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High-level event of the Mission for Adaptation Climate Change for Greek Cities and Regions highlights

Athens, 11 April 2024 – Serafion complex of the Municipality of Athens

Figure 1. Building Resilience: Lessons Shared by Community Leaders

Earlier this month, at Serafion complex of the Municipality of Athens of the Municipality of Athens, took place the first official event on the Adaptation to Climate Change for the Greek Cities on the framework of the EU Mission Adaptation to Climate Change. The event was organized by the Mission Board of the EU Mission Adaptation to Climate Change, the International Cities Network ICLEI Governments for Sustainability, in cooperation with the General Secretariat for Spatial Planning and Urban Environment of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, with the support of the REGILIENCE project.

The event took place with the presence of representatives from various Municipalities and Regions, including the Municipalities of Representatives from a various of Municipalities and Regions, including Athens, Thessaloniki, Thermi, Trikkaion, Ilion, Larissa, Aigaleo, Heraklion, Skyros, Kaisariani, Vari-Voula-Vouliagmeni, Tilos, Mytilene, and Ellinikon, as well as the Regions of North Aegean, Thessaly, Crete, and Central Macedonia, gathered to address pressing climate challenges facing urban and regional environments.

The event hosted representatives from various organisations and institutions, whose contributions and interventions were crucial for the richness of the discussions and the deepening of the issues. The organisations that participated through their representatives in the various panels were the following:

  • Ministry of Environment and Energy (MEE), General Secretariat of the Natural Environment and Water
  • Directorate-General for Climate Action of the European Commission
  • General Secretariat for Environment, General Secretariat for Climate Change, European Commission
  • Climattica: Network of Municipalities and Regions on Climate Change
  • Attica Region
  • ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability
  • Resilient Cities Network
  • MIP4Adapt (Mission Implementation Platform)
  • Green Fund
  • European Investment Bank
  • General Secretariat for Research and Innovation
  • European Environment Agency
  • National Observatory of Athens
  • Ensphere, Hamburg Germany

Discussions focused on resilience and adaptation strategies necessary to strengthen Greek cities and regions in the context of climate change adaptation.

Figure 2. Opening remarks: Addressing Challenges in Climate Adaptation

The event was opened by Eleni Myrivili, Member of the EU Mission board for Adaptation to Climate Change, highlighting the need for all levels of local government to work together to address climate challenges.

This was followed by welcoming remarks from key officials such as Elina Bardram, Director for Adaptation & Resilience, and Mission Manager for the EU Mission on Adaptation to Climate Change, DG Clima, European Commission, and Secretaries General Petros Varelidis , Ministry of Environment and Energy, Konstantinos Magoulas, Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and Fofo Kalyva, Ministry of Health.

Figure 3. European Mission on Adaptation in Action: Initiatives Supporting Cities and Regions

The panels that followed contributed to the understanding of the needs and opportunities for adaptation in Greek regions through the exchange of knowledge and experiences between the representatives of the various organisations and stakeholders.

The panel “The National Framework for Adaptation to Climate Change” discussed the main strategies and policies implemented at national level to address and adapt to climate change. Existing challenges and appropriate measures to help cities and regions become more resilient to extreme weather events were examined.

Figure 4. Leadership Insights: Supporting Cities and Regions

In the panel “The Climate Change Adaptation Mission and support to cities and regions” the discussion focused on the specific actions and initiatives implemented under the European Adaptation Mission. Successful models and examples from different regions that have implemented innovative solutions to build resilience were analysed.

Figure 5. Local and Regional Resilience: Innovative Solutions for Communities

Figure 6. City Showcase: Success Stories in Climate Adaptation

The panel “Data and Financing of Greek Municipalities and Regions for Adaptation to Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events” covered the economic aspects of climate change adaptation and data availability. Available resources, funding assessment methodologies and funding opportunities from national and European funds were discussed. Cases of support for projects aimed at improving the resilience of local communities were also presented.

Figure 7. Experts explore funding and data for Greek climate resilience projects.

The event concluded underlining the need for an integrated and coordinated approach to tackle climate change, highlighting the importance of cooperation between the different levels of government and society.

Some impressions:

"It has been high-time to organise such a National event in Greece and to exchange with cities and regions on upcoming opportunities and open calls through the Mission for Adaptation to Climate Change, given the recent extreme events that occurred in the country over the last few years. Participants showed increased interest in the Mission activities, willing to join forces with relevant institutions to fight against the impacts of climate change"
Vasileios Latinos
Head of Resilience and Climate Adaptation at ICLEI Europe and ICLEI-lead for the REGILIENCE project
'Climate change knows no borders, it demands collective action from all levels of government and society. During the high level national event in Athens we see there is clear commitment through integrated multilevel collaboration and innovative solutions, to effectively address the challenges ahead and build resilient communities".
Elena Petsani
Expert Resilience and Climate Adaptation, ICLEI