W WEAR_ロゴ
Online Platform on Sustainable and Resilient Recovery from COVID-19

We use cookies to improve your browsing experiience. By browsing our website, you consent to the use of cookies.

Athens 27/08/2020

Greece

Secretary General of Natural Environment and Water, of the Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy

Konstantinos Aravossis

Statement by the Secretary General for Natural Environment and Water, Ministry of Environment and Energy

Dear colleagues,

First of all, we would like to thank the Government of Japan for launching this Online Platform on Sustainable and Resilient Recovery from COVIC-19 and the United Nations Convention of Climate Change for supporting this attempt, because it provides an opportunity to exchange views and ideas, to promote international cooperation and the solidaridy required to deal with global risks.

Due to Covid-19 pandemic, the whole world is currently facing an unprecedented crisis with many socio-economic consequences at national, regional and global level.

Therefore, we need to intensify our efforts and further strengthen our environmental agenda to prevent future global pandemics and to initiate a green recovery with the creation of green jobs. The Recovery Plan has the potential to convert the challenges into opportunities for a Sustainable, Circular, Green Growth with a concrete set of actions and measures.

Greece remaining firmly committed to the Paris Agreement has in force an ambitious climate policy both for climate mitigation and adaptation, having surpassed the green-house gas reduction targets set for 2020, and aiming towards a zero carbon society by 2050.

To achieve that, Greece has adopted a revised National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) at the end of 2019, which stresses Greece's priorities and development potential in terms of energy and addressing climate change.

The revised NECP has undergone public consultation, debate in the Greek Parliament and finally became national legislation. The main priorities set in the new NECP are:

1. Decarbonisation, i.e. the ending of Greece reliance on lignite by 2028. Towards this direction we plan to shut down all lignite-powered plants until 2028 at the latest (with all plants currently in operation closing by 2023), while guaranteeing a social and economic Just Transition for the affected regions.

2. Increase of the penetration of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) for electricity production to 60% within the next decade.

3. A target set for more than 42% reduction over 1990 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions and more than 56% over 2005 emissions by 2030 in order to achieve a climate-neutral economy by 2050.

4. Energy saving initiatives, i.e. public and private funding programmes for the renovation of public buildings, industrial facilities and residences.

5. Optimal use of resources (energy, water, raw material) is one of the prerequisites for respecting planetary boundaries, halting biodiversity loss, and reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. In order to achieve this, a National Strategy for Circular Economy has been developed to promote circular use of materials and circular business models.

For the implementation of NECP and in order to reach the relevant targets, a number of legal and financial instruments have been introduced. Some of these instruments include investment in RES, in natural gas and electricity transport and distribution networks, financial incentives for the purchase of electric cars, etc.

Furthermore, due to the current extreme circumstances, the EU has adopted emergency measures in order to support the recovery and resilience of the Member States’ economy. This Recovery effort will be significant, focused and limited in time.

The target set by the European Council is a percentage of 30% of the overall EU budget for the period 2021-2027 to be allocated to climate action.

Greece and all other EU Member States, will prepare a national recovery and resilience plan for the years 2021-2023. The recovery plan and the reboot of the economy shall be consistent with Paris Agreement objectives and in line with the vision of climate neutrality by 2050.

Moreover, a new environmental legislative framework has been recently adopted, which will simplify the licensing and permitting process of projects such as the installation of Renewable Energy Sources without undermining the environmental protection.

In this endeavor we must not forget the economically weaker countries. Greece, despite the adversities it faces, will try as much as it can to continue providing financial and technological assistance to developing countries.

If we all work together, we will achieve our common goals for a green and sustainable future. No one should be left behind.

Thank you

Close

Policies, measures and actions on climate change and
environmental protection in the context of COVID-19 recovery.

Greece Greece

Last update2 Sept. 2020

Message

Full text

Secretary General of Natural Environment and Water, of the Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy

Konstantinos Aravossis

Categories

Response
Emergency measures in the short term (a few months to one year) to address concerns that have directly emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic and may include forced action.
Recovery
Socioeconomic measures in the medium term (one to a few years) with an environmental and climate focus to “build back better” from COVID-19, and usually involves planned, intentional action.
Redesign
Paradigm shifts and measures in the long term (more than a few years to a few decades) toward redesigning current socioeconomic and sociocultural systems to be sustainable and resilient.

1.Climate mitigation measures

  • RecoveryRedesign
    Greece has an ambitious climate policy both for climate mitigation and adaptation, having surpassed the green-house gas reduction targets set for 2020, and aiming towards a zero carbon society by 2050. To achieve that, Greece has adopted a revised National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) at the end of 2019, which stresses Greece's priorities and development potential in terms of energy and addressing climate change. The revised NECP has undergone public consultation, debate in the Greek Parliament and finally became national legislation. The main priorities set in the new NECP are: 1. Decarbonisation, i.e. the ending of Greece reliance on lignite by 2028, with the withdrawal of lignite-fire power stations of the Greek Public Power Corporation, and improvement of the power system (interconnection of certain islands with the mainland grid, etc). 2. Increase the penetration of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) for electricity production to 60% within the next decade. 3. A target set for more than 42% reduction over 1990 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions and more than 56% over 2005 emissions by 2030 in order to achieve a climate-neutral economy by 2050. 4. Energy saving initiatives, i.e. public and private funding programmes for the renovation of public buildings, industrial facilities and residences. 5. Optimal use of resources (energy, water, raw material) is one of the prerequisites for respecting planetary boundaries, halting biodiversity loss, and reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. In order to achieve this a National Strategy for Circular Economy has been developed to promote circular use of materials and circular business models.
    In order to ensure the implementation of NECP and to reach the relevant targets a number of legal and financial instruments have been introduced. Some of these instruments include investment in RES, in natural gas and electricity transport and distribution networks,financial incentives for the purchase of electric cars, etc. In more details Greece has introduced the following initiatives - Programmes:
    ContactMinistry of Environment and Energy
  • Building sector

    RecoveryRedesign
    "Saving energy/Energy autonomous buildings". It is an upgraded programme, with an estimated budget of € 850 million, which aims at energy saving and energy autonomy of households, with new incentives and interventions that encourage the production and storage of energy from RES and the installation of "smart" energy systems. It is a program fully adapted to the requirements of the National Energy and Climate Plan, but also the European Union guidelines for climate change policies. Programmes like this are increasingly embraced by the EU, especially through the Recovery Fund. That is why the Recovery Fund will be a central financial pillar for the "Wave of Renovations" which envisages that tens of billions of euros will be given for the energy upgrading of buildings across Europe.
    ContactMinistry of Environment and Energy
  • Building sector

    RecoveryRedesign
    "Electra". The scope of the programme is to improve the energy efficiency of the public buildings through interventions related to heating, cooling, ventilating, lighting etc. There is an available budget of € 500 million for the period 2020-2026.
    ContactMinistry of Environment and Energy
  • Sustainable transportation

    RecoveryRedesign
    "E-mobility". Through the new established programme with an available budget of € 100 million, the purchase/rental of electric cars (private use and taxis), bicycles and motorcycles will be subsidized.
    ContactMinistry of Environment and Energy
  • Others

    RecoveryRedesign
    "Just Transition". Financial suport of projects for the development of sustainable economic activities with low carbon and environmental footprint in lignite areas that will be most affected by the energy transistion. As an initial step, "green" actions will be financed by Green Fund with an indicative budget of € 31 million.
    ContactGreen Fund
  • Industry sector

    RecoveryRedesign
    By 2030, NECP aims to i) reduce total GHG emissions, excluding those from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF), by 56% from 2005 levels (42% from 1990 levels); ii) reduce GHG emissions not covered by the EU ETS by 36% from 2005 levels, more than twice the reduction required for Greece by the relevant EU directive (16%);[i] iii) raise the share of renewables in gross final energy consumption to at least 35%; and iv) limit final energy consumption to 16.5 million tonnes of oil equivalent.
    Furthermore Greece implements EU policy for the reduction of use of the F-GASES. In doing so Greece is about to introduce new legislation on the control of illegal import, trading, handling, etc of F-Gases and a National Database on all the relevant companies and the quantities importing, handling, trading, and all the machinery using F-GASES and its maintainance and management.
    ContactMinistry of Environment and Energy

2.Climate adaptation measures

  • Adaptation planning

    RecoveryRedesign
    Greece has developed and adopted by means of Law 4414/2016 the National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change, which provides general objectives and guidelines for the preparation of the 13 Regional Plans for Adaptation to Climate Change. The Regional Plans, based on the climatic conditions and vulnerability of each region, will define the priority policy areas and geographic units for taking measures, and will also specify these measures, as well as the financial instruments for the implementation of the measures, the implementing bodies, the stakeholders, etc. The Greek regions are currently in the process of elaborating their own Regional Plans for Adaptation to Climate Change (with different degrees of maturity per Region).
    ContactMinistry of Environment and Energy / Regional Authorities
  • Adaptation planning

    Recovery
    The preparation of the Regional Plans for Adaptation to Climate Change is being assisted by the European programme Life IP – Adapt In Gr ‘Boosting the implementation of adaptation policy across Greece’8 . This 8-year programme is coordinated by the Ministry of the Environment and Energy, with the participation of 19 bodies, including, inter alia, the Academy of Athens, the National Technical University of Athens, the Bank of Greece, as well as various Greek regions and municipalities. The aim of the programme is to support both the planning process and the implementation of the necessary adaptation measures at national, regional and local levels and to serve as leverage for mobilisation in order to facilitate effective adaptation to the impact of climate change in the following years.
    ContactMinistry of Environment and Energy as a Coordinator
  • Adaptation planning

    ResponseRecoveryRedesign
    A high level permanent scientific Committee to address the Climate Change challenge started recently working in order to provide expertise in several critical issues of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Also a National Council on Climate Change Adaptation is responsible to coordinate actions through all sectors and ministries.
    ContactIndependent Committee - Council with members of many relevant ministries, NGOs, scientists, etc.

3.Cross-cutting measures

  • Governance

    RecoveryRedesign
    "Modernization of the environmental legislation". The new adopted legislative framework (Law 4685/2020) will simplify the licensing and permitting process of projects such as the installation of Renewable Energy Sources.
    ContactMinistry of Environment and Energy
  • Governance

    RecoveryRedesign
    "Climate change clause". Mainstreaming climate change into national legislation. Moreover it is under discussion the preparation of a Climate Law.
    ContactMinistry of Environment and Energy

4.Other environmental measures

  • Waste management and Circular economy / sustainable production and consumption

    RecoveryRedesign
    In 2018, Greece adopted a National Circular Economy Strategy and a two-year action plan, later extended to 2023. It is consistent with the 2015 EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The pillars of this strategy are sustainable resource management, support of circular economy and circular consumption.
    The long-term (2030) goals of the National Action Plan on Circular Economy can be summarized as follows:
    • moving up the waste hierarchy by focusing on preventing waste and improving recycling
    • supporting circular entrepreneurship by promoting “industrial symbiosis” and business clusters
    • supporting circular consumption patterns of re-using, re-storing and re-pairing rather than buying new products, especially for electrical and electronic devices
    • enhancing multi-stakeholder partnerships across industry, academia, and civil society
    • monitoring progress towards a circular economic model through SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) indicators.
    The short-term actions involve regulatory and legislative reforms (e.g. setting standards on secondary materials, promoting green public procurement), financing and financial incentives, know-how and information actions and governance actions.
    A dedicated Inter-ministerial Working Group has been set up to coordinate planning and implementation of the National Circular Economy Strategy and its action plan, steered by the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MoEE) and composed by representatives from the other Ministries. The country also established a multi-stakeholder forum to promote circular economy business models and innovations.
    While the national action plan on circular economy is in the course of revision, a national circular economy roadmap is under development, in line with the 2020 European Circular Economy Action Plan (COM/2020/98 final).
    ContactMinistry of Environment and Energy

5.International Cooperation

  • Others

    Redesign
    "Climate Change Adaptation" is identified as a key priority issue for bilateral and sub-regional cooperation between Greece / MoEE and several partner countries. E.g. in the context of the ongoing trilateral collaboration frameworks between Greece-Cyprus-Israel and Greece-Cyprus-Egypt, experience, know-how and information sharing on adaptation approaches is systematically pursued.
    ContactMinistry of Environment and Energy
  • Others

    RecoveryRedesign
    Greece has taken the initiative to raise awareness on the impact of climate change on cultural heritage.
    ContactMinistry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Environment and Energy, Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, Ministry of Culture and Sports