Twenty-one Greek municipalities signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the European Mission 100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030, whose goals are to achieve 100 climate-neutral and smart European cities by 2030 and to ensure that these cities act as experimentation and innovation hubs to enable all European cities to follow suit by 2050.
The 21 signatories have committed to implement environmental and sustainable policies following the Europe Green Deal; to integrate Sustainable Development Goals policies locally to make cities more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable; to protect biodiversity; to promote circular economy practices; to design cities around sustainable mobility principles and to increase funds for sustainable investments.
“Greek cities have those special features that make them very important to collect data from the southeastern Mediterranean, ultimately contributing to a climate-neutral Europe by 2050,” said Efthymios Bakoyiannis, General Secretary of Spatial Planning and Urban Environment at the Ministry of Environment and Energy, which, having realised the responsibility to future generations, has been encouraging the participation of many Greek cities for two years.
“Due to climate change and the impact we have been facing in the last year in Greece, 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, energy costs, but also to adopt a healthier lifestyle for their residents as a whole,” he added.
Indeed, cities play a pivotal role in achieving climate neutrality by 2050, as they take up only 4 per cent of the EU’s land area, but they are home to 75 per cent of EU citizens. Furthermore, cities consume over 65 per cent of the world’s energy and account for more than 70 per cent of global CO2 emissions. In particular, European cities can substantially contribute to the Green Deal target of reducing emissions by 55 per cent by 2030 and, in more practical terms, to offer cleaner air, safer transport and less congestion and noise to their citizens.