An online event announcing the Memorandum of Cooperation was held on 27.01.2022.
The participants who took part in the event were: Ministry of environment and energy, 21 municipalities, EC officers.
In the context of the European Green Deal, the European Commission has introduced the mission on Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities. The objective of the mission is to create a network of 100 climate-neutral and smart European cities by 2030 and ensure that these cities act as experimentation and innovation hubs to enable all European cities to follow by 2050.
Greece has responded to the respective call, launched by the European Commission, and they signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The purpose is to accelerate the transition of cities to climate neutrality and their digital transformation while recovering from the coronavirus pandemic. 21 Municipalities participate in the Memorandum.
In the announcement event of the Memorandum of Cooperation, which took place online on January 27, 2022, it was emphasised that the participating Municipalities, in cooperation with the Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy, are committed to:
• Implement environmental and sustainable policies under the Europe Green Deal,
• Integrate local Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) policies to make cities more humane, inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable;
• Protect biodiversity;
• Promote sustainable public procurement and the Circular Economy;
• Design and implement Sustainable Urban Mobility as well as Sustainable Nutrition and at the same time, and
• Invest in and finance sustainable investments
Due to the climate change and the effects Greece is facing in the last years, the 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, traffic congestion, and energy costs, but also overall adopt a healthier lifestyle for their residents.
The 21 municipalities participating in the mission will prepare and implement a “Climate City Contract” that will be co-created with local stakeholders and citizens.
The Mission will provide assistance to the participating cities, including:
• Tailor-made advice and assistance from a “Mission Platform” to develop an investment plan for drawing external finance
• Unlocking additional funding and financing opportunities through a “Mission Label”
• Funding opportunities for cities to be part of large innovation actions, pilot projects, and demonstrators
• Support through a national coordination network
• Networking opportunities, learning, and exchange of experiences among cities
• Buy-in and involvement of citizens and local communities for climate neutral solutions
• Awareness raising and attractiveness for investment and skilled workers.
After assessment by independent experts, the Commission will announce the list of selected participant cities by April 2022. The first cities will be able to start working on their Climate City Contracts with the support of the Mission Platform as soon as the selection process is completed.
Information available in Greek: https://ypen.gov.gr/mnimonio-synergasias-gia-tin-evropaiki-apostoli-100-klimatika-oudeteres-poleis-mechri-to-2030/
Information about the EU mission: https://ec.europa.eu/info/news/commission-invites-cities-express-their-interest-become-part-european-mission-100-climate-neutral-and-smart-cities-2030-2021-nov-25_en