Greece has an ambitious climate policy that aims for a zero-carbon society by 2050, in line with the targets set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement and the EU Green Deal. 

In this context, Greece has set ambitious goals in its National Energy and Climate Plan and has placed green transition at the core of its National Recovery and Resilience Plan. In addition, climate change is one of the priority areas set in Greece’s Four-Υear National Programme for International Development Co-operation 2022-2025. 

Hellenic Aid does not currently implement specific programmes to developing countries. However, Hellenic Aid has a new law 4781/2021 regarding development co-operation policy and organisational structure, and climate change and the protection of the environment is a cross-sectoral priority. In addition, the Four-Υear National Programme for International Development Co-operation 2022-2025 sets out climate change as one of the priority areas for bilateral development co-operation programmes.  

Greece will present its second Voluntary National Review (VNR) on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the United Nations (UN) High-Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development (HLPF) in July 2022. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under review are SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 14 (Life under Water), SDG 15 (Life on Land), and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals). 

Greece’s key policy objectives concerning international environmental co-operation include: 

  • Its firm commitment and contribution to the achievement of the international objectives and efforts on sustainable development, climate action, biodiversity protection and conservation by promoting, among other things, the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, the Paris Agreement objectives, and supporting the elaboration of an ambitious post-2030 global biodiversity framework. 

  • Enhancement of the country’s engagement in multilateral and regional environmental bodies, e.g. the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Barcelona Convention for the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Mediterranean Sea. These objectives are guiding the multilateral development co-operation of Greece through the allocation of contributions to environmental funds, international organisations and Multilateral Environment Agreements (MEAs)’ Secretariats that comprise the main channel of the country’s environmental development co-operation. In 2020, Greece contributed EUR 1 774 787 to the various environmental funds and international organisations as multilateral official development assistance (ODA). 

  • Contribution to sound environment management and sustainable development in Europe as an active member state of the European Union. 

  • Building “beyond borders” partnerships with partner countries that face similar challenges and share common goals, through bilateral and trilateral technical co-operation schemes, especially in its geographic neighbourhood, i.e. Southeast Mediterranean and Southeast Europe.  

  • In this context, a trilateral co-operation in the field of environment between Greece, Cyprus1 and Egypt was initiated in October 2016. The thematic areas identified as issues of common concern were: 1) preparedness and response to major marine pollution incidents in the Mediterranean; 2) combating coastal erosion and coastal zone management; 3) biological diversity and nature protection; 4) waste management; and 5) climate change adaptation. The last thematic area is one in which Greece has considerable experience and knowledge in developing related methodological approaches to policy options that can be shared and exchanged with partner countries (with emphasis on the exchange of information on monitoring and observation mechanisms, on best practices and on know-how, including on climate adaptation indicators and climate adaptation web applications and tools, aiming to create a solid knowledge base for adaptation approaches, tools and methods that can be compatible to all partners).  

Greece did not report specific policies or activities in this area.

Greece did not report specific policies or activities in this area.

Greece’s approach to the transition both domestically and in international development co-operation is defined by the 2016 National Adaptation Strategy, which defines the goals, principles and priorities of adaptation and lists potential adaptation measures for sectors likely to be significantly affected by climate change: biodiversity and ecosystems, agriculture and food security, forestry, fisheries, aquaculture, water resources, coastal areas, tourism, energy, human health, the built environment, transport, cultural heritage, industry, mining and insurance.

In line with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) commitments, in 2014 Greece adopted the National Biodiversity Strategy for 2014-29. The Strategy provides a comprehensive framework with detailed sub-targets to improve knowledge and the status of biodiversity, and mainstream it into sectoral policies. It is based on three pillars: halting biodiversity loss; promoting biodiversity as a national natural capital; and intensifying Greece’s contribution to the prevention of global biodiversity loss. There are 13 main targets, split into non-quantitative sub-targets, with relevant indicators.

National priorities are also reflected in Greece’s multilateral development co-operation through the allocation of contributions to environmental funds, international organisations and MEAs’ Secretariats, which comprise the main channel of the country’s environmental development co-operation.

Regarding climate change adaptation – a thematic area where Greece as a country prone to climate change impacts has considerable experience that can be shared with partner countries – important recent and future activities include:

  • In the context of the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project, Sub-Action E2.6: “Mediterranean and transnational co-operation and replication” (January 2021-December 2026), this project foresees the organisation of workshops, events, etc. with the aim of strengthening co-operation in the area of adaptation to climate change in the Eastern Mediterranean and in Southeast Europe. The replication of the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR results will be further pursued through ongoing trilateral agreements between the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MEEN) with Cyprus and Israel, and with Cyprus and Egypt, where Climate Change Adaptation is identified as a priority for collaboration, with the corresponding strand of activities led by the MEEN. Activities will include collaboration on the following aspects:

    • Indicators and methodologies for monitoring adaptation policy implementation. Indicators and approaches shall be discussed among representatives of the respective ministries of environment, and further adapted to suit the needs of the other three countries.

    • Integrated energy and adaptation planning in the frame of a low-carbon climate-resilient strategy, addressing both national-level planning and local development (i.e. good practice sharing in urban regeneration, building refurbishment, etc.).

    • Flood risk management and coastal zone management, a key theme across all countries, where local good practice will be identified and shared among the parties of the trilateral agreements.

    • Best practice examples, as identified through the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR pilots, to further pursue replication and transfer of the project’s results.

  • Replication and transfer will be facilitated through workshops organised by the MEEN and Natural Environment and Climate Change Agency (NECCA). The possibility of field visits to the project’s pilot projects will also be explored. Information on good practices will also be disseminated to the Union for the Mediterranean and to the UNEP Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP), through publications in reports, announcements and other means (e.g. meetings, seminars), as part of the ongoing, day-to-day activities of the MEEN. Synergies and collaboration with LIFE-IPs on the climate change adaptation of other Mediterranean countries will also be pursued. Experience sharing and collaboration between the MEEN and the national adaptation authorities of other European neighbours, in particular non-EU Mediterranean and Balkan countries, will be sought as well, in order to step up climate change adaptation and resilience in European neighbouring countries that are less advanced in the adaptation process.

  • The National Observatory of Athens (NOA) will contribute to experience sharing with European neighbours by providing training to their climate experts on the use of state-of-the-art Regional Climate Models and downscaling techniques (e.g. organisation of virtual training seminars, participation as lead trainers in experts training sessions, organised back-to-back workshops).

  • In the context of the Greek Chairmanship of the South East European Co-operation Process (SEECP), among others, a workshop on “Sharing Experience on Climate Change Adaptation Programmes and Policies in South Eastern Europe” will be organised in May 2022, targeting public servants in SEECP member countries, including Western Balkan Countries and Turkey. The workshop will be organised by the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project co-ordinated by the Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy.

  • In the area of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) Energy Saving (ES) and Rational Use of Energy (RUE), the national Centre for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES) is designated as the national co-ordination centre in these fields as well as the national centre to support the implementation of the national policy for improving energy efficiency and promoting RES. Its mission is to promote applications in these fields at the national and international levels, as well as to support relevant activities in order to reduce the environmental burden in the value chain: production – transport – use of energy. The international actions of CRES are mainly developed in co-operation with Western Balkan countries, the Middle East and North Africa, as well as with countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Greece did not report any specific policies or activities in this area.


← 1. Note by Turkey: The information in this document with reference to “Cyprus” relates to the southern part of the Island. There is no single authority representing both Turkish and Greek Cypriot people on the Island. Turkey recognises the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Until a lasting and equitable solution is found within the context of the United Nations, Turkey shall preserve its position concerning the “Cyprus issue”.

Note by all the European Union Member States of the OECD and the European Union: The Republic of Cyprus is recognised by all members of the United Nations with the exception of Turkey. The information in this document relates to the area under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.

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