An event for the signing of the new Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) in which Greek municipalities participate was held in the presence of the political leadership of the Ministry of Environment and Energy on Friday, February 3. The municipalities that participate in the memorandum create a “network” of 85 Greek cities, which are committed to work on climate neutrality.

The new Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) comes as a result of the positive response of the municipalities to the invitation implemented by the c.g. of Spatial Planning and Urban Environment, on October 19, 2022, for the inclusion of Greek municipalities in the Memorandum of Cooperation, in the context of the Mission for the 100 Climate Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030.

The Mission for 100 Climate Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030 is an initiative of the European Union (EU), which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency through the use of new technologies and innovative solutions in urban environments. It also aims to support cities in accelerating their green and digital transformation, so as to create cities that are sustainable, resilient and energy efficient, while promoting social and economic development.

The effort involves local authorities, citizens, businesses, investors as well as regional and national authorities. The 100 cities selected will act as hubs of experimentation and innovation to become climate neutral and smart cities by 2030, 20 years ahead of the climate neutrality target set by the European Green Deal, paving the way for the rest of Europe cities.

The initiative is an important step towards a greener and more sustainable future and its success depends on the cooperation and commitment of all stakeholders, including citizens, governments, businesses and civil society organisations.

The Mission of 100 climate neutral and smart cities in Greece

Six Greek cities, Athens, Ioannina, Kalamata, Kozani, Thessaloniki and Trikala have been selected by the European Commission among 377 cities to participate in the EU Mission. for 100 climate neutral and smart cities by 2030 in energy, transport and urban areas.

The selection of the Greek cities is a great success for the country and is the result of hard work and cooperation between the 6 cities and the Ministry of Environment and Energy over the last two years.

Greece is among the countries that have achieved an increased number of cities participating in the Mission and this is due to the commitment, ambition, capacity and hard work of the selected Municipalities as well as the initiatives of the Ministry of Environment and Energy. In addition, the Greek model of state support is promoted by the EU. and in other states as a good example.

The aim of the Ministry of Environment and Energy was and is to support and activate as many Greek municipalities as possible to participate in the Mission, as well as to guide them in this project. For this reason, on January 27, 2022, a first Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) was signed between the candidate cities in the Mission and the Ministry of Environment and Energy.

Participating municipalities and commitments

The following 21 municipalities participated in the Memorandum of Cooperation on January 27, 2022: Agrini, Alexandroupoli, Heraklion, Thessaloniki, Ioannito, Kalamaria, Kalamata, Karditsa, Central Corfu and the Diapontian Islands, Kozani, Mytilini, Trikkai, as well as the Development Association of Western Athens, with the Municipalities – members: Agia Varvara, Agioi Anargyri – Kamatero, Aegaleo, Ilion, Korydallos, Peristeri, Petroupoli, Phyli, Chaidari. The participating municipalities, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Energy, committed to:

· implement environmental and sustainable policies within the framework of the European Green Deal,

· incorporate local policies of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) with the aim of making cities more humane, inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable;

· to 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

· to invest and finance sustainable investments.

Overall, networking is an essential component of the EU’s Mission 100, helping to strengthen cooperation, accelerate the implementation of initiatives and promote the transition to a more sustainable and resilient future for cities.

By promoting partnerships and collaborations, the mission of the E.U. 100 can increase the impact of its initiatives and help drive the transition to a more sustainable and resilient future.

The Mission is expected to be a great development opportunity which will emerge as a critical parameter for the acceleration of private investments. The benefits of the cities selected by the Program will be multiple (environmental, social, economic, educational, etc.).

The selected cities, through international visibility and through EU funding tools, will implement investments that accelerate their transition to climate neutrality and digital transformation, present holistic urban planning solutions and promote smart technologies for the best energy management of urban centers.

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