities of Agrinio, Alexandroupolis, Heraklion, Thessaloniki, Ioannina, Kalamaria, Kalamata, Karditsa, Central Corfu and Diapontia Islands, Kozani, Mytilini, Trikala, as well as municipalities belonging to the Association for the Development of West Athens (ASDA) Agioi Anargyroi – Kamatero, Egaleo, Ilion, Korydallos, Peristeri, Petroupoli, Fyli, and Haidari.
Under the MoC, participating local governments in cooperation with the environment ministry commit to:
-implement environmental and sustainable policies under the European Green Deal
-integrate sustainable development goals (SDG’s) in their policies to make cities more humane, inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
-promote sustainable public procurement and the circular economy
-design and implement sustainable urban mobility and sustainable nutrition while investing in and financing sustainable investments.
“Greek cities have those special features that make them very important for data collection from the southeastern Mediterranean, which will ultimately contribute to climate neutrality throughout Europe by 2050 through the European Green Deal,” said Efthimios Bakoyiannis, general secretary of Spatial Planning and Urban Environment, during the MoU signing ceremony last week.
Bakoyiannis said the ministry has been encouraging the participation of Greek cities in the program and the MoU confirms its commitment to continuously support Greek municipalities in their “difficult journey towards climate neutrality”.
Mission Manager and Deputy Director-general of the Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport Matthew Baldwin welcomed the decision of the 21 Greek municipalities to join the program, adding that the MoU sets the example for other EU members to follow.
The European mission to achieve 100 climate-neutral and smart European cities by 2030 aims for these to become experimentation and innovation hubs that will set the example for other European cities to follow by 2050.
Bakoyiannis went on to add that due to climate change and its impact on Greece over the last year, “municipalities are in a key position to adopt immediate policies to achieve climate neutrality and to offer multiple benefits to their communities in terms of reducing pollution, congestion and energy costs, but also to encourage a healthier lifestyle for their residents as a whole”.