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National circumstances relevant to adaptation actions

Greece has a total area of 131.957 km2 and occupies the southernmost extension of the Balkan Peninsula. The mainland accounts for 80% of the land area, with the remaining 20% divided among nearly 3000 islands. The Greek landscape, with its extensive coastline, exceeding 15,000 km in length, is closely linked with the sea, since only a small region in the northwest is further than 80 km from the sea. Approximately 25% of it is lowland, particularly the coastal plains along the seashore of the country. Forest land, divided into Forests (high and coppice forests) and Other Wooded Lands (branchy dwarf trees and scrubs), covers 26.2% of the total area of the country. Grassland, rangeland and pasture with vegetation that falls below the threshold of forest definition, covers 40.3% of the total area of the country. Agricultural land, including fallow land, account for 25.1% of the total area. Settlements, developed land including transportation infrastructure and human settlements of any size, account for 4.1% of the total area. Finally, wetlands, land that is covered or saturated by water for all or the greatest part of the year, and other land, areas that do not fall into any of other land-use categories (e.g. rocky areas, bare soil, mine and quarry land), account for 2.3 % and 2.1 %, respectively.

Situated at the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula (Aemos Peninsula), Greece has a complex topography which, together with the prevailing weather systems, accounts for a strong spatial variability of climate conditions. As a result, the climate can vary from Mediterranean to alpine within just a few dozen kilometres. Another predominant feature is Greece’s extensive coastline, which along with the topography influences a number of local climate characteristics, sometimes causing significant differences from what is considered a typical Mediterranean climate. Three facts worth mentioning at this stage are the average altitude of the Greek mainland (close to 600 m), the gradient in elevation (typically between 100 m and 200 m per km), and ?as mentioned? the impressively lengthy total coastline (16,300 km, i.e. more than a third of the Earth’s equatorial circumference).

Greece has one of the richest biodiversities in Europe and the Mediterranean on account of combined multiple factors, which include the country’s climatic variety, geographical location (at the junction of three continents), complex geologic history, and great topographic diversity (pronounced relief, land discontinuity, large number of caves, gulfs and seas, and until recently only moderate human intervention), all of which have fostered the development and support of a wide variety of plants, animals, ecosystems and landscapes. An important characteristic of Greek biodiversity is the high endemism observed in most animal and plant groups. Many endemic species have a very small distribution area (limited e.g. to one islet or one mountain) and are thus vulnerable to disturbance.

Greece has a Mediterranean climate, with mild and wet winters in the southern lowland and island regions and cold winters with strong snowfalls in the mountainous areas in the central and northern regions and hot, dry summers. The mean temperature during summer (April to September) is approximately 24°C in Athens and southern Greece, while lower in the north. Generally, temperatures are higher in the southern part of the country. Except for a few thunderstorms, rainfall is rare from June to August, where sunny and dry days are mainly observed. The dry, hot weather is often relieved by a system of seasonal breezes. The mean annual temperature for the period 2001 – 2015, as measured at selected meteorological stations of the country, is higher in most of the stations compared to the mean annual temperature of the period 1991 – 2000 while the mean annual temperature for the period 1991 – 2000 is higher compared to these of the period 1961 – 1990. Studies of the effects of climate change on extreme weather events have concluded that the climate of the Mediterranean basin will become significantly warmer, with prolonged heat waves, less rainfall, but also more intense extreme rainfall events.

Sources:
7th National Communication of Greece: https://unfccc.int/documents/198255

Climate Change Impacts Study Committee of Bank of Greece, “The environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change”, June 2011: https://www.bankofgreece.gr/[…]/ClimateChange_FullReport_bm.pdf
In 2011, the total permanent population of Greece was 10.816 million inhabitants, according to the Census of 2011 performed by the Hellenic Statistical Authority. The total population in 2011 decreased by 1.37% compared to the 2001 Census results, with 35.34% of total population living in the greater Athens area. For 2020, total permanent population of Greece is estimated equal to 10.72 million inhabitants, lower than this for 2011. The age structure is as follows: 19.4% 0-19 years, 22.9% 20-39 years, 29.1% 40-59 years, 21.4% 60-79 years, and 7.2% 80+ years. During the years 2015-2019 the incoming immigrants were around 542 throusands and the outgoing around 517 thousands. The average household size decreased from 2.80 persons per household according to the 2001 population census, to 2.55 persons per household, according to the 2011 population census Population density in Greece is estimated at 84.03 inhabitants/km2.

The unemployment rate in the third quarter of 2020 was 16.2%. About the financial situation of the households, 14.5%, 6.2% and 2.3% of population live in relatively bad, bad and very bad financial situation, respectively.

After a decade of steady growth, the Greek population has been decreasing since 2010 due to a reduced fertility rate and, until 2015, negative net migration. Greece is the main entry point to Europe for refugees and migrants travelling on the eastern Mediterranean route. Illegal border crossings soared from an annual average of 45 000 over 2008-14 to 885 000 in 2015, subsequently dropping to 42 000 in 2017. The old-age dependency ratio is expected to continue to rise from an already high rate of 33% in 2016 to 71% in 2050, though the public ageing cost is expected to decline as a result of pension reforms.

Although a majority of people live in cities of more than 50 000, the share of population in rural regions is higher than the OECD average (84.9% is urban). The Athens and Thessaloniki metropolitan areas account for 43% of the population and 56% of GDP. While the crisis affected all regions, disparities among them have significantly widened in the past decade.

Sources:
7th National Communication of Greece: https://unfccc.int/documents/198255

Hellenic Statistical Authority: www.statistics.gr

OECD Environmental Performance Review of Greece: https://www.oecd.org/greece[…]greece-2020-cec20289-en.htm
Greece is a member of the EU since 1981 and member of the Eurozone since 2001. The euro is the monetary unit of the country since 1st of 2002. Greece has a small, service-based economy. In 2020, services (mostly trade, transportation and storage, accommodation and food service, information and communication, financial and insurance activities, repair of vehicles, public administration, defence, education, health and social work activities, arts and entertainment and real estate activities) contributed 70% of total value added. Tourism is a vital driver of the Greek economy. In 2018, it directly accounted for 12% of GDP, while its direct and indirect contribution was estimated at between 26% and 31% of GDP. Agriculture is also more important than in most other OECD countries, accounting for 4% of value added and 12% of employment. The share of industry in value added rose from 11% to 15% over 2010-17, driven by increasing contributions from food product manufacturing and basic metals. Meanwhile, construction’s share fell by half, to 2%. The economy is becoming more open, although exports, at 36% of GDP in 2018, remained below the EU average of 46%. Goods, especially oil products, account for an increasing share of total exports. Within service exports, the share of tourism (52% in 2017) has exceeded that of transport (32%, mainly shipping) since the mid-2010s.

After the accession, the Greek economy was developed with high rates, while its capacity to cope with structural problems both in public and in private sector was increased. However, since 2009 the Greek economy experiences its most-severe economic crisis recording six consecutive year recession up to 2013. In 2014 about 0.7% growth was noted while for years 2015 and 2016 a small recession was shown from 0.2 to 0.3%. Positive number of growth is projected for 2017. As a consequence, Greece has received financial and technical assistance from the other Eurozone countries and the IMF in the framework of the first Memorandum of Understanding (May, 2010), the second one (January, 2012) and the third one (August, 2015) in order to deal with its high deficit and Government debt. The implementation of the Memorandums of Understanding was accompanied by the adoption of numerous economic and structural changes of Greece influencing significantly the living standards of Greek citizens. ?he Medium-Term Budget Framework for years 2019-2022, published in June 2018, includes the main financial interventions planned by the Greek government for the respective period. According to OECD economic forecast, Greece’s economy is set to contract by 10% in 2020 and to recover gradually in 2021, as ongoing virus outbreaks and restrictions weigh on services activity, exports, employment and investment. In 2022, the recovery is projected to accelerate, as the virus is better controlled with a vaccine having become more generally deployed, restrictions being eased globally and the government implementing new investment projects. Controlling the pandemic sooner would hasten the recovery, reducing risks of rising insolvencies, non-performing loans and declining well-being.

With respect to the infrastructural situation in Greece, the main information refers to the building sector. According to the ‘Environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change in Greece’ assessment of 2011, some 65% of the country’s buildings were constructed prior to 1980, with practically no thermal protection systems, such as insulation, double glazing, etc. Meanwhile, the strong increase in living space per person has also contributed to increase the energy demand per person. Finally, the high penetration of air-conditioning use in recent years has increased the absolute consumption levels of the building sector and the country’s peak electrical power loads. Greece’s building sector is responsible for roughly one third of total CO2 emissions and around 36% of total energy consumption.

Sources:
7th National Communication of Greece: https://unfccc.int/documents/198255

Hellenic Statistical Authority: www.statistics.gr

OECD Economic forecast: http://www.oecd.org/economy/greece-economic-snapshot/

INSETE statistics: https://insete.gr/statistika-deltia/

Reporting updated until: 2021-03-10

Item Status Links
National adaptation strategy (NAS)
  • actual NAS - adopted
National adaptation plan (NAP)
  • being developed
Sectoral adaptation plan (SAP)
Climate change impact and vulnerability assessment
  • completed
Meteorological observations
  • Established
  • Established
  • Established
  • Established
Climate projections and services
  • Being developed
Adaptation portals and platforms
  • Established
Monitoring, reporting and evaluation (MRE) indicators and methodologies
Key reports and publications
National communication to the UNFCCC
Governance regulation adaptation reporting
Observation systems are in place to monitor climate change, extreme climate events and their impacts.

The Hellenic National Meteorological Service (HNMS) operates a network of 79 land surface and three upper air measurement stations, as well as a fully automated network of meteorological radars. HNMS represents Greece in the European organization for the exploitation of Meteorological Satellites and participates in the Copernicus programme of the European Space Agency. A digital climatic atlas of Greece (http://climatlas.hnms.gr/) based on a homogeneous time series for the period 1971-2000 is available from the HNMS, while an annual report about significant weather events is also available (http://www.emy.gr/emy/en/climatology/climatology_extreme).

The National Observatory of Athens (NOA) holds the oldest, most complete and uninterrupted climatic records for Greece, spanning an approximately 170-year period. Nowadays it operates two 1st class meteorological stations in Athens and a large network of 280 automated meteorological stations throughout the country (https://www.meteo.gr/climatic.cfm).

The Ministry of Rural Development and Food and the Ministry of Environment and Energy operate a large network of more than 250 rain gages and 1000 snow gages. The National Agricultural Research Foundation operates a network of 21 additional meteorological stations in forest areas. Several universities and research centers operate meteorological stations as well.

Greece's marine observation is highly developed. The Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) runs the POSEIDON system (https://poseidon.hcmr.gr/) for the monitoring and forecasting of information on marine environmental conditions in the Eastern Mediterranean. The system records continuously the physical, biological and chemical parameters of the Greek seas. HRMC also participates in the EURO-ARGO network that measures important environmental sea variables and in the EMSO European Research Infrastructure that monitors interactions between the geosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere, including natural hazards and climate change impacts. In addition, the Hellenic Navy Hydrographic Service (HNHS) collects, analyses and uses data and information from the sea waters in the fields of hydrography, oceanography, cartography and navigation. The HNHS maintains a network of permanent sea level recorders (tide gauges) (http://www.ioc-sealevelmonitoring.org/). The stations enable the recording of any change to sea level, around the clock. The data are also recorded digitally at selected stations and transmitted to the International Oceanographic Organization virtually in real time.

Further information on the observation systems in place and Greece’s contribution to the Global Climate Observing Systems can be found in the corresponding national report submitted to UNFCCC.

With respect to modelling, the NAS was based upon a national multi-sectoral climate impact and vulnerability assessment developed by the Climate Change Impacts Study Committee of Bank of Greece (CCISC) in 2011. Model simulation datasets for four Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 4th Assessment Report (AR4) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions scenarios (A2, A1B, B2 and B1), developed by the Research Centre for Atmospheric Physics and Climatology of the Academy of Athens, were used in the report to estimate variation in the mean seasonal and annual values of six climate parameters for the periods 2021-2050 and 2071-2100. Extreme weather events and their impacts were also assessed.

A regional climate model (ENSEMBLES) was used to project changes in maximum summer and minimum winter temperatures, number of warm days and nights, number of days with precipitation and dry days, number of frost days and growing seasons. The degree-days method was used to assess changes in energy demand for heating and cooling, the Forest Fire Weather Index to assess the wildland fire potential, and the Humidex to estimate the number of days with high thermal discomfort. Moreover, the ECHAM5 and the HadCM3 models were used to assess changes in the intensity and distribution of landslides and floods. The economic cost of climate change was estimated using the GEM-E3 general equilibrium model (estimations per climate scenario and per sector). Priority sectors were identified based on the climate change costs per sector. The results per sector were further downscaled to a regional level in the NAS report, based on the mix and intensity of economic activities in each region.

Pursuant to Law 4414/2016 (Article 42), multi-sectoral climate impact and vulnerability assessments will be an integral part of the NAS in the future. In particular, the NAS will include projections of future climate trends for various GHG emissions scenarios, climate vulnerability analyses of various sectors and activities, and climate impact assessments of the most vulnerable sectors at national level. Priority sectors for action will be identified based on vulnerability analyses and impact assessments. In addition, detailed regional climate impact and vulnerability assessments will be undertaken as part of the RAAPs (Ministerial Decision 11258/2017). The RAAPs will include: projections of future climate trends and sea-level rise for multiple GHG scenarios and three time periods (i.e. short-term, 2050, 2100); climate vulnerability analyses for specific sectors and geographical areas within the region; climate impact assessments of the most vulnerable sectors and geographical areas considering probability, magnitude, intensity, complexity, timing, reversibility, cross-border and cross-sectoral aspects.

Under the LIFE IP AdaptInGR project, state-of-the-art Regional Climate Models (RCMs) are used in order to provide future climate projections and to study climate change impacts in each one of the 13 Regions of Greece. The climatic data of the RCMs cover the period from 1971 to 2100, while future projections are based on three (3) IPCC emission scenarios i.e. RCP2.6 (ambitious mitigation policies), RCP4.5 (moderately ambitious mitigation policies) and RCP8.5 (unambitious mitigation policies).

Sources:
7th National Communication of Greece: https://unfccc.int/documents/198255

Climate Change Impacts Study Committee of Bank of Greece: “The environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change”, June 2011. https://www.bankofgreece.gr/[…]/ClimateChange_FullReport_bm.pdf
As mentioned above, the NAS was based upon a national multi-sectoral climate impact and vulnerability assessment developed by the CCISC in 2011. The assessment used model simulation datasets for four Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 4th Assessment Report (AR4) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions scenarios (A2, A1B, B2 and B1), developed by the Research Centre for Atmospheric Physics and Climatology of the Academy of Athens, to estimate variation in the mean seasonal and annual values of six climate parameters (air temperature, precipitation, humidity, cloud cover, total incident short-wave radiation, wind speed) for the periods 2021-2050 and 2071-2100. Extreme weather events and their impacts were also assessed. A regional climate model (ENSEMBLES) was used to project changes in maximum summer and minimum winter temperatures, number of warm days and nights, number of days with precipitation and dry days, number of frost days and growing seasons. The degree-days method was used to assess changes in energy demand for heating and cooling, the Forest Fire Weather Index (FFWI) to assess the wildland fire potential, and the Humidex to estimate the number of days with high thermal discomfort. Moreover, the ECHAM5 and the HadCM3 models were used to assess changes in the intensity and distribution of landslides and floods. In addition, changes in mean sea level and its impact on Greece’s shoreline were assessed.

The methodology used under the LIFE-IP AdaptInGr project for the production of future climate projections is based on daily output from selected Regional Climate Models (RCMs) developed within the CORDEX (http://www.cordex.org) initiative at a horizontal resolution of ~12km. CORDEX and its European and Mediterranean components (EURO-CORDEX and MED-CORDEX) in particular, is a unique framework where research community makes combined use of regional atmospheric, land surface, river and oceanic climate models and coupled regional climate system models for increasing the reliability of past and future regional climate information for understanding the processes that are responsible for the European and Mediterranean climate variability and trends. Nine (9) state-of-the-art Regional Climate Models (RCMs) developed within the framework of EURO-CORDEX initiative were retrieved and extensively evaluated against gridded observational data. According to the analysis seven (7) of them were found to adequately reproduce the climatic conditions of the Greek territory thus they were finally chosen to be used in the project. The climatic data of the RCMs cover the period from 1971 to 2100, while future projections are based on three (3) IPCC emission scenarios i.e., RCP2.6 (ambitious mitigation policies), RCP4.5 (moderately ambitious mitigation policies) and RCP8.5 (unambitious mitigation policies). The use of seven (7) models for three emissions scenarios significantly contributed to decreasing uncertainty of projections.

Computing routines for the extraction of raw climatic data, indices calculation and visualization have been produced for the 2031-2060 and 2071-2100 future periods and the 1971-2000 reference period both by the National Observatory of Athens and the Academy of Athens who participate in the project. The complete datasets (8 climatic parameters), indices (13 climate indices) and maps (for current, future periods and/or their differences for 3 emission scenarios) for Greece and each of the 13 Regions of the country (resolution of 12km) have been produced and their preparation for their integration into the MEEN Geoportal (geoportal.ypen.gr) is in progress.
The NAS priority sectors have been identified through the climate impact and vulnerability assessment conducted by the Climate Change Impacts Study Committee of Bank of Greece (CCISC), using robust modelling methods to quantify risks and potential economic losses associated with climate impacts. The priority sectors were identified based on the climate change costs per sector. The results per sector were further downscaled to a regional level in the NAS report, based on the mix and intensity of economic activities in each region.

Pursuant to Law 4414/2016 (Article 42), multi-sectoral climate impact and vulnerability assessments will be an integral part of the NAS in the future. In addition, detailed regional climate impact and vulnerability assessments will be undertaken as part of the RAAPs (Ministerial Decision 11258/2017). As part of the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR, the development of an updated Climate Change Impacts and Vulnerability Assessment (CCIVA) for Greece is planned.
Observed climate hazards Acute Chronic
Temperature
  • Wildfire
  • Temperature variability
Wind
  • Storm (including blizzards dust and sandstorms)
Water
  • Snow and ice load
  • Saline intrusion
Solid mass
  • Landslide
  • Soil erosion
Key future climate hazards Acute Chronic
Temperature
  • Wildfire
  • Temperature variability
Wind
Water
  • Heavy precipitation (rain hail snow/ice)
  • Sea level rise
Solid mass
  • Landslide
  • Soil erosion
According to the Annual Bulletins on the Climate in Greece of years 2014-2019 of the Hellenic National Meteorological Service, the main climate extremes refer to heat waves, high precipitation and flooding events, cyclones, sandstorms and landslides. The extreme heat waves have negative consequences on public health. The impacts of the climate extremes have been quite apparent leading to losses of human lives and property. Temperature increase and rainfall decrease make forest areas of the country drier, and therefore more vulnerable to forest fires. The wildfires of July 2018 are characterized as the most devastating in the history of modern Greece and the 2nd most devastating in the world for the 21st century causing the deaths to 100 people and injuries to 164, including 23 children. In addition, in September of the same year an exotropic cyclone lead to fifteen (15) times higher accumulated precipitation levels that the monthly mean in the eastern Central Greece region. In general flooding events are quite common, often causing catastrophes in the electricity, communication and water networks, agricultural crops, infrastructure and transport network as well as to private property. On the other hand, the decrease of average rainfall affects agriculture production and cause water supply problems.

Sources:

Hellenic National Meteorological Service (HNMS), Annual Bulletins on the Climate in Greece, years 2014-2019: http://www.hnms.gr/emy/el/climatology/climatology_extreme
Minimum winter temperatures in all of Greece’s regions will be ~1.5.C higher in 2021-2050 and ~3.5.C higher in 2071-2100, than in the reference period 1961-1990.The increase in this parameter is likely to have an impact on forests, presently adapted to colder weather conditions. If the conditions become prohibitive, certain categories of forests (e.g. fir) would have to shift to higher altitudes.

The increase in mean maximum summer temperatures in the period 2021-2050 will be greater than that of the winter minimums and will exceed 1.5.C and in some cases reach as much as 2.5.C. In the period 2071-2100, the increase in mean maximum summer temperatures may be as much as 5.C.

The projected variation in the number of warm days with maximum temperatures above 35.C is expected to have a significant impact on human discomfort, especially in urban areas, as the number of hot days countrywide is clearly projected to increase. The annual number of tropical nights is projected to increase almos

Key affected sectors

Impact/key hazard
not applicable
The CCVIA does not refer to existing observed impacts of key hazards. With respect to future impacts, Scenario B2 appears to be most favourable to crop production. The impacts of climate change become increasingly ‘less negative to positive’ the further one moves north and east. The most vulnerable arable crop was shown to be wheat, while cotton production is projected to decrease. The impact of climate change on tree crop production by mid-century will range from neutral to positive but will become increasingly negative by 2100. Vegetable crops will move northward and the growing season, longer than it is toda, will result in increased production. The warmer climatic conditions will generally favour the proliferation of pests. Warmer winters will allow crop-threatening insects to survive the winter in places where this is not possible today(Gutierrez et al., 2009). Similarly, thermophilic weed species are expected to expand into colder zones and higher altitudes (Karamanos, 2009).

Gutierrez, A.P., L. Ponti and Q.A. Cossu (2009),”Effects of climate warming on olive and olive fly (Bactrocera oleae Gmelin) in California and Italy”, Climatic Change, 95, 195-217.

Karamanos, A. (2009), “Possible effects of climate change on crop-weed interactions”, 2nd International Conference on Novel and sustainable weed management in arid and semi-arid agro-ecosystems, Santorini, Greece, www.ewrs.org/arid/Santorini.asp
Key hazard likelihood
not applicable
The available Climate Change Impacts and Vulnerability Assessment for Greece (CCIVA, [1]) does not include explicit information on the likelihood of occurrence of different climate hazards.

Despite its contraction in recent decades, agriculture remains important to the Greek economy, with agricultural production accounting for 5-6% of GDP and agricultural employment accounting for 17% of total employment [2]. The agroindustry, which represents one fourth of the national industry, contributes one third of the industrial product and accounts for one third of industrial sector employment [3].

[1] BoG, Climate Change Impacts Study Committee (CCISC), The environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change in Greece, 2011: https://www.bankofgreece.gr/[…]/ClimateChange_FullReport_bm.pdf
[2] ???a???, ?., “S??t?µ? ?p?s??p?s? t?? ????????? Ge????a?: http://www.minagric.gr/greek/agro_pol/works.htm, 2004.
[3] ?apa?a???t??, ?., “??????µ??? ?a?a????? Ge??????? ??????t??”, ?’ ??d?s?, ??d?se?? G??f?µa, Tessa??????, 2005.
Vulnerability
high
The effects of climate change alone, excluding desertification, were found to have an immediate positive effect on farmer income until 2041-2050, a turning point, after which the economic impacts (for 2051-2100) worsen, relative to 2041-2050. The economic impact of all three scenarios on farmer income (excluding desertification) remains positive throughout the period 2010-2100. As is well-established, desertification negatively impacts agricultural production and farmer income, due to the loss of fertile farmland and the decrease in cultivable area. The overall impact of climate change on farmer income, factoring in desertification, was found to be negative under Scenarios ?1? and ?2, but positive under Scenario ?2. Taking the impacts of the climate scenarios into account, the estimates point to the need for immediate drastic intervention to contain desertification and achieve farmer income growth. The estimates do not take into account changes in other determinants of agricultural production directly affected by climatic change, such as the impact of weeds and insect pests (including invasive species) and possible changes in pollinator efficiency.

With respect to efforts for increasing the adaptive capacity, the Ministry of Rural Development and Food has established a dedicated Department for Climate Change. The Greek Rural Development Programme (RDP, 2014-2020) spends 42.22% on environmental and climate measures. It seeks to promote water efficiency; upgrading of irrigation infrastructure and networks; organic farming; the conservation, sustainable use and development of genetic resources; and biodiversity in agriculture. Conservation of plant genetic resources is carried out by the Greek Gene Bank. The Greek National Action Plan for Combating Desertification (2001) deals with issues such as climate-induced soil erosion and drought prevention.
Risk Future Impact
high
The National Adaptation Strategy provides an estimation of the climate risk of potential future impacts at the level of sectors and regions. The economic damage and losses for the agricultural sector are ranked among the highest, closely linked to losses in the farmers’ production.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
According to the CCIVA, the effects of climate change on biodiversity are multifaceted. Biodiversity can be affected by a combination of: (a) direct impacts on organisms (e.g. the effects of temperature on survival rates, reproductive success, distribution and behavioural patterns); (b) impacts through biotic interactions (e.g. conferral of competitive advantage); and (c) impacts through changes in abiotic factors (e.g. inundation, shifts in ocean currents). The assessment mentions some observed impacts for certain species and habitats.
Key hazard likelihood
not applicable
The available Climate Change Impacts and Vulnerability Assessment for Greece (CCIVA) (CCISC, 2011) does not include explicit information on the likelihood of occurrence of different climate hazards.

Greece has one of the richest biodiversities in Europe and the Mediterranean on account of combined multiple factors, which include the country’s climatic variety, geographical location (at the junction of three continents), complex geologic history, and great topographic diversity (pronounced relief, land discontinuity, large number of caves, gulfs and seas, and until recently only moderate human intervention), all of which have fostered the development and support of a wide variety of plants, animals, ecosystems and landscapes (Dafis et al., 1997). An important characteristic of Greek biodiversity is the high endemism observed in most animal and plant groups. Many endemic species have a very small distribution area (limited e.g. to one islet or one mountain) and are thus vulnerable to disturbance.

Sources:

BoG, Climate Change Impacts Study Committee (CCISC), The environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change in Greece, 2011: https://www.bankofgreece.gr/[…]/ClimateChange_FullReport_bm.pdf
?t?f??, S., ?. ?apaste????d??, ?. Ge??????, ?. ?paµpa???a?, T. Ge?????d??, ?. ?apa?e??????, T. ?a?a??d?? ?a? ?. ?s?a??s? (1997), “?d???a 92/43/???. ?? ???? ????t?p?? st?? ????da: ???t?? F?S? 2000”, S?µß??a?? a???µ?? ?4-3200/94/756, Ge?. ??e????s? ??, ?p?t??p? ????pa???? ?????t?t??, ???se?? G???a?d?? F?s???? ?st???a? – ???????? ???t?? ???t?p??-????t?p??. http://repository.biodiversity-info.gr/handle/11340/526
Vulnerability
high
In Southern Europe, particularly in parts of the Iberian Peninsula, Italy and Greece, species abundance is expected to decrease, while species distribution/migration will depend on habitat suitability. Many Mediterranean islands projected, under specific conditions, to lose up to 100% of their current species abundance. The endemic species appear more vulnerable to climate change (based on the assumption of no migration) than other species, mainly due to their more limited distribution (Schwartz et al., 2006).

Kazakis et al. (2007) correlated the vascular plants of Crete’s White Mountains (Lefka Ori) with climate data. Under a scenario of temperature increase, southern exposures are likely to be invaded first by thermophilous species, while northern exposures are likely to be more resistant to changes. Species distribution shifts will also depend on habitat availability. Many, already threatened, narrow-niche endemic species will be affected first.

The seagrass meadows of endemic Mediterranean marine angiosperm Posidonia oceanica seem to be highly vulnerable to the physical and chemical changes induced by extreme weather events (e.g. storms and floods; Orr et al., 1992; Bombace, 2001).

Sources:

Bombace, G. (2001), “Influence of climatic changes on stocks, fish species and marine ecosystems in the Mediterranean Sea”, Archives of Oceanography and Limnology, 22, 67-72.

Kazakis, ? D., ? I. N. Ghosn, ? V. P. Vogiatzakis and V. Papanastasis (2007), “Vascular plant diversity and climate change in the alpine zone of the Lefka Ori, Crete”, Biodiversity and Conservation, 16, 1603-15, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10531-006-9021-1

Orr, J.C., E. Maier-Reimer, U. Mikolajewicz, P. Monfray, G.C. Ray, B.P. Hayden, A.J. Bulger and M.G. McCormick-Ray (1992), “Effects of global warming on the biodiversity of coastal-marine zones”, in Peters, R.L. and T.E. Lovejoy (eds) Global warming and biological diversity, New Haven, CT, Yale University Press.
Risk Future Impact
high
The risk of potential future impacts for biodiversity and ecosystems is considered to be high.
Impact/key hazard
not applicable
There is no information on observed impacts in the Greek Climate Change Impacts and Vulnerability Assessment for Greece (CCIVA, [1]).

According to the CCIVA, the likely physical impacts of climate change on the building sector involve, first, changes in the energy consumption of climate-controlled buildings and, second, changes in the indoor conditions of buildings unequipped with climate control systems.

Warmer climate conditions will obviously lead to a significant reduction in buildings’ winter energy requirements. In summer, however, warmer temperatures will lead to a significant increase in energy requirements for air-conditioning, while also seriously decreasing thermal comfort in non air-conditioned buildings.

It should be mentioned that in the CCVIA, it is mainly the energy-related, economic and social implications of the likely climate change for the built environment that are explored.
[1] BoG, Climate Change Impacts Study Committee (CCISC), The environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change in Greece, 2011: https://www.bankofgreece.gr/[…]/ClimateChange_FullReport_bm.pdf
Key hazard likelihood
not applicable
The available CCVIA does not include explicit information on the likelihood of occurrence of different climate hazards.

Greece’s building sector is responsible for roughly one third of total CO2 emissions and around 36% of total energy consumption. Prior to the economic crisis, building sector CO2 emissions had been growing at an annual rate of close to 4%, while the energy consumption of buildings was steadily rising.

Greek buildings are highly energy-consuming. According to ?urostat, Greek households have are the biggest energy consumers in the EU, consuming roughly 30% more energy than Spain’s, almost twice as much as Portugal’s and considerably more than even colder climate countries/regions, like Belgium or Scandinavia.

This has dire consequences for the country’s energy balance and household budgets (low income households, in particular), while also leading to dramatic increases in peak electrical power loads, increasing the need for new power stations and condemning hundreds of thousands to energy poverty.

This adverse state of play of the built environment from an energy perspective has some major social and economic corollaries. Today, only 8% of low-income earners currently live in dwellings with thermal insulation and double glazing, as opposed to 70% for high-income earners.

Thus, low-income earners spend roughly 120% more for heating and 95% more for air-conditioning per person and surface area than their high-income counterparts. Meanwhile, the thermal discomfort that low-income earners experience during summer can pose serious health risks.
Vulnerability
medium
In the CCVIA of 2011, the insufficient protection of existing buildings from their surrounding environment, mass housing and commercial building construction with disregard to the environment and local climatological conditions, phenomena such as the urban heat island and aging buildings are mentioned as parameters indicating that the vulnerability of buildings should be considered as high.

The Greek Regulation on the Energy Performance of Buildings (endorsed in 2010 and recently revised) ensures minimum comfort conditions for all new and renovated buildings. However, 55% of the buildings in Greece were built before 1980 (before the first Regulation for Buildings Insulation) and are vulnerable to future climate conditions. More than 60,000 private houses have improved their energy performance and comfort conditions through the Housing Saving Programme I. Its successor, the Housing Saving Programme II, was launched in 2018. In addition, a 2nd version of the national strategy to trigger building retrofitting investments was recently endorsed (MD 175603/2018). A similar programme for public buildings (ministries, hospitals, jails, etc.) is under preparation. Furthermore, the MEEN has recently established an ad-hoc Working Group to prepare a bill on the urban revitalization and regeneration framework, in order to increase the sustainability and climate resilience of urban settlements. Finally, the Operational Programme Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship & Innovation (2014-2020) supports measures to improve the energy performance and comfort conditions of public buildings, such as hospitals.
Risk Future Impact
medium
The National Adaptation Strategy provides an estimation of the climate risk of potential future impacts at the level of sectors and regions. The economic damage and losses for the built environment are estimated to be medium, also supported by the promotion of energy consumption of buildings, energy-saving technologies and renewable energy sources.

The social impacts are expected to be higher for vulnerable groups such as poor households, social minority groups and immigrants, as their ability to implement energy-saving measures in their households, purchase advanced technology equipment and pay more for cleaner energy may be more limited. However, one should mention that under the promoting measures regarding the Housing Saving Programmes priority is provided to such vulnerable groups.
Impact/key hazard
medium
One major problem of the Greek coastal zone is the high rate of coastline erosion: over 20% of the total coastline is currently under threat (EUROSION, 2004), making Greece the 4th most vulnerable country of the 22 coastal EU Member States. The main reasons for the increased erosion are the particularly strong winds and storm surges in the Aegean Sea, anthropogenic interventions ?e.g. dams that reduce sediment discharge (Llasat et al., 2010) - and the geomorphology of the coastline substrate: 2,400 km (15% of the total shoreline) correspond to non-consolidated sediment deposits, while 960 km (6% of the total shoreline) correspond to coastal deltaic areas.

Erosion is expected to increase in the immediate future (Velegrakis, 2010), due to (a) the anticipated rise in mean sea level; (b) the intensification of extreme wave phenomena; and (c) the further reduction of river sediment discharge as a result of variations in rainfall and the construction of river management works.

Sources:

EUROSION (2004), “Living with coastal erosion in Europe”, Final report of the project Coastal erosion - evaluation for the need for action, DG Environment, European Commission: http://www.eurosion.org/reports-online/reports.html

Llasat, M.C., M. Llasat-Botija, M.A. Prat, F. Porc, C. Price, A. Mugnai, K. Lagouvardos, V. Kotroni, D. Katsanos, S. Michaelides, Y. Yair, K. Savvidou and K. Nicolaides (2010), “High-impact floods and flash floods in Mediterranean countries: the FLASH preliminary database”, Adv. Geosci, 23, 1-9: https://adgeo.copernicus.org/articles/23/47/2010/

Velegrakis, A.F. (2010), “Coastal systems”, unpublished paper, Department of Marine Sciences, University of Aegean.
Key hazard likelihood
not applicable
The available Climate Change Impacts and Vulnerability Assessment for Greece (CCIVA) does not include explicit information on the likelihood of occurrence of different climate hazards.

With a total shoreline of roughly 16,300 km, Greece has the most extensive coastal zone of any country in Europe. Almost half of this coastal zone is located in continental Greece, with the remaining half dispersed among Greece’s 3,000 islands (or 9,800, if islets are included). About 33% of the Greek population resides in coastal areas within 1-2 km of the coast. If we define ‘coastal population’ as the population residing within 50 km of the coast, Greece’s coastal population represents 85% of the total.

Twelve of Greece’s total 13 administrative regions (prefectures) qualify as coastal (only one administrative region is landlocked). Located in the coastal zone are: (a) the country’s largest urban centres (Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Heraklion, Kavala, Volos), (b) 80% of national industrial activity, (c) 90% of tourism and recreation activities, (d) 35% of the country’s farmland (usually highly productive), (e) the country’s fisheries and aquaculture, and (f) an important part of the country’s infrastructure (ports, airports, roads, power and telecommunication networks, etc.).

Sources:

BoG, Climate Change Impacts Study Committee (CCISC), The environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change in Greece, 2011: https://www.bankofgreece.gr/[…]/ClimateChange_FullReport_bm.pdf
Vulnerability
high
The CCIVA identifies three vulnerable categories of Greece’s coastal areas:
1) Deltaic coastal areas. Low-lying coastal areas are formed of loose, unconsolidated sediment deposits and are highly vulnerable to SLR.
2) Coastal areas consisting of non-consolidated sediments of Neogene and Quaternary age. These coastal areas, usually of low altitude, are prone to recessional erosion and present medium vulnerability to SLR.
3) Rocky coastal areas. These coastal areas, sometimes of high altitude, consist mostly of hard rock of low vulnerability to erosion and SLR, and form the bulk of Greece’s coastline.

An estimation of the length of these three types of coastal areas showed that from a total of 16,300 km, 960 km correspond to deltaic areas of high vulnerability, 2,400 km correspond to non-consolidated sediments of medium vulnerability, with the remaining 12,810 km corresponding to rocky coastal areas of low vulnerability. The total length of coastline presenting ‘medium to high’ vulnerability to SLR therefore roughly amounts to 3,360 km (21% of Greece’s total shoreline).

The ‘high risk’ coastal areas of Greece include the deltaic areas of: Evinos; Kalamas; Acheloos; Mornos; Pineios; Alfeios; Aliakmon and Axios; Pineios; Strymon (near Amfipolis); Nestos; Evros; as well as the deltaic regions in the Malliakos, Amvrakikos, Lakonikos, Messiniakos and Argolikos gulfs.

The Greek Parliament has endorsed a framework for maritime spatial planning (Law 4546/2018) to introduce overall planning of uses in seas and coastal areas. The framework also clearly sets resilience to climate change impacts (Art. 4) as a strategic objective. Law 2971/2001 defines seashore (aegialos) and beach (paralia), and places buildings and private properties on land right after the outer boundary of the beach. Seashore and beach together comprise a public buffer zone that could play a significant role in protecting coastal assets and infrastructure from climate-induced storm surges etc.
Risk Future Impact
high
On the basis of the resulting impacts of Sea Level Rise, as well as of the storm surges-waves storms to other sectors, the risk of environmental, economic and social impacts associated to the sea level rise is considered to be high.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Forest production depends primarily on environmental factors, such as temperature, solar radiation, soil water and nutrients, but is also affected by synecological factors, such as interand intra- competition, interactions with animals and microorganisms, as well as wildfires (Johnsen et al., 2001). A small rise in temperature and decrease in precipitation was recorded in the course of the 20th century, a trend expected to continue in the 21st century as well (Zerefos, 2009), with precipitation projected to decrease in Greece : Scenario ?2 (-35 mm), Scenario ?2 (-84 mm).

In the recent years several wildfires have been recorded in the country. As noted above, the wildfires of July 2018 are characterized as the most devastating in the history of modern Greece and the 2nd most devastating in the world for the 21st century causing the deaths to 100 people and injuries to 164, including 23 children (HMS).

Sources:

Johnsen, K., L. Samuelson, R. Teskey, S. MvNulty and T. Fox (2001), “Process models as tools in forestry research and management”, Forest Science, 47, 2-8.
?e?ef??, ?. (2009), “??af??? p???d?? ?µ?da? ???µat??”, ?p?t??p? µe??t?? ep?pt?se?? ???µat???? a??a???, ???µß????.

Hellenic National Meteorological Service, Climate Bulletin 2017, http://www.hnms.gr/emy/el/climatology/climatology_extreme , accessed on 28.02.2021
Key hazard likelihood
not applicable
The available Climate Change Impacts and Vulnerability Assessment for Greece (CCIVA) does not include explicit information on the likelihood of occurrence of different climate hazards.

Forest ecosystems occupy 65% of Greece’s land surface (forests 25%, rangelands 40%). Having undergone considerable degradation as a result of centuries of disregard and improper use, their present contribution to human welfare is well below potential. Forest ecosystems provide a wide range of wood and non-wood products, including wood biomass, forage, fruits, mushrooms, honey, botanical herbs; affect water quantity and quality; enhance air quality and the sequestration of CO2; play a valuable role in soil protection and biodiversity conservation by providing habitats and food for a host of living creatures. They also have considerable cultural and aesthetic value and provide opportunities for numerous recreational activities (hiking, camping, hunting, etc.), all essential to human wellbeing.

Sources:

BoG, Climate Change Impacts Study Committee (CCISC), The environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change in Greece, 2011: https://www.bankofgreece.gr/[…]/ClimateChange_FullReport_bm.pdf
Vulnerability
high
According to the CCIVA, the overall decrease in precipitation by 2100 will not be uniform across Greece. Precipitation is expected to decrease in continental Greece (where the country’s productive forests are located), but to increase in the islands of the Aegean (except Crete). Forest ecosystems will suffer from the combined effect of reduced precipitation and increased temperatures during the hot and dry period, while facing a higher risk of devastation from wildfires (Giannakopoulos et al., 2009).

The impacts of climate change on forest ecosystems by 2100 will include (a) a spatial redistribution of the country’s forests, and (b) a decrease in total canopy cover. Moreover, some coastal forest ecosystems are at risk of deforestation/pastoralisation and desertification (Le Houerou, 1996).

Based on the projected rise in CO2 and temperature levels, the growing season will be longer (Chmielewski and Rötzer, 2001), with positive repercussions on forest and rangeland production. The anticipated higher productivity is likely, however, to be moderated by the decrease in precipitation and the increased frequency and intensity of climate change-induced extreme weather events.

As a result of changes in forest structure (such as reduced canopy density) and the increased severity of weather extremes, surface runoff and erosion are expected to increase.

Chmielewski, F.-M. and T. Rötzer (2001), “Response of tree phenology to climate change across Europe”, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 108, 101-12.

Giannakopoulos, C., P. Le Sager, M. Bindi, M. Moriondo, E. Kostopoulou and C. M. Goodes (2009), “Climatic changes and associated impacts in the Mediterranean resulting from a 2 °C global warming”, Global and Planetary change (in press), doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2009.06.001.

Le Houérou H.L. 1996. “Climate change, drought and desertification”, Journal of Arid Environments, 34, 133-85.
Risk Future Impact
high
The risk of potential future impacts to forests is characterized as high on the basis of both the economical losses/damages indicated in the NAS, but also the inevitability of impacts, due to the high time span needed for the management of forests (NAS, 2016).

It should be mentioned that efforts are being made so as this risk becomes more limited in the next year. The recently published National Forest Strategy (Gov. Gazette, 5351/Î’/28.11.2018) signals the adaptation of forests to climate change as a priority and promotes concrete adaptation actions. The technical specifications for forest and forest area studies have been recently revised (MD 166780/1619/ 19.04.2018) to include inter alia climate risk provisions. The national RDP 2014-2020 supports investments in the development of forest areas and the improvement of forest sustainability. In addition, the 13 Regional Operational Programmes promote forest fire protection measures.
Impact/key hazard
high
Observed impacts of climate change to health mentioned in the CCIVA include:
- increased mortality due to the temperature rise;
- greater frequency of infectious disease epidemics due to floods and extreme weather events;
- substantial impacts on human health due to the relocation of populations in response to rising sea levels and the increased frequency of extreme weather events (WHO, 2003).
Key hazard likelihood
not applicable
The available Climate Change Impacts and Vulnerability Assessment for Greece (CCIVA, [1]) does not include explicit information on the likelihood of occurrence of and exposure to different climate hazards related to the health sector.
[1] BoG, Climate Change Impacts Study Committee (CCISC), The environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change in Greece, 2011: https://www.bankofgreece.gr/[…]/ClimateChange_FullReport_bm.pdf
Vulnerability
high
The populations particularly at risk from these climate change-related diseases are:
- the elderly;
- children;
- people with pre-existing chronic medical conditions;
- poor people with poor nutrition or suffering from malnutrition, living in low-income areas and with difficult access to healthcare services;
- the populations of islands and mountainous regions at risk of water and food shortages; and
- undocumented immigrants, at the fringe of society, faced with labour market, social and healthcare exclusion.

In terms of improve the adaptive capacity, is should be mentioned that the Ministry of Health issues circular instructions on public health measures to be adopted in the event of extreme weather (e.g., floods, forest fires), as well as instructions to protect public health and reduce harm from severe heat and heat waves. It also issues regulations and circular instructions to face growing threats of disease outbreaks, as rising temperatures linked to climate change increase infectious disease occurrence and spread.
Risk Future Impact
high
According to the CCVIA, of all the presented categories of natural disasters with an impact on human populations, climate change is expected to affect the frequency of low and high temperature extremes, floods, storms and fires. In more detail, the results of future climate model simulations point to a sharp increase in the frequency of heat waves and forest fires and, conversely, to a decrease in the frequency of cold waves by 2100. As for heavy rainfall and flooding events, their frequency in most of the country (including Athens, where more than 50% of the total national population is concentrated) is expected to rise. The implies that the number of deaths due to climate change related extreme weather events in the course of the 21st century will gradually increase, not only in Athens, but in other large cities as well.

The National Adaptation Strategy provides an estimation of the climate risk of potential future impacts at the level of sectors and regions. The economic damage and losses for health are estimated to be low to medium in comparison to other sectors. The social impacts are expected to be higher for vulnerable groups such the elderly and people with existing cardiovascular and respiratory problems.
Impact/key hazard
not applicable
There is no information on observed impacts in the Greek CCVIA.

According to the CCIVA, the main factors of climate change that will affect the goods and services provided by the country’s fisheries and aquaculture sector are related, first, to the expected rise in temperature and in CO2 dissolved in various water bodies, and, secondarily, to rising sea levels. The impacts of changing climate on the physico-chemical and biological properties of water bodies (rivers, lakes, lagoons, seas) are expected to have different repercussions in each case on output potential and uses.

Rainfall and river runoff into the sea typically increase an area’s productivity due to the transfer of nutrients (with a lag of one or two years). The analysis of catch trends in correlation with rainfall showed that 20% less rainfall (based on the climatic simulations of Scenario ?1?) would lead to a small decrease in the production of cephalopods and malacostraca, in the order of 2%. Lower rainfall was not shown to have an impact on the production of other species.
Key hazard likelihood
not applicable
The available Climate Change Impacts and Vulnerability Assessment for Greece (CCIVA, [1]) does not include explicit information on the likelihood of occurrence of different climate hazards.

The ecological status of most lakes in Greece (30-32) has not been fully determined. The average fish production capacity of Greek lakes is estimated at 20-25 kg/ha per year. The overall ecological status of Greek rivers can be described as unstable and unpredictable, particularly in the plain regions they run through. Most rivers support organisms of the upper trophic levels, mostly fish. Due to limited data availability, safe conclusions cannot be drawn about river fish production.

Mainland Greece comprises a total of 76 lagoons, covering a total area of roughly 350 km2 (72% landlocked). Messolonghi (86.5 km2) is the largest, followed by lagoons Vistonis (45 km2) and Logarou (35 km2). The overall ecological status of the above lagoons can be described as unstable due to their varying physico-chemical properties and their level of eutrophication. More predominant are the euryhaline species of fish, followed by certain stenohaline (marine) species, various invertebrates, and in some cases freshwater species. Greece’s lagoons are an important present or potential source of fisheries and aquaculture production.

Greece has the longest coastline of all the countries of the Mediterranean and the EU, with a total length of roughly 16,300 km and a total 1,354 gulfs and bays. The total sea area of Greece (470,000 km2) is 3.6 times its total land area. More than 85% of the total population lives within 50 km of the coast, and 69% of the national GDP is produced there. Greece’s larger gulfs?such as the Thermaikos, Pagassitikos, Saronikos (Saronic), Corinthiakos (Corinth), Evoikos (Euboean), Amvrakikos? are the more ecologically degraded. Some of the more closed gulfs, such as the Thermaikos, experience seasonal toxic phytoplankton blooms. The marine environment’s ecological degradation is primarily due to the disposal of solid and liquid waste from the coast, navigation (e.g. crude oil tankers), and overfishing, and, to a lesser extent, to the unorthodox use of floating cages in coastal fish farming. The open seas are, on the other hand, less affected by human activities, and their overall ecological status is satisfactory to very good.
[1] BoG, Climate Change Impacts Study Committee (CCISC), The environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change in Greece, 2011: https://www.bankofgreece.gr/[…]/ClimateChange_FullReport_bm.pdf.
Vulnerability
medium
The apparent rise in temperature, combined with lower precipitation levels, can lead to unexpected fluctuations in river flows and to unpredictable ecological degradation downstream, as competition for water obviously reduces water availability.

The rise in sea temperatures is likely to accelerate the growth rate of poikilothermal aquatic animals. It is difficult, however, to predict whether this could translate into higher fisheries production, given that verification would require an area that is not fished and that the fisheries status of an area is predominantly determined today by overfishing, rather than by natural factors.

The temperature rise will in addition to a sea level rise (SLR) also bring about changes in biodiversity, fishing ground characteristics (biological, physical, chemical and hydrological) and available stocks of commercial importance. The total area of wetlands, which provide important spawning and nursery grounds, would be greatly diminished. The rise in temperature would also affect the migration of fish to and from their spawning and feeding grounds.

With respect to aquaculture, the CCIVA indicates that future climate projections can lead to decreased production and need for reallocation in order to avoid coastal areas.

The Greek government sets priorities and implements policies which serve to promote the sustainable management of fishery resources. The Operational Programme for Fisheries and the Sea 2014-2020 includes measures that contribute to conservation of fish stocks and maritime ecosystems.
Risk Future Impact
low
According to the CCIVA, future impacts are linked to the loss of domestic biodiversity (as a result of the spread of invasive alien thermophilic species) and the loss of income for the human populations employed in fisheries activities (as a result of fishery resource depletion) (Greek Biotope/Wetland Center, 2010). The fact, however, should not be overlooked that the settlement of stocks of a higher economic value, associated with higher water temperatures, is likely to increase fishermen income or at least to limit income loss.

The National Adaptation Strategy provides an estimation of the climate risk of potential future impacts at the level of sectors and regions. In comparison to the other sectors, the economic damage and losses for fisheries and aquaculture are estimated to be low. However, in cases where coastal cages used in intensive fish farming units will need to be relocated on account of excessive pollution and changes in sea current circulation, the relocation costs are expected to be significant and still need to be accurately estimated.

Sources:

BoG, Climate Change Impacts Study Committee (CCISC), The environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change in Greece, 2011: https://www.bankofgreece.gr/[…]/ClimateChange_FullReport_bm.pdf
???????? ???t?? ???t?p??-????t?p??, ???? (2010), “? ß??p??????t?ta t?? ????da?: ?at?stas? ?a? t?se??”, te???? ???es? t?µ?a ß??p??????a?, ?p?t??p? µe??t?? ep?pt?se?? ???µat???? a??a???: http://repository.biodiversity-info.gr/[…]/1701.pdf
Impact/key hazard
not applicable
The CCVIA does not refer to existing observed impacts of key hazards.

High temperatures, extreme weather events, change in precipitation patterns affecting the availability of water resources and the sea level rise are some of the natural impacts of climate change that are expected to affect significantly tourism (Climate Change Impacts for Tourism (BoG, Climate Change Impacts Study Committee 2014). The analysis of climate projections reveals that the use of aggregate national and annual data masks significant regional and seasonal differences in climate characteristics and tourist demand.
Key hazard likelihood
not applicable
The available Climate Change Impacts and Vulnerability Assessment for Greece (CCIVA, [1]) does not include explicit information on the likelihood of occurrence of different climate hazards.

Tourism is one of Greece’s leading industries, in terms of GDP, employment, and the current account balance.

Despite its increasing weight in the Greek economy, Greek tourism faces important structural problems, such as strong seasonality, regional concentration and difficulties in coping with new trends in demand and increasing regional competition.

[1] BoG, Climate Change Impacts Study Committee (CCISC), The environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change in Greece, 2011: https://www.bankofgreece.gr/[…]/ClimateChange_FullReport_bm.pdf .
Vulnerability
high
Climate change, as measured by its projected impact on the tourism climatic index (TCI) by the end of the century, is expected to have serious repercussions on Greek tourism – mainly on the seasonal and geographical patterns of tourist arrivals. Receipts from tourism will therefore be affected. Given that tourism is such a crucial source of revenue for Greece, the CCIVA report suggests that long-term strategic planning is needed in order to upgrade the country’s tourism product in the context of ongoing human-induced climate change.

The reduction of seasonality and dispersion of touristic product to the wider Greek territory will be key for increasing the adaptive capacity of the sector. These objectives can be reached if the natural characteristics of the different Greek regions are highlighted, alternative tourism is promoted, new types of tourists are attracted while the environmental impacts due to the operation touristic units becomes more limited. In assessing the vulnerability of tourism one should also take into account the increase of the operational cost of the hotel facilities in order to adapt to climate change.

Towards this direction, the adopted Law 4582/2018 "Thematic Tourism - Special Forms of Tourism etc." promotes new tourist products and destinations that could combat seasonality in tourist visitation and subsequently mitigate adverse impacts of climate change. The Operational Programme Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship & Innovation (2014-2020) supports measures to promote and develop eco and cultural tourism products. It also supports measures to improve the energy performance and comfort conditions of tourist accommodation buildings.
Risk Future Impact
high
The National Adaptation Strategy provides an estimation of the risk of potential future impacts of climate change at the level of sectors and regions. The economic damage and losses for tourism are ranked among the second highest, mainly due to the dependency of the Greek economy on the touristic product.
Impact/key hazard
high
The impacts of climatic change on water systems (mainly underground water systems) can be summarised as follows:
1. An overall decrease in aquifer infiltration and recharge, as a result of decreased rainfall and higher evapotranspiration.
2. Increased salinity of coastal and subsea aquifers, particularly karstic ones, as a result of the advance of the sea-water intrusion farther inland due to the decline of groundwater levels caused by lower inflow and overpumping.
3. Higher pollutant load concentrations in coastal water bodies and the sea, due to decreased dilution.
4. Faster degradation of deltaic regions, in cases where degradation has already begun as a result of transversal dam construction upstream (reduced drainage and sediment discharge) and parallel levee construction in the flat zone of the deltas (debris channelled to a single outlet).
5. Contamination or drainage of coastal wetlands.
6. Amplification of the desertification phenomenon as a result of water deficits and soil changes (compaction, sealing, etc.).
Key hazard likelihood
not applicable
The available Climate Change Impacts and Vulnerability Assessment for Greece (CCIVA) does not include explicit information on the likelihood of occurrence of different climate hazards.

The state of Greece’s water reserves and water management is of specific interest, with certain particularities indicative of the level of actual development and organisation. With regard to these particularities, Greece presents a wide variety and complexity of situations, the most predominant of which are:
- the uneven temporal distribution of precipitation, with over 85% of total precipitation falling during the winter (wet season) and the rest occurring in the summer (dry season);
- the highly uneven spatial distribution of precipitation, with higher rates of precipitation reported in Western Greece (west of the Pindos mountain range) and lower rates reported in Eastern Greece;
- the fact that the northern part of Greece is (quantitatively and qualitatively) affected by transboundary waters, with four major rivers originating in neighbouring countries, i.e. three in Bulgaria (the rivers Evros, Nestos, Strymon) and one in FYROM (the river Axios);
- an important period of water demand imbalance, with peak abstraction for irrigation and tourism typically occurring in the summer months when water availability is generally at a minimum (almost no rainfall);
- the highly uneven spatial distribution of demand, as a result of overconsumption associated with the excessive concentration of people in urban centres, the coastal zone and other areas;
- the cost of supply, adjusted to each specific case of supply and demand in function of the above parameters (location, regime, and quality); and
- the cost of needs, expressed with different measures of ‘water value’ (value added, use value, etc.).

Sources:

BoG, Climate Change Impacts Study Committee (CCISC), The environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change in Greece, 2011: https://www.bankofgreece.gr/[…]/ClimateChange_FullReport_bm.pdf
Vulnerability
high
Geographical location (winward/leeward), morphology and geology determine water accumulation, both in surface water bodies (lakes) and underground (extensive karstic fields). The vulnerability of karstic formations to pollution means, however, that there can be degradation in water system quality. Climate change is expected to result in increased evaporation and transpiration, increased needs for irrigation and, perhaps, tourism, and increased pollution concentrations (Stournaras, 2007). Evapotranspiration represents an important hydrological loss, occurring both on the surface and in upper soil layers. Evapotranspiration rates in Greece are high, particularly in the drier eastern regions. The distribution of dryness in Greece underlines the severity of the drought situation in the SE regions and the Aegean islands.

The most vulnerable climate zones for which the heaviest cost estimates was recorded were found to be Central, Eastern and Western Greece and, in the northern part of the country, Central Macedonia. However, there appears to be considerable leeway for adaptation measures.

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). The River Basin Management Plans 2016-2021 (2nd policy cycle) were instutionalised in 2017. They include measures to improve the quantity and quality of water bodies and to reduce anthropogenic pressures. Regarding Flood Risks, Greece has transposed the EU Directive 2007/60/EC in 2010 (Gov.Gazette 1108/B/21.07.2010). Flood risk management plans (FRMPs) were developed and institutionalised in 2018. The FRMPs apply very-low probability rainfall scenarios to address climate change adaptation issues. They also foresee measures ensuring resilience in case of more severe flood events.
Risk Future Impact
high
The National Adaptation Strategy provides an estimation of the climate risk of potential future impacts at the level of sectors and regions. The economic damage and losses for water supply are ranked third highest, while the risks can be particularly high for some regions and specific small-scale instances (i.e. certain islands or a sector such as tourism).

Overview of institutional arrangements and governance at the national level

On the basis of Articles 42 and 43 of Law 4414/2016 the climate vulnerability and risk assessment forms part of the National Adaptation Strategy (NAS) and the Regional Adaptation Action Plans (RAAPs). As such, they fall under the responsibility of the MEEN and the 13 Regional Authorities of Greece, respectively.
The NAS suggests alternative adaptation options for 15 specific priority sectors (i.e., ecosystems and biodiversity, agriculture and food security, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, water resources, coastal zones, tourism, health, energy and industry, transport, built environment, cultural heritage, insurance industry). The NAS outlines Greece's strategic orientation aimed at providing guidelines. As such, it does not analyse in depth the required sectoral policies, nor does it judge the feasibility of individual adaptation measures at local/regional level or attempt to rank the suggested measures and actions. Such issues fall within the scope of Regional Adaptation Action Plans (RAAPs), which will elaborate on the NAS guidelines by setting the immediate adaptation priorities at the regional level.

The 13 Regional Authorities of Greece are responsible for the development and implementation of the RAAPs (Law 4414/2016, article 43). Law 4414/2016 sets the minimum technical specifications for RAAPs' content. Their content has been further elaborated by the Ministerial Decision (MD) 11258/2017 (Government Gazette, issue B, 873/2017). The MD requires Regional Authorities to perform a detailed assessment of potential climate change impacts for a short, mid-term and long-term time horizon, to identify and map relevant climate-related risks, vulnerabilities and hotspots; to prioritise adaptation action on the basis of their cost-effectiveness and benefits; to identify synergies with other policies and regional plans (e.g., land-use plans, water management, flood risk management plans); and to integrate, as needed, priority measures into regional planning.

Wherever there is a case for sector or sub-regional analysis, specific actions per sector or sub-regional area will be indicated. The actions will be prioritized based on cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analyses. The analyses will aim to prioritize cost-effective and environmentally, economically and socially beneficial actions.

Implementation

The Climate Change & Air Quality Directorate of MEEN and the Environment & Spatial Planning Directorates of the 13 Regional Authorities are driving the implementation of NAS and RAAPs. Adaptation actions are primarily financed by National & EU funds.

Monitoring, reporting and evaluation

Pursuant to the Law 4416/2014 (Article 44), the National Climate Change Adaptation Committee (NCCAC) regularly monitors NAS implementation and propose changes to political, legislative or other means and arrangements necessary to tackle specific issues. Pursuant to the same Law (Art. 43) and the Ministerial Decision 11258/2017 (Art. 2, Par. 11), an indicator-based system will be developed for each RAAP, which will be used to continually monitor the progress and effectiveness of implementation. The timeline and the periodicity of monitoring are not indicated. An integrated climate change adaptation monitoring and evaluation framework is developed under the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project, to allow monitoring and evaluating of progress in terms of climate change adaptation policy implementation and to provide the basis for the future reviews and revisions of the Greek NAS and the RAAPs (pursuant to Law 4414/2016).

Schedule and planned review/revision

The NAS and RAAPs will be subject to review and revision at least once every ten years and at least once every seven years, respectively (pursuant to Law 4414/2016, Art. 42 and 43). An evidence-based review of the NAS and RAAPs is scheduled under the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project. The review findings will drive the NAS and RAAPs revisions.

Advisory Body

Law 4414/2016 foresees the establishment of a National Climate Change Adaptation Committee (NCCAC), to act as the formal advisory body of the MEEN at national level for adaptation policy design and implementation.
The transposition of the revised EIA directive has been completed (the joint ministerial decisions 1915/24.01.2018 and 5688/ 12.03.2018 are available online [1] ) and takes all necessary provisions into account [2] .

Climate adaptation is not explicitly mentioned in the national legislation for Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). However, the competent national authority for climate adaptation gives its opinion on draft plans (e.g. RBMPs, FRMPs) and their SEA reports before their adoption, through the existing official SEA information and consultation process.


[1] ?????? ??p???afe??- ??a??t?s? F??, URL: http://www.et.gr/index.php/anazitisi-fek, Date accessed: 16/05/2018, ?F?????S ??S ???????S?OS ??S ????????S ??????????S ?????S ??????? ??. F????? 304/2018 ?a? 988/2018
[2] Personal communication with MS contact.
The General Secretariat for Civil Protection is the national competent authority for the coordination of all actions for prevention, preparedness, response and recovery concerning natural and manmade disasters. Climate change is considered during the formation of national disaster risk management plans. Long-term climate risk prevention, which is the focus of climate adaptation planning, will be integrated into the RAAPs. As already mentioned, RAAPs have to take into account synergies with existing planning (e.g. for flood risk management) and integrate relevant measures into sectoral plans.
Climate projection data produced under the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project will be open data and will be integrated and made publicly available at the MEEN National Geoportal (geoportal.ypen.gr).

Overview of institutional arrangements and governance at the sub-national level (where “sub-national” refers to local and regional)

The National Climate Change Adaptation Committee (NCCAC) is chaired by the MEEN Minister and comprises representatives of all competent ministries (Environment & Energy, Economics, Internal Affairs, Development & Investments, Tourism, Infrastructure & Transport, Health, Maritime Affairs & Insular Policy, Rural Development & Food, Education & Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports, National Defense, Digital Governance). The NCCAC also includes representatives from the Union of Greek Regions (UGR), the Central Union of Greek Municipalities (CUGM), the Hellenic Meteorological Service (HNMS), the Association of Industries, NGOs and academics specialising in adaptation issues. Additional participants can be invited based on identified needs.

The Ministerial Decision for the formal appointment of the NCCAC members was issued on 15th September 2017 and was amended in April 2020 in order to reflect the latest developments in the appointment of the NCCAC members.
Several meetings and seminars are held regularly, at the initiative of the MEEN, the UGR and the CUGM to spread awareness and exchange information on adaptation progress, issues and knowledge developments. In order to further facilitate the exchange of information between national and regional experts, contact persons for climate change have been nominated in each region.

Greek municipalities participate actively in the Covenant of Mayors initiative. Covenant of Mayors (CoM) coordinators include the Regions of Attica, Crete, Central Macedonia and Western Macedonia. Supporters to the CoM, besides the CUGM, include the Regional Union of Municipalities of Central Greece; the Regional Union of Municipalities of Attica; the Network of Sustainable Greek Islands, the Network of Cities with Lakes, and the Association for the Sustainable Development of Cities. The CoM Coordinators and Supporters support and help to coordinate adaptation efforts by their corresponding members.
The NAS identifies the following core objectives:
(i) the systematization and improvement of short- and long-term decision making for Climate Change Adaptation (CCA);
(ii) the linking of CCA with a sustainable development model through Regional and Local Action Plans;
(iii) the promotion of actions and adaptation policies in all sectors, and particularly the most vulnerable ones;
(iv) the establishment of a monitoring mechanism for the evaluation and review of adaptation policies and actions; and
(v) the strengthening of the adaptive capacity of the Greek society through awareness and dissemination actions.
Under the framework of the LIFE-IP AdaptInGr project, an attempt was made to identify the challenges, gaps and barriers to adaptation. More specifically, a series of semi-constructed interviews with stakeholders involved in the planning and implementation of climate change adaptation measures was implemented. The target audience included executives from Ministries, Regions, Decentralized Administration, Technical / Commercial Chambers, Utilities, Research Centers, Universities, NGOs, Agencies, etc., related to the priority areas of the NAS.

Respondents highlighted the need for synergies between the NAS and other existing national strategies and action plans, addressing sectors significantly affected by Climate Change: e.g.the National Strategy for Biodiversity, the National Strategy for Forests, and the River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs). It was also noted that there is no official synergy or collaboration between the scientific committees - advisory bodies for climate change and any other advisory scientific committees, such as the Committee on Biodiversity.

The unclarity of roles and responsibilities at the various levels of public administration is also mentioned as a barrier, causing delays in the integration of the NAS in the respective activities. With respect to the administrative structure, it was highlighted that it is rather due to the lack of staff that the public administration bodies may not have sufficient capacity to utilize the financial resources that are available for the implementation of adaptation policies under their jurisdiction. Finally, various knowledge gaps have been indicated, such as access to climate projections at higher analysis, description and analysis of climate change impacts and vulnerability, proposed adaptation options and examples of good practices, and information on the methodological framework and indicators for the monitoring and evaluation of CCA impacts and actions.
The Greek NAS includes potential adaptation actions for all sectors that are likely to be significantly affected by climate change in Greece. These actions can be classified as follows:

Actions in relation to NAS objective 1:
- Improving knowledge of climate change impacts and adaptation;
- Improving access and sharing of information on climate change impacts and adaptation;
- Enhancement of the institutional capacity to plan and implement adaptation policies and measures;
- Enhancement of organizational structures;
- Enhancement of coordination and collaboration;
- Availability of financial means for the implementation of climate adaptation polices and measures;

Actions in relation to NAS Objective 2:
- Development of multisectoral regional and local action plans for climate change adaptation;
- Mainstreaming adaptation to the development planning at regional/local level

Actions in relation to NAS Objective 3:
- Adaptation of the legal and regulatory framework;
- Adaptation of the strategic and operational planning;
- Studies for the specification of climate change adaptation measures;
- Implementation of climate change adaptation measures;

Actions in relation to NAS Objective 4:
- Development of new or upgrading of existing monitoring systems;
- Improvement of organizational structures for monitoring;
- Improving sharing of monitoring results;
- Development of new or upgrading of existing systems for the evaluation of actions and policies;

Actions in relation to NAS Objective 5:
- Information and awareness raising of students ;
- Education of future scientists and professionals (university students);
- Information and capacity building of professional groups working in climate vulnerable sectors;
- Information and awareness raising of citizens;
- Voluntarism;
- Improvement of access to financial resources.

Selection of actions and (programmes of) measures

Not reported


As already mentioned, Law 4414/2016 required the 13 Regional Authorities of Greece to develop and implement RAAPs (within a 7-year planning cycle). Law 4414/2016 sets the minimum technical specifications for their content. The RAAPs content has been further elaborated by Ministerial Decision (MD) 11258/2017 (Government Gazette, issue B, 873/2017), which provides the detailed specifications/template for the content of the RAAPs.

On the basis of the MD, the RAAPs shall include:
• Analysis of projections of future climate conditions at the regional level. More specifically, analysis of the trends of the main climate parameters for the short, mid (2050) and long (2100) term and for more than one scenario, using existing data and well-established regional climate models. The analysis will include existing trends and potential changes in extreme weather events, temperature, sea-level rise, etc.
• Vulnerability assessment of specific sectors and/or geographical areas within each region based on the outcomes of the climate condition projections.
• Assessment of climate change impacts (environmental, social, economical etc.) on the previously identified sectors and/or geographical areas in the short, mid (2050) and long (2100) term. The impacts are assessed based on their: probability, magnitude (area and/or population affected), intensity, complexity, timing, reversibility/possibility to mitigate, cross-border and/or cross-sectoral character etc.
• Identification of priority sectors and priority geographical areas for action.
• Examination of the potential measures/actions included in the NAS based on the particular regional circumstances, priorities and needs and development of concrete regional action plans.

Wherever there is a case for sector or sub-regional analysis, specific actions per sector or sub-regional area will be indicated. In addition, pursuant to the Law 4414/2016 (Art. 43), MEEN is checking the compliance of the RAAPs with the NAS, while the local authorities participate in the Regional Consultation Committees giving formal opinions on the RAAPs of the respective regions.

The development of the 13 RAAPs is ongoing with several regions being more advanced than others. Up to March 2021:
- 11 Regions have already prepared the final draft of their RAAP.
- The MEEN has already provided a formal opinion on 7 RAAPs, concerning their compliance with the NAS, while the relevant procedure is in progress for 3 more and is expected to be concluded by the end of March 2021.
- Finally, the Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment of RAAPs is advancing and several RAAPs are expected to conclude and endorsed d by the respective Regional Councils by mid-2021.
The NAS suggests potential adaptation actions for all sectors that are likely to be significantly affected by climate change in Greece: i.e., natural ecosystems and biodiversity, agriculture and food security, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, water resources, coastal zones, tourism, human health, energy, infrastructure and transport, the built environment, cultural heritage, insurance industry. In that context, RAAPs will examine the actions included in the NAS based on the particular regional circumstances, priorities and needs and will develop regional action plans. Wherever there is a case for sector or sub-regional analysis, specific actions per sector or sub-regional area will be indicated. The main legislation, policies and initiatives to integrate adaptation considerations in the sectors addressed in the NAS are summarized in the description of key affected sectors.

Mainstreaming of adaptation

Inclusion of adaptation provisions in sectoral strategies and legislation; strengthening horizontal coordination; effective use of European and national funds; and promotion of climate adaptation at regional and local levels are the main instruments to mainstream adaptation across the NAS priority sectors.

a. Adaptation in sectoral strategies and legislation: Mainstreaming adaptation in sectoral government strategies and policies is essential to deliver the NAS goals and priorities. Mainstreaming occurs either as part of compliance and harmonisation with European sectoral strategies and legislation or as part of national efforts to forge Greek natural environment, society and economy against climate-induced risks. The EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change is the main mainstreaming instrument at European level. According to a recent evaluation of the Strategy, adaptation was successfully mainstreamed into a wide range of policies.
b. Strengthening horizontal coordination: The National Climate Change Adaptation Committee (NCCAC) comprises Secretary Generals of all line Ministries. The NCCAC strengthens horizontal coordination and thus enables adaptation mainstreaming in sectoral policies and strategies.
c. Effective use of European and national funds: A Complementary Funds Committee (CFC) will be established in the framework of the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project, to mobilise, prioritise and monitor the use of EU and national funding for projects and investments that climate-proof the Greek natural environment, economy and society. The CFC will be composed of representatives from the MEEN, the Green Fund, and the Bank of Greece. Invited members will include the Union of Greek Region and the Central Union of Greek Municipalities, so as to gather input on ongoing projects, needs and priorities at regional and local scale.
d. Promotion of climate adaptation at regional and local level: The RAAPs will analyse the synergies of proposed adaptation actions with other existing national policies, such as biodiversity, disaster risk management and infrastructure-related policies, and will suggest ways of integrating adaptation. They will also investigate their own complementarity and compatibility with other regional plans (e.g. spatial plans, flood risk management plans), in order to inform these plans and to include adaptation considerations. Furthermore, an increasing number of local authorities start developing local adaptation plans.

Examples of sectoral strategies that embed adaptation-related actions include the National Research & Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation [1], the Maritime Spatial Planning Law [2], the National Strategy for Forests [3], and the National Plan for Energy & Climate [4].

[1] Adopted by the Joint Ministerial Decision 82193/??SS? 1810/ 2015 (Government Gazette Issue B 1862/ 2015) ?p. ?p?fas? 82193/??SS? 1810/2015
[2] Law 4546/2018
[3] Adopted by the Ministerial Decision 170195/758/2018 (Government Gazette Issue B 5351/ 2018)
[4] Adopted by the Governmental Council of Economic Policies on the 23rd December 2019 (Government Gazette Issue B 4893/ 31.12.2019)
The draft NAS was subject to a public consultation prior to its finalisation [1]. Stakeholders who provided feedback included academia, ministries, the Hellenic National Meteorological Service and NGOs [2].

Stakeholder engagement and public consultation have been made mandatory for the development of the RAAPs through the Ministerial Decision 11258/2017. The main regional stakeholders (public authorities, scientific community, business and industry, civil society etc.) are invited to identify/submit their views on measures that can contribute to the adaptation of their region/area of interest, especially the stakeholder groups whose activities are more vulnerable to climate change, for example farmers, hoter operators, etc. In addition, regional authorities are required to consult and coordinate with neighbouring regions, in the case of shared vulnerability hotspots (e.g. shared protected areas or river basins).

Public consultation on the RAAPs also takes place through the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process, as the RAAPs have to undergo this step before their final endorsement.

As already mentioned, the draft RAAPs will be subject to an opinion-giving procedure by the Regional Consultation Committee. The Regional Consultation Committee comprises the mayors of the relative municipalities and the representatives of the government authorities within the territorial boundaries of the respective region, as well as regional stakeholders and citizens representatives (Law 3852/2010 “Kallikratis Administrative Programme”, Article 178).

Furthermore, the NCCAC, through its institutional role is an essential instrument for stakeholder engagement at the national level. More specifically, according to the provisions of Law 4414/2016, the NCCAC is responsible for: (a) the specification and operationalisation of adaptation policies, and proposals to the MEEN and other competent ministries of relevant policies, measures, actions and legislative/regulatory measures; (b) the specification of horizontal policies and actions included in the NAS, especially those concerning awareness, dissemination and capacity building; (c) the development of recommendations for the review or revision of the NAS and of the RAAPs; (d) the development of recommendations for any matter relating to climate adaptation, as put forward by the MEEN.

The creation of an online National Adaptation Knowledge Hub that pools together adaptation relevant data, information, good practices and approaches can also contribute to reaching out to stakeholders, including stakeholders particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts. The National Adaptation Knowledge Hub is planned to be developed under the LIFE IP AdaptInGR and one of the objectives for its development is to raise awareness among different target groups on adaptation, including citizens and promote the sharing of good practice among adaptation stakeholders.

[1] Public consultation has been made obligatory for the development of future or revised NAS by Law 4414/2016 (Article 42). Individual citizens, public authorities and other stakeholders are able to submit written views and contributions through an open online process.
[2] Personal communication with MS contact.
The Greek NAS includes actions on the awareness and capacity building of professional groups working in climate vulnerable sectors. Such indicative actions refer to (i) awareness of professional groups, (ii) improvement of their access to relevant information; transfer of relevant information, (iii) promotion of cooperation and partnerships, (iv) education and lifelong learning.

In some sectors, such actions are already embedded in existing strategies and plans.

Under the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project, activities to develop synergies between the private and public sector are planned, which refer mainly to dedicated meetings with key actors of the private sector and the organization of events aiming at the promotion of best practices for the adaptation-related funding in the banking and private sectors. In addition, the engagement of professional groups at the different administration levels (national, regional, local) is envisaged under the project’s capacity building actions.
The national Monitoring and Evaluation system (M&E) is currently under development.

According to the current planning it will include qualitative and quantitative indicators of different types, including indicators that are related to reducing climate impacts, vulnerabilities, risks and increasing adaptive capacity. Such indicators are:
- Exposure indicators: Indicators measuring the exposure of humans, habitats and species, environmental functions, services, resources, infrastructure and financial, social or cultural capital in places or conditions that may be negatively affected by climate change;
- Sensitivity indicators: indicators measuring or indicating the level one system has been affected positively or negatively by climate change impacts;
- Adaptive capacity indicators: Indicators that indicate the ability of systems, institutions, humans or other organisms to adapt to a potential change, to seize opportunities or face potential impacts.
- Hazard indicators: Indicators that indicate the potential existence of a natural or human-induced event, tension or impact that can lead to the loss of human life, injury or other impacts to health, as well as losses to property, infrastructure, life resources, ecosystems, environmental resources and the provision of services.

The M&E system will explore the potential of using of existing sets of indicators already monitored by competent authorities at the different levels of public administration in a way that several consultations with sectoral authorities are required.

The design and pilot implementation of the system is planned under the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project (please refer below for more information). A legal procedure will need to follow in order for the system to be officially established.
As already mentioned, pursuant to the Law 4416/2014 (Article 44), the NCCAC will regularly monitor NAS implementation and propose changes to political, legislative or other means and arrangements necessary to promote action. Pursuant to the same Law (Article 43) and the Ministerial Decision 11258/2017 (Article 2, Paragraph 11), an indicator-based system will be developed for each RAAP, which will be used to continually monitor the progress and effectiveness of implementation. The timeline and the periodicity of monitoring is not indicated.

An integrated climate change adaptation monitoring and evaluation framework to allow monitoring and evaluating progress in terms of climate change adaptation policy implementation and to provide the basis for the future reviews and revisions of the Greek NAS and the RAAPs will be developed through the EU-funded LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project, coordinated by MEEN. The objective of the framework is to collect and provide information that will improve the decision-making procedures regarding the planning, implementation, revision and update of processes and actions that aim at the enhancement of resilience and the adaptative capacity of Greece, in collaboration with the competent institutional authorities.

The M&E framework will be further improved, refined and fine-tuned through two M&E implementation cycles. The National Environment and Climate Change Agency (NECCA) will undertake all actions relating to monitoring, reporting and evaluation of climate change adaptation policy after the end of the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project (2026).
Adaptation actions are primarily financed by EU funds. The Sectoral Operational Programme on ‘Transport Infrastructure, Environment and Sustainable Development’ and the 13 Regional Operational Programmes (one for each administrative region of Greece) of the National Strategic Reference Framework 2014-2020 (NSRF, cohesion policy) include specific budget and measures under the Thematic Objective 5 ‘Climate Change Adaptation & Disaster Risk Management’. These instruments, together with the Rural Development Programme, are the main source of EU funding for adaptation actions nationally and in the 13 administrative regions until 2020.

In the period 2014-2020, the main adaptation actions implemented at regional level were linked to the NAS Objective 3 and more specifically to the implementation of measures for reducing the intensity and magnitude of climate change impacts, the protection from extreme weather events (including the provision of relevant equipment), as well as the elaboration of risk assessment studies. The actions also referred to the regional adaptation planning and the development of the RAAPs, which is linked to the NAS Objective 2, while a limited number of actions contributed to the establishment of a monitoring mechanism for the evaluation and review of adaptation policies and actions (NAS Objective 4). Finally, a very limited number of actions have aimed at awareness –raising and thus have contributed to NAS Objective 5.
As already mentioned, adaptation actions are primarily financed by EU funds.

The Sectoral Operational Programme on ‘Transport Infrastructure, Environment and Sustainable development (2014-2020)’, together with the National Rural Development Programme (2014-2020), the National Operational Programme for Fisheries and the Sea (2014-2020), the National Operational Programme for Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship & Innovation (2014-2020) are the main sources of EU funding for adaptation actions nationally until 2020.

The 'Transport, Infrastructure, Environment and Sustainable Development' Programme includes actions referring to the elaboration of studies aiming to trigger the implementation of plans and/or measures across Greece. Such actions contribute to the mainstreaming of adaptation to strategic planning such as the Flood Risk Management Plans. In total approximately 115,8 million Euros have been earmarked by the Programme for climate adaptation up to December 2020.

The Green Fund (GRFU) is a Public Legal Entity, associated to MEEN. Practically GRFU financing represents the only national funds devoted to the environment. Among its activities and programmes, the GRFU finances projects related to climate adaptation. More specifically, the GRFU supports the national contribution of LIFE projects related to adaptation. In addition to this and in the context of its calls and funding programmes, the GRFU finances Greek Municipalities to acquire and create green spaces for public use, contributing to the adaptation of Greek cities to climate change. With respect to the forests, and in the frame of the Forest Protection and Restoration programme, support is given to fire prevention, flood control and anti-corrosive measures.

Finally, the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project, coordinated by MEEN, receives funding by the EU LIFE Programme (total budget=14,189,548 €, EC Co-funding: 58.73%).
AAs mentioned above, the main sources of adaptation funding considered are linked to EU funds. Currently there is no official financial monitoring system of the NAS and the RAAPS, therefore it is difficult to provide information on the share of spending to support adaptation in each sector

In the context of the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project a financial monitoring regarding the progress of adaptation actions related to the NAS and achieved through specific funds (Structural Investment Funds, Rural Development Programme) is being implemented. According to the information available on the basis of this, the main adaptation sectors of intervention relevant to actions financed through the Sectoral Operational Programme on ‘Transport Infrastructure, Environment and Sustainable Development’ in the period 2014-2020, include the protection from floods; the prevention, protection and response to forest fires and the protection/restoration of coastal zones. In some cases, links with the cultural heritage were also made.

Adaptation actions in relation to the agriculture and forestry sectors considered during the reporting period are mainly financed by the Rural Development Programme.

The Hellenic Agricultural Insurance Organization (ELGA) is the country’s main insurance carrier for plant production and livestock capital. It compensates farmers for plant and livestock capital loss caused by extreme weather conditions (e.g. floods, hail, and frost). ELGA has recently announced its plans to update its insurance regulation to include, inter alia, climate change aspects.

The Greek state, also, provides compensation and emergency allowances to relief and support the victims of natural disasters (e.g. floods in Mandra and wildfires in Mati). In addition, the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) responds to major natural disasters and expresses European solidarity to disaster-stricken regions within Europe. It covers a range of different catastrophic events including floods, forest fires, storms and drought.
As of March 2021, no monitoring reports have been published, therefore there is no official estimation of the progress towards reducing impacts, vulnerabilities and risks. Information about the progress achieved will be provided in due course, on the basis of the results of the Monitoring and Evaluation cycles planned under the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project.
As of March 2021, no monitoring reports have been published, therefore there is no official estimation of the progress towards increasing adaptive capacity. Some elements regarding the current level of adaptive capacity in the various affected sectors are mentioned in the relevant section. Information about the progress achieved will be provided in due course, on the basis of the results of the Monitoring and Evaluation cycles planned under the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project.
As of March 2021, no monitoring reports have been published, therefore there is no official estimation of the progress towards meeting adaptation priorities.

Under the monitoring actions of the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project, the MEEN is in progress of performing the evaluation of the implementation of the NAS per vulnerability sector.
There is currently no evaluation of the progress achieved towards addressing barriers to adaptation.
An updated assessment of the impacts and vulnerabilities across Greece is planned to be delivered by the end of 2024 under the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project. The CCIV will be based on RCPs and take into account updated climate projections. It will address impacts on the following sectors: water systems, fisheries and aquaculture, agriculture, biodiversity and ecosystems, tourism, built environment, transport, health, industry. Through a bottom-up approach, damages will be estimated for each sector both with and without adaptation and then aggregated. Also, a top-down approach will be used for cost estimates through a Computable General Equilibrium model as this can incorporate market interactions and allow for indirect impacts to be estimated.

The assessment will draw upon the 2011 Comprehensive Climate Change Impact Assessment, developed at the initiative of the Bank of Greece (BoG), as well as subsequent research of the Climate Change Impacts Study Committee (CCISC) of the BoG (i.e. for the Tourism sector).
Article 42 of Law 4414/2016 foresees the revision of the NAS at least once every ten years. Provided that the first NAS was endorsed under this law in 2016, the process for the review and revision of the Greek NAS in planned to be finalized by 2026.

The process will be supported by the actions of the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project. More specifically the process will take into account the results of the two Monitoring and Evaluation cycles that are planned to be implemented during the project to estimate the progress towards reducing climate impacts, vulnerabilities and risks, reaching the national adaptation objectives and addressing barriers to adaptation. In addition, the updated CCIV assessment will also be taken into account. The aim of the revision will include:
- The identification of new priorities (vulnerable areas, new sectors), suggestion of new actions and prioritization of new/remaining adaptation measures;
- The identification of new directions and priorities for the National Adaptation Strategy and development of the relevant strategic directions, exploring, if needed; the requirement for specific Sectoral Adaptation Strategies;
- Bringing forward concrete suggestions to enhance cooperation and build up agreements and joint plans with neighboring countries on common climate challenges (cross-border flood risk management, management of protected areas and disaster risk management/mitigation).

The review of the NAS will be coordinated by MEEN. The revision and review of the NAS will be presented to the National Council for Climate Change Adaptation for its formal opinion, while MEEN will prepare the institutional arrangements for its adoption, according to the provisions of the Greek institutional framework. For the review of the Greek NAS and prior to adoption of any new priority, extensive public/stakeholder consultation will be performed, according to the provisions of the Greek legislation.
Article 43 of Law 4414/2016 foresees the evaluation and review of the RAAPs at least once every seven years; given the current progress in the development of the 13 RAAPs it is expected that their review and update will be performed in the years 2027/2028.

The revision of the RAAPs is going to be supported by the processes designed under the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project. More specifically by 2026, the project will provide recommendations for the revision of each of the RAAPs on the basis of the results from the M&E cycles and the updated CCIV assessment. The project will also propose new, more elaborate terms of reference for adaptation planning for each Region, according to local specificities and progress achieved in the implementation of the RAAPs.

Good practices and lessons learnt

Not reported
International and European initiatives have set the foundation for the adaptation policies.

The Paris Agreement, being the most recent relevant agreement at international level, supports the increasing of adaptive capacity to the impacts of climate change and the enhancement of the climate resilience through national adaptation action. Greece ratified the Paris Agreement in 2016. Under Law 4426/2016, the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MEEN) holds the responsibility for its implementation.

In addition, the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), through SDG 13 ‘Climate Action’, urges for action to combat climate change and its impacts through strategic planning in all countries, including city areas or metropolitan regions. The monitoring and coordination for the implementation of the SDGs in Greece is given to the Greek Government Presidency, so as to ensure the consistency of policies.

Finally, there are mechanisms in place to coordinate disaster risk management and climate adaptation and thereby ensure coherence between the two policies. The MEEN, notably the Climate Change & Air Quality Directorate, the Forest Protection & Forest Environment Directorate, and the Special Secretariat for Water) is represented within the structure of the Hellenic National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (UN Sendai Framework, Hyogo Framework for Action). The Platform was established in 2012 and is coordinated by the General Secretarial for Civil Protection.
The NAS recognises that Greece shares a significant amount of water resources, mountainous areas and forests with neighbouring countries and that it is, therefore, important to establish communication channels with those countries. A number of specific actions are mentioned in the NAS, including identifying and recording transboundary adaptation issues, creating processes for the development of common policies, creating shared data collection stations, training and capacity building. The development of these actions is still in progress. In addition, the RAAPs assess the transboundary character of climate impacts (Ministerial Decision 11258/2017) to identify needs for international cooperation. Transboundary public consultations on the RAAPs will also occur through the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process to consider potential transboundary impacts. Transboundary public consultations, as part of the SEA process, have taken place for the transboundary flood risk management plans (the consultation on the Evros River Basin shared by Greece and Bulgaria has recently been concluded).

In the Eastern Mediterranean Region two trilateral schemes of technical cooperation and partnership have been recently initiated, at a high political level, between Greece, Cyprus and Israel and between Greece, Cyprus and Egypt, in 2016 and in 2017, respectively. The ultimate objective of these cooperative schemes is to enhance peace and stability in the region and facilitate the sharing of experiences, knowledge and know-how in order to promote joint projects of mutual interest, find solutions to common concerns and promote interconnectivity and complementarity of actions.

Cooperation on adaptation issues is a priority in the 2017 trilateral cooperation agreements between Greece-Cyprus-Israel and Greece-Cyprus-Egypt mainly focusing on the exchange of knowledge and know-how on adaptation policy monitoring, evaluation and good practice at regional and local scales.

Finally, there are already bilateral and multilateral sectoral programmes aiming at strengthening science and sharing of knowledge. For example, a Greece-Cyprus bilateral cooperation programme funded through Interreg ‘Greece-Cyprus’ develops an Environmental Risk Management Information System on Floods, aiming to be used by citizens and NGOs, as well as by professionals and organizations. Similarly, under Balkan Mediterranean, different Greek institutions, including regional and local authorities, cooperate with partners from neighbouring countries on climate change issues regarding coastal erosion and early warning systems on drought and fire.
With respect to the cooperation for enhancing adaptation action, it seems that the current focus of official cooperation is more set on the knowledge sharing. Under the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR, the MEEN will also pursue the replication of the project results through the ongoing trilateral cooperation between Greece-Cyprus-Israel and Greece-Cyprus-Egypt on the following issues:
- Indicators and methodologies for monitoring adaptation policy implementation.
- 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, .
- Best practice examples, as identified through the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR pilots .

The cooperation on adaptation actions is also achieved through a number of bilateral and multilateral projects, funded mainly through EU competitive programmes. Examples of such programmes include Interreg and LIFE. Such examples include:
- a Greece-Bulgaria bilateral cooperation programme funded through Interreg ‘Greece-Bulgraria’ foreseeing the development of common technical specifications for national flood risk management plans covering the border area and the subsequent revision of the existing plans to improve cohesion and coordination.
- Cooperation between Greece and other, mostly neighbouring, Union Member States on adaptation action in agriculture (i.e. LIFE Adapt2Clima project), urban adaptation (i.e. LIFE UrbanProof) and health (i.e. LIFE Medea).

Ministry of Environment and Energy

Directorate for Climate Change & Air Quality
Ioanna Tsalakanidou

Relevant websites and social media source

[Disclaimer]
The information presented in these pages is based on the reporting according to 'Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action' and updates by the EEA member countries. However, for those pages where the information is last updated before 01/01/2021, the information presented is based on the reporting according to 'Regulation (EU) No 525/2013 on a mechanism for monitoring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions and for reporting other information relevant to climate change' and updates by the EEA member countries.'