The European Commission has announced that Athens, Thessaloniki, Kalamata, Ioannina, Trikala and Kozani have been selected from 377 European cities to participate in the European Commission’s “100 Climate Neutral Cities by 2030 for and against citizens” program. , a development that is a great national success. The 6 Greek cities, included in the Program, are called to achieve in less than ten years the goal of climate neutrality, -that is 20 years earlier than the rest of Europe- utilizing significant community resources with many environmental, social, economic, investment, development and educational benefits.
In particular, through EU funding tools, cities will be able to implement investments that will accelerate their transition to climate neutrality and digital transformation, promote holistic urban planning solutions, apply smart technologies, and flexible energy management systems. adopt an environmentally friendly mode of transport and transportation. According to a relevant announcement, the Ministry of Environment and Energy has been working intensively for this purpose for the last 2 years and in cooperation with the EU Mission Board has prepared most Greek entries since April 2020. It is noted that 22 significant applications had been submitted by Greek Municipalities. / Municipal Partnership Agencies, most of which signed in January 2022 a Memorandum of Cooperation for the European Mission “100 Climate Neutral Cities until 2030” at the initiative of RIS to accelerate their transition to climate neutrality and their digital transmission from the coronavirus pandemic. The ultimate goal of the European Mission is for the 100 selected cities to work together and serve as model hubs for innovation for all other European cities, developing a repository of good practice from successful projects and large-scale investments.
The Minister of Environment and Energy, Costas Skrekas, stated: “The selection of the six Greek cities for the participation in the” 100 climate neutral cities of Europe until 2030 “, is a great European distinction and success of our country. Six Greek Municipalities will be transformed by 2030 into cradles of innovation and avant-garde, with multiple benefits for citizens, the economy and the environment. Our cities, with a series of large-scale investments, will implement interventions that will improve the quality of life of our fellow citizens, will contribute to urban revitalization and the creation of new jobs. “With a sense of responsibility towards future generations, we are committed to implementing policies that will make Greek cities more humane, safer, more resilient and more sustainable in the face of the dangers of the climate crisis.”
The Deputy Minister of Spatial Planning and Urban Environment, Nikos Tagaras, stated: “Warm congratulations to all 6 Greek Municipalities, which joined a very important European Program for climate neutrality which is at the same time a great development opportunity. Greece, with the accession of 6 cities, is classified in the group of developed countries of the European Union, proving once again its great dynamics. At RIS, our goal was to activate, support and guide as many Greek municipalities as possible in this project. The goal was achieved. I wish these 6 Greek cities to take advantage of all the financial resources, to be radically transformed and to be an example for the rest of the country “.
The General Secretary of Spatial Planning and Urban Environment, Efthymios Bakogiannis, stated: “A great effort of 2 years for the information and networking of the Municipalities for the Program of 100 Climate Neutral Cities was completed with important results for our country. Six Greek cities start with absolute commitment to the “Mission” for the Green Deal and RIS will be by their side every step of the way to guide them, as it did from the first moment. This is a Program that we believed that Greece should have a large participation and the results justify us. “Congratulations to the cities and the big challenge now is to be able to absorb the money in the time horizon set by the Program”.
The Mayor of Athens, Costas Bakogiannis, stated: “Our participation in the EU Program “100 Climate Neutral Cities by 2030 to and from citizens”, unlocks important Community resources that will contribute to the adoption and implementation of actions to address the climate crisis. I am very happy with the fact that among the 100 cities there are six Greek ones. This shows that in our country the local government is advancing at a fast pace and is facing the modern challenges. “Athens is once again a pioneer and will offer what is necessary for the purpose of achieving climate neutrality by the end of the decade, 20 years earlier than the common European goal.”