Last update:11 Jan 2017

Item Status Links
National adaptation strategy Adopted National Adaptation Strategy
Action plans Adopted/Completed and submitted for adoption/Being developed Greek National Action Plan for Combating Desertification
Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation assessments Currently being undertaken
Research programs Currently being undertaken 6th National Communication under the UNFCCC
Climate services / Met Office Established/Being developed
Web portal Being developed

Ministry of Environment and Energy

Monitoring, Indicators, Methodologies Established/Being developed Under development
Training and education resources Established
National Communication on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Last National Communication Submitted (2014) 6th National Communication under the UNFCCC

The Ministry of Environment & Energy (MEEN) is the competent authority for coordinating actions for climate change and works towards both mitigation and adaptation to the implications of climate change as well as the enhancement of mechanisms and institutions for environmental governance. In this capacity, MEEN is responsible for the identification of climate change impacts, the planning and coordination of adaptation measures and policies and the establishment and preparation of a national adaptation strategy.

The Ministry of Environment and Energy, the Athens Academy and the Bank of Greece signed a memorandum of cooperation for the development of the "National Strategy for Adapting to Climate Change".

The first National Strategy for Adapting to Climate Change has been adopted by the Law 4414/2016 (OGG A’149) art.45 and is available on the Ministry's website (for the time being it is available only in Greek).

The Ministry of Environment and Energy, the Athens Academy and the Bank of Greece signed a memorandum of cooperation towards a "National Strategy for Adapting to Climate Change". The aim of the memorandum is to tackle the repercussions of climate change on a national level, with specific adaptation actions in all areas. The aim of their cooperation is to create a mechanism to monitor implementation of the national strategy and incorporate adaptation policies in all areas. The first National Strategy for Adapting to Climate Change has been adopted by the Law 4414/2016 (OGG A’149) art.45 and is available on the Ministry's website (for the time being it is available only in Greek).

Biodiversity and ecosystems

The national biodiversity strategy and action plan that was taken into action on 2014 (Ministerial Decision no 40332, Official Journal 2383/B/2014) is aiming on the prevention and minimisation of the impacts of climate change on biodiversity. In particular the biodiversity strategy is focusing on the study of the effects of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem functions, taking action so that the components of biodiversity will be able to adapt to climate change, reducing the impacts of actions established to address climate change on biodiversity and enhancing the role of forests in mitigating the effects of climate change. Actions to achieve those targets for the period 2014-2018 are outlined in the Biodiversity Action Plan

Agricultural production

The responsibility for agricultural issues in Greece falls under the Ministry of Rural Development and Food. Aiming to the adaptation of the country concerning the agricultural sector Greece is participating in the Project ADAGIO - ADAptation of AGriculture in European RegIOns at Environmental Risk under Climate Change. In addition, the national agricultural policy is fully harmonized with European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The National Action Plan for Combating Desertification (2001) sets as an objective to combat the desertification trends in the 35% of the whole Greek territory that is under direct threat and to prevent the desertification process elsewhere. The main issues in relation to agriculture are erosion of soils and drought problems.

Forest ecosystems

The national strategy is implemented via the Program of Rural Development (RDP) 2007-2013 "Aleksandros Mpaltatzis", under which 69 projects have been implemented by the regional Forestry Services. In addition, Natura 2000 network has a key role in protecting and enhancing our natural capital. The National Action Plan for Combating Desertification was approved in 2001 (Joint Ministerial Decision 996005/31719) aims to formulate proposals for combating desertification and co-ordinate national, regional and local action plans.

Fisheries

The Greek Operational Programme "FISHERIES 2007-2013" was approved by the European Commission and the overall strategy is summarized as "the viable and sustainable development of the Fisheries sector whilst reinforcing sector competitiveness and preserving social and economic cohesion". The strategic objectives include achieving a stable balance between fisheries resources and the respective fishing activities, thereby simultaneously ensuring the sector's financial sustainability.

Water resources

Greece incorporated the EU Water Framework Directive (60/2000/EC) in 2003 (Law 3199/2003), while the framework of measures and procedures for Integrated Water Resource Management was established in 2007 (Presidential Decree 51/2007). In addition, the River Basin Management Plans 2009-2015 was adopted by 12 out of the 14 Districts of Greece. It is understood that initiatives from Greece and the country's active participation in ongoing programs of International Organizations (eg UNEP-MAP), such as the MED POL Programme, are essential. One of the most ambiguous projects aiming at the adaptation of water scarcity in the area of Thessaly is the Acheloos water transfer project. The MEDROPLAN Project: "Mediterranean Drought Preparedness and Mitigation Planning" focuses on developing Guidelines for drought preparedness plans and to setting up a Network in Mediterranean countries. Regarding Flood Risks, Greece transposed the EU Directive 2007/60/EC in 2010.

Coastal zones

The General National Framework for Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development (Official  Gazette 128/A/3.7.2008) includes priorities that could be considered as contributing to climate change adaptation and the following specific objectives:

•   Constant care for energy-saving;

•   Promotion of alternative, and in particular renewable, energy sources;

•   Protection and enhancement of natural processes;

•   Adaptation to new climate change conditions and mitigation of their consequences (fires, floods, erosion, drought, water salinization, desertification etc.), by putting in place mitigation mechanisms, appropriate infrastructures and plans for action.

Additional useful provisions exist in the Specific Framework Spatial Plans that were published in 2009 and refer to Tourism and Industry (Official Gazette 1138/B/11.06.2009). In order to promote the management of coastal zones exposed to particular and complex pressures, including climate change, a Specific Framework Spatial Plan of Coastal Areas and Islands has been developed and presented to the public. According to Law 3983/2011 "National Strategy for the protection and management of the marine environment the Directive 2008/56 of the European Communities on the Marine Strategy Directive was incorporated into national legislation aiming for a high environmental status of the marine environment by the year 2020.

Tourism

Strengthening the assessment of tourism investments, empowering legislative tools, encouraging efficient energy use and promoting dialogue are measures promoted by the tourism sector to be defined by the Ministry of Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism and the Greek National Tourism Organization in cooperation with other Ministries and national bodies. Measures also include adaption of an appropriate marketing strategy aiming at diversification through the development of new tourism product and distinctive destination brands, promotion of sustainable tourism (ecotourism, nature based tourism, rural tourism), promotion of Green Destinations, encouragement of sustainable business practices, providing tools and guidance to the tourism industry and investors and new technologies to improve energy efficiency. The Organization of Tourism Education and Training (OTEK) aims to enhance tourism companies' staff awareness on the consequences of climate change and engage them in appropriate actions. Furthermore, the CCISC of the Bank of Greece also published (October 2014) a report regarding "Greek Tourism and Climate Change: Adaptation Policies and New Growth Strategy".

Human health care

The National Action Plan for the ‘Response of Environmental Hazards Threatening Health' for 2008-2012 included a special action dedicated to the ‘Exploring of Climate Change Impacts on Health', primarily referring to the identification, research and documentation of the impacts. The General Secretariat for Civil Protection is responsible for the implementation of all the corresponding phases of preparation, mobilization and coordination of actions regarding Civil Protection (Law 3013, Official Gazette 102A/04.06.2002), including prevention and protection from forest fires, floods, extreme weather events etc.

Energy

The program Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) contributes to the European Strategic for Energy 2020 and facilitates the implementation of the European Action Plan for Energy Efficiency and Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of Renewable Energy.  

Transport

Concerning transport a set of suggested policies and specific policy measures are presented which, include: Cooperation between the competent authorities, Development of monitoring systems for crucial infrastructure, Recording of detailed data concerning the operation of the transport system, Policy measures aimed at reducing transport demand, etc.

Various vulnerability and impact assessments have been conducted recently in Greece and an official overview is provided in the 6th National Communication. In June 2011 the Bank of Greece also provided an integral assessment of the Environmental, Economical and Social Impacts of Climate Change on the Greek Territory. The study refers to the past, present and future of the Greek climate, the sectoral risks and impacts of climate change.

    a. Observations and projections

The network of systematic observation of climatic parameters in Greece includes the Hellenic National Meteorological Service (HNMS), services of the Greek Armed Forces, the Ministry Environment & Energy (MEEN), the School of Civil Engineering in the NTUA, as well as a number of national research centres (National Observatory of Athens, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, etc.). Greece is a member of the European organization for the exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), the consortium that operates the meteorological observation satellite METEOSAT, and is represented in EUMETSAT by HNMS. In addition, Greece as a member of the European Space Agency (ESA) participates in basic, as well as in optional, research projects. Greece also participates in 3 actions of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Stability (GMES) program of ESA. Also, the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) is a member of the European Global Ocean Observating System (Eur-GOOS).

    b. Impacts & vulnerability assessment

The vulnerability assessment of the major sectors in Greece focuses at:

  • Natural ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Agriculture and food security    
  • Forest ecosystems
  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Water resources
  • Coastal zones
  • Tourism
  • Human health care
  • Energy 
  • Transport

These sectors were analysed in the 6th National Communication Report and the report "Environmental, Economical and Social Impacts of Climate Change in Greece" study, published by the Climate Change Impacts Study Committee (CCISC) of the Bank of Greece in 2011. Climate Change Impact assessments included in these reports provide information regarding: climate change trends in Greece, assessment of extreme weather events and their regional impact, changes in the intensity and distribution of landslides and floods in Greece and change in mean sea level and its impact on Greece's shorelines.

c. Research

The General Secretariat of Research and Technology (GSRT) of the Ministry of Culture, Education and Religious Affairs is the responsible institution for supporting and promoting research in Greece. The main funding sources in the research sector in Greece include public and private funds. Public funds include the funds provided by the national budget, funds by the Programme of Public Investments, Structural Funds and also the European Commission's funds. For 2012 the Gross Domestic Expenditure on R&D (percentage of GDP) is estimated at 0.69%, while 50.4% has been funded by the State and the 31% by the Business Enterprise sector (EUROSTAT, 2013).

Funds that derive from the regular national budget, on an annual basis and at a more limited range than the ones of the Programme of Public Investments, concern principally the covering of the operational need of Universities and National Research Centres (including the conservation and operation of the Global Climate Observing System –GCOS- network whenever applicable).

Programmes that are funded from Structural Funds are included in the European Commission's Support Frameworks and are managed by the Ministry of Finance. The main means of European Funds in the area of Research are the Framework Programmes. (the 7th Framework Programme  2007-2013). Until October 2008, the Greek research organisations obtained contributions of about 121M Euros, through the FP7. 

Furthermore, the Climate Change Impacts Study Committee (CCISC) of the Bank of Greece, was set up in March 2009 having a key role in Climate change issues. The CCISC was responsible for the publication of a comprehensive study of the impacts of climate change in Greece, including the cost of climate change for the Greek economy, the cost of implementing adaptation measures, and the cost of moving to a low-emissions economy in the context of EU climate change mitigation policies, entitled "The environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change in Greece".

International cooperation in the field of research is ensured by the implementation of projects. Greece in the past has participated in a number of bilateral and cross-border programmes. During the new programming period, the Community Initiative Programmes are replaced by the Programmes of Goal III "European Territorial Cooperation".

Three programmes of the cross-border regions of Greece are aimed to research and are co-financed by Greece and the European Regional Development Fund: Adriatic Programme, Mediterranean Sea Basin, and Black Sea. Greece participates in two transnational programmes: MEDA and MEDOCC Programmes. 

The main institutes that perform research in the sector of climate change in Greece are: the Hellenic National Meteorological Service (HNMS), the National Observatory of Athens, the Academy of Athens, the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, the National Technical University of Athens, the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the University of the Aegean, and the National Agricultural Research Foundation.  

a. Governance

The Ministry of Environment & Energy (MEEN) is responsible for coordinating and implementing actions focusing on climate change, as well as mitigation and adaptation works. In this context MEEN cooperates with other competent ministries as well as with regional, prefectural and local authorities. Some competent ministries are summarized below:

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Ministry of Ministry of Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism etc.

Following the National Adaptation Strategy, the thirteen prefectures of Greece have to develop thirteen Regional Adaptation Plans, under specifications prepared by MEEN.

Adaptation measures for responding to specific sectoral climate change impacts at a regional level are being implemented. In particular:

  • Many Greek cities have already officially signed the Mayors Adapt Initiative– the Covenant of Mayors Initiative on Climate Change Adaptation, which has been set up by the European Commission to engage cities in taking action to adapt to climate change.
  • The Goulandris Natural History Museum / Greek Biotope - Wetland Centre in cooperation with the Ministry of Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy participate in the project LIFE+ ENVIRONMENT POLICY AND GOVERNANCE, entitled AdaptFor "Adaptation of forest management to climate change in Greece" (2010 – 2014) (http://en.life-adaptfor.gr/). Under this framework the Directorate General for the Development and Protection of Forests and Rural Environment of the Ministry of Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy, produced in 2014 Guidelines on how to adapt forest management to climate change in Greece (http://www.life-adaptfor.gr/assets/adaptfor-files/Deliverable_Action13_GR.pdf). 
  • The Attica Region, the Center for Technological Research of Crete and Goulandris Natural History Museum participate as partners, while Ministry of Reconstruction of Production, Environment & Energy (MRPEE) and Municipality of Komotini participate as associated partners to the OrientGate project.
  • The Region of East Macedonia and Thrace and the Decentralized Administration of Crete participate in the MED Programme: COASTGAP Capitalisation Project (COASTGAP: Coastal Governance and Adaptation Policies in the Mediterranean, http://coastgap.facecoast.eu/). 
  • The Development Enterprise of Achaia /Western Greece Region, participated in the INTERREG IVC project F:ACTS: Forms for Adapting to Climate Change through Territorial Strategies (http://www.factsproject.eu/) focusing on risk prone areas that lack resilience to respond to and recover from extreme weather conditions, due to climate change. 
  • The Municipality of Patras participated in the Life+ Project "Act-Adapting to Climate Change in Time" (http://www.actlife.eu/).
  • The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Water Supply and Sewerage CO and the Municipal Enterprise for Development and Planning of Patras participated in the "CC-WaterS: Climate Change and Impacts on Water Supply"
  • The Region of Crete participated in the RegioClima project (http://www.regioclima.eu/), whose objective was to enhance cooperation among EU regions towards avoiding risk and reaping the benefits from a changing climate.
  • The Strategic Plan for Athens / Attica 2011, published by the Organization for Master Plan and Environmental Protection of Athens, also takes into account adaptation to climate change in specific sectors (spatial planning, environmental protection etc.).

 

    b. Adaptation capacity, dissemination, education, training

Public awareness activities, education and training have been a major priority for Ministry of Environment & Energy (MEEN) over the last years. The main plan has been constructed taking into account four basic pillars, the People, the Objective, the Strategy and the Technology.

Activities carried out by the MEEN include the use of internet and social media tools to communicate with the public and to engage them on a continuous basis aiming to maximum dissemination with the minimum, even zero, cost. The strategy mainly includes the cooperation with national and local authorities as well as a number of associations and NGO's, the use of CSR meaning environmental messages shown on screens located in metro platforms, finding sponsors to provide the materials needed and ensured that any events would be covered by national TV channels, radio stations and newspapers all over the country. The basic tools that the ministry uses are the main website (www.ypeka.gr) along with 18 more thematic sites, and the open Social media (Facebook, twitter, youtube, etc.).

Some of the programmes/ activities undertaken the last years under the MEEN responsibility in different thematic areas, are:

  • Forest Protection: Memorandum of cooperation signed between the MEEN and Scouts of Greece. Activities for fire protection and reforestation were organized in Thessaloniki suburban forest.
  • Sea protection: Info kiosks were set in 29 popular beaches around the country providing information about water quality and beach protection.
  • Biodiversity: Conference in the new acropolis museum about protection of local varieties.
  • Recycling: A number of workshops were organized in Athens and Thessaloniki (floor games, treasure hunting, paper recycling, origami, seed planting, vegetable garden, composting screening, kids eco festival, etc.).
  • European Mobility Week, etc.

 

    Education

In addition, environmental information and awareness is taking place through different tracks, including several Governmental initiatives apart from MEEN. As part of the programme for the implementation of the Convention and the New Delhi Programme, and the relevant provisions of the Kyoto Protocol, Greece has carried out a series of actions, aiming at the integration of climate change issues at all educational levels. Under the guidance of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, the Educational Institute of Greece is providing substantial guidance on environmental education to teachers.

The Environmental Education Centres (EEC) are also involved in the implementation of educational programmes and activities. Currently fifty-two (52) EECs are operating in Greece. EECs produce co-ordinate local and national thematic networks of schools throughout the country. In co-operation with the Teachers Responsible for Environmental Education, they organize teacher training seminars on issues of education and sustainable development. They also promote international co-operation with foreign universities for teacher training and organize events for local communities which aim at raising public awareness. A current development in this field is the introduction of Law 3879/2010 for the Development of Lifelong Learning which allows for the implementation of programs for adult groups in EECs.

In addition, a substantial number of environmental NGOs are active on environmental education issues, promoting at the same time awareness on specific environmental issues. Different national thematic networks linked to climate change are established, such as the ‘Climate Change –Extreme Weather Conditions' network. The Network was established in 2008 and has been in operation ever since. It consists of 14 EECs which cooperate in equal terms and share the following responsibilities:

  • To plan and conduct environmental educational programs based on the thematic units of the network (Climate change and energy, agriculture, water, desertification,  impact on biodiversity etc.)
  • To support the members of the network with educational material on climate change
  • To co-operate with the teachers responsible for Environmental education in each prefecture so as to design programs on climate change that will be implemented in schools
  • To co-ordinate and assist  schools to carry out programs on climate change
  • To produce educational material on climate change
  • To publicize the outcomes of the educational procedures in the local community.

In addition Training Seminars and workshops of the Network that took place include workshops for the public (namely ‘Climate change and renewable sources of energy', Energy for all – cooperative models of production, energy and development', ‘Meteorology: weather forecast', ‘Consumption and energy saving for home heating') as well as for teachers (‘Human activities in times of crisis and Climate change', ‘Natural Disasters and Climate Change: their prevention – challenge for the aware citizen').

Furthermore, scientific meetings open to the public, workshops and seminars focusing on Environmental and climatic changes, Human Health and Adaptation were also organized:

  • July 2013: Workshop entitled "Greek tourism and climate change: adaptation and new development policy strategy".
  • 21-22 November 2013: OPEN DAYS 2013 - Local Events "Climate Change impact on the Environment and health. Incorporating knowledge and implementation of adaptation policies in Local Government", Biomedical Research Foundation, Academy of Athens.
  • June 2014: Workshop entitled "Energy, Health and Environment" organized by the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens.
  • June 2014: International Conference for "Adaptation Strategies to Global Environmental Change in the Mediterranean City and the Role of Global Earth Observations". The conference was organized by the Greek Presidency of the European Council in 2014 under the auspices of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology and organized by the EU, Eurisy, the Mediterranean Consortium for Climate Change (MC-4), the Eurisy (http://www.eurisy.org/), the Mariolopoulos - Kanaginis Fountation for the Environmental Sciences, the Research Center for Atmospheric Physics and Climatology of the Academy of Athens and the Justus-Liebig Giessen University of Germany.
  • November 2014: Climate Change: "Climate Change: The impact on Health", "Adaptation to health impacts of climate changes", GAIA Environmental Center, Goulandris Natural History Museum.
  • Special seminars organized by the Climate Change Impacts Study Committee.

Indicatively the following seminars should be mentioned:

  • 18/11/2014 - "Energy prices and Growth: How to measure the costs of Climate Policies"
  • 14/05/2014 - "Climate Finance: Current Issues and Challenges"

 

    International cooperation

Greece's long-standing cooperation with countries of the African Region is channeled through a number of different processes and is characterized by the social, economic, commercial, cultural and environmental links induced by sharing the Mediterranean sea. The different levels of cooperation between Greece and the African Countries can be summarized as cooperation at : international level, regional level, with emphasis on the Mediterranean region, and cooperation at bilateral level.

Naturally, cooperation also exists between the European Union (EU) and African Countries, especially at the international level but also at the regional level, where Greece, as a Member State of the EU, is also actively involved.

In the UN system, it should be mentioned the involvement of Greece with the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The Ministry's efforts focused on capacity building, and promoted the principles of demand driven projects and local ownership. Thematic priorities included water and natural resources management, wastewater and solid waste management, climate change etc.

Ministry of Environment & Energy (MEEN)

Division of Climate Change and Air Quality

Climate Change Department

147 Patission str., 11521, Athens, Greece

tel.: +30 210 8646939, fax: +30 210 8646939

http://www.ypeka.gr

 

The contact person is:

Mr. Dimitris Niavis

tel.: +30 210 8665998 fax: +30 210 8646939

E-mail: d.niavis@prv.ypeka.gr

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