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Last update:Aug 08, 2019

Item Status Links
National Adaptation Strategy
  • Adopted
National Adaptation Plans
  • Being developed
  • Regional Adaptation Action Plans (RAAPs)
Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation assessments
  • Completed
Research programs
  • Currently being undertaken
Meteorological observations
  • Established
Climate projections and services
  • Being developed
  • LIFE-IP AdaptInGR Climate Projections Database
CC IVA portals and platforms 
  • Being developed
  • Greek National Adaptation Hub

Monitoring, indicators, methodologies

  • Being developed
  • Integrated Climate Change Adaptation Monitoring and Evaluation Framework
Monitoring Mechanism Regulation
  • Last reporting on Adaptation (Art. 15) submitted
National Communication to the UNFCCC
  • Last National Communication Submitted

Greece has fully developed its legal framework for adapting to climate change impacts and challenges. A key adaptation to climate change law has been endorsed (Law 4414/2016, Government Gazette, 149/A/9.8.2016); a National Adaptation Strategy (NAS) is already in place and implemented since mid-2016; and the 13 Regional Authorities are now preparing their Regional Adaptation Action Plans (RAAPs).

Adaptation Strategies

The National Adaptation Strategy (NAS) sets out the general objectives, guiding principles and implementation tools of a modern, effective and growth-oriented adaptation strategy in line with EU directives and the international experience. The NAS was formally endorsed by the Greek Parliament in August 2016, through Law 4414/2016 (Article 45). The drafting of the NAS was part of a Memorandum of Understanding among the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MEEN), the Climate Change Impacts Study Committee of the Bank of Greece (CCISC) and the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens. The CCISC prepared a strategy draft document (April 2016), building on its existing work and its extensive report on climate change impacts and vulnerability assessment. The NAS underwent public consultation. The MEEN was involved in the drafting of the NAS and in assessing the comments received during the public consultation. It also completed and finalised the draft. The overarching objective of the NAS is to contribute to the country´s resilience against climate change impacts. To this end, the necessary conditions must be created for well-informed and far-sighted (both public and private) decisions that will determine the productive and consumption fabric of the Greek society, by addressing risks and opportunities resulting from a changing climate.

Key objectives of the NAS are to:

  1. establish and enhance the (short-term and long-term) decision-making procedure regarding adaptation issues;
  2. link adaptation with the promotion of a sustainable growth model through the implementation of regional/local action plans;
  3. promote adaptation actions and policies in all sectors of the Greek economy, with emphasis on the most vulnerable ones;
  4. create a monitoring, evaluation and updating mechanism for adaptation actions and policies; and
  5. build adaptation capacity and raise public awareness.

The NAS suggests alternative adaptation options for 15 specific priority sectors (i.e., natural ecosystems and biodiversity, agriculture and food security, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, water resources, coastal zones, tourism, human 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 and actions at the 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 and flood risk management plans); and to integrate, as needed, priority measures into regional planning.

More specifically, 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. The actions will be prioritized based on cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analyses. The effectiveness corresponds to the climate change prevention, mitigation and restoration capacity (in order of priority) of the actions, as well as the benefit to the wider economy, and the environmental and social benefits from their implementation, so as to facilitate focus on "win-win" and "no-regret" actions. The analyses will aim to prioritize cost-effective and environmentally, economically and socially beneficial actions. The development of the 13 RAAPs is ongoing with several Regions being more advanced than others. It is expected that the vast majority of RAAPs will be finalised by the end of 2019, with the help of subcontractors.

Implementation means

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. The Operational Programme on "Transport Infrastructure, Environment and Sustainable Development (2014-2020)" and the 13 Regional Operational Programmes of the National Strategic Reference Framework 2014-2020 include a specific budget and measures under the Thematic Objective 5 "Climate Change Adaptation & Disaster Risk Management." These instruments, together with the National Rural Development Programme (2014-2020) and the National Operational Programme for Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship & Innovation (2014-2020) are the main sources of EU funding for adaptation actions nationally and in the 13 administrative regions until 2020.

The Green Fund (GRFU), a public legal entity associated with the MEEN, also supports adaptation-related projects: e.g., creation of green spaces in urban areas, fire prevention, flood control and anti-erosiosn measures. GRFU supports projects under the EU LIFE-Programme as well. A specific Task-Force in GRFU was formed to assist public and private entities to formulate proposals through LIFE funding. The LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project is to provide the necessary additional human and financial resources to support the implementation of the NAS and RAAPs. The project is coordinated by the MEEN and is implemented together with 18 key adaptation partners. All of the 13 administrative regions of Greece are represented in the project partnership through their Union. The project receives funding by the EU LIFE Programme (total budget: €14,189,548, EC Co-funding: 58,73%) and lasts eight years (2019-2026). The project will catalyse the implementation of the first adaptation policy cycle (2016-2025). It will build national and regional capacity for coordinating, prioritising, monitoring and mainstreaming adaptation policy actions. An integrated framework to monitor and evaluate the NAS and RAAP implementation will be established. Pilot projects will be developed in priority sectors for 3 regions and 5 municipalities. This replication pool of real-world experiences will form part of a knowledge base of resources to guide and support national, regional and local authorities in the detailed planning and assessment of adaptation actions. Awareness campaigns will seek to win the commitment of public and private sector stakeholders to effective adaptation action. The project will also identify suitable funding schemes and programmes for the further implementation of the adaptation measures at local, regional and national level. Finally, it will frame the next adaptation policy cycle (2026+) through an evidence-based review of the NAS and RAAPs to identify emerging adaptation priorities and measures to feed into the post-2027 European structural and investment funds (ESIF) programming period.

Monitoring, reporting and evaluation

Pursuant to the Law 4416/2014 (Article 44), the National Climate Change Adaptation Committee (NCCAC) will regularly monitor NAS implementation and propose changes to political, legislative or other means and arrangements necessary to tackle specific issues. 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 are not indicated. However, an integrated climate change adaptation monitoring and evaluation framework will be developed by mid-2020, through 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, Articles 42 and 43).

Schedule and planned review/revision

The NAS (adopted in 2016) and RAAPs (to be adopted by the end of 2019) 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, Articles 42 and 43). Hence, they shall be reviewed and revised by 2026. 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 scheduled for 2025-2026.

 

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 below (see Sectors addressed in NAS/NAP).

Sectors addressed in NAS/NAP

Natural ecosystems and biodiversity

In Greece, a National Biodiversity Strategy (NBS) was endorsed in 2014. The NBS comprises 13 targets, including a target on biodiversity adaptation. Ninety-five (95) new natural sites were included in the nationwide Natura 2000 network in 2017, increasing marine protected area coverage to 22% of Greek territorial waters. The LIFE-IP 4 NATURA project seeks to improve the conservation status for species and habitants of communities of interest and to integrate the management of the Greek Natura 2000 network.

Agriculture

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.

Forestry

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.

Fisheries and aquaculture

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.

Water resources

Greece incorporated the EU Water Framework Directive (60/2000/EC) in 2003 (Law 3199/2003), while the framework of measures and procedures for Integrated Water Resource Management was established in 2007 (Presidential Decree 51/2007). The River Basin Management Plans 2016-2021 (2nd policy cycle) were instutionalised on 29/12/2017. 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 on 10/7/2018. 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.

Coastal zones

The Greek Parliament has recently endorsed a framework for maritime spatial planning (Law 4546/2018) to first introduce overall planning of uses in seas and coastal areas. The framework also clearly sets resilience to climate change impacts (Article 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 comprises a public buffer zone that could play a significant role in protecting coastal assets and infrastructure from climate-induced storm surges etc.

Tourism

The newly 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.

Human health care

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. The Operational Programme Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship & Innovation (2014-2020) supports measures to improve the energy performance and comfort conditions of public buildings, such as hospitals.

Energy

The Greek energy system is gradually changing from fossil to renewable fuels and thus it will reduce its vulnerability to climate change. The steps to take towards decarbonisation are outlined in the Draft National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP). NECP is an official procedure - through specific national legislation - based on the EU Energy Governance regulation. A dedicated analysis will be undertaken, in the framework of the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project, to capture the synergies and trade-offs between the Greek NAS, the 2030 Greek NECP and the 2050 Greek National Long-term Low Emission Strategy. This analysis will help to climate-proof the Greek energy sector.

Infrastructure & Transport

The revised EIA Directive, which was transposed in national legislation by the Joint Ministerial Decisions 1915/24.01.2018 and 5688/ 12.03.2018, address the climate change vulnerability assessment of the projects. Some main transportation projects, such as the Athens International Airport "Eleftherios-Venizelos" in Spata, is currently developing a climate adaptation action plan.

Buildings and housing

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.

Civil protection

The National Civil Protection Plan "Xenokrates" (Ministerial Decision no. 1299/2003) sets the national framework for overall effective risk management planning and provides for the development of hazard-specific plans at the local, regional and national levels. In accordance with "Xenokrates," at the national central level, the General Secretariat for Civil Protection issues National Plans for all kinds of natural and manmade disasters. Moreover, the General Secretariat for Civil Protection issues Circulars with guidelines on prevention, preparedness and response actions for specific kinds of disasters addressed to all competent authorities. Long-term climate risk prevention, which is the focus of climate adaptation planning, will be integrated into the RAAPs. The RAAPs will analyse the synergies between proposed adaptation actions and disaster risk management policies and plans, and will suggest ways to integrate adaptation. The MEEN is represented within the structure of the Hellenic National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Observations and projections

National climate observations and associated services

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 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.

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. NOA provides climatic data.

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 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). 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.

National reference climate projections and scenarios

A report by the Bank of Greece (CCISC), published in 2011, was the first to assess the environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change in Greece. 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.

Under the LIFE IP AdaptInGR, it is planned that state-of-the-art regional climate models will be used in order to provide future climate projections. The analysis will be based on daily output from selected Regional Climate Models developed within the CORDEX initiative at a horizontal resolution of ~12km. Climate model data will be available through the CORDEX data servers or the Climate Data Store of the Copernicus Climate Change Service. The data are available for a continuous period from 1950 up to 2100. Future projections will be based on RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. Following that, climatic indices with particular relevance to the priority sectors will be calculated. Afterwards, high resolution geographical maps for the areas of interest and for the aforementioned indices, based on the raw and downscaled data for the control and the future study periods, will be constructed. Climate projections will be openly accessible through the National Adaptation Hub (under development).

Impact and Vulnerability Assessment

As already mentioned, a report by the Bank of Greece (CCISC), published in 2011, was the first to assess the environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change in Greece and to identify the need for a concrete adaptation policy that would cover all sectors. The risks and impacts of climate change by sector were assessed based on the outcomes of the report's climate projections using state-of-the-art impact assessment models. 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.

In addition, detailed regional climate impact and vulnerability assessments will be undertaken as part of the RAAPs (Ministerial Decision 11258/2017). As already mentioned, 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. Priority sectors and priority geographical areas for action will be identified and prioritised based on cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analyses. The effectiveness of actions corresponds to their climate change prevention, mitigation and restoration capacities (in order of priority). Geographical specificities have been considered in the NAS but will be further analysed within the regional climate impact and vulnerability assessments for the RAAPs.

An update of the 2011 assessment report is planned for 2021. The update will be undertaken within the framework of the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project. It will be based on the Representative Emission Scenarios (RCPs) of the IPCCs Fifth Assessment Report and will take into account the new climate projections to be produced by the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project in 2020. Through a bottom-up approach, annual 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.

Quantifications will be performed for a number of adaptation scenario variants. For every adaptation scenario the costs of the effort and the indirect impacts on the economy and the financing will be quantified. The evaluation of the implied changes in the indicators and risk factors associated with each adaptation variant will be compared to the evaluated impacts. The resulting information will support a cost-benefit assessment of additional options to be explored as part of the revised NAS and RAAPs. For this assessment, the project will assume that climate change mitigation prevails globally and thus the climate change impacts are moderate, depending on the mitigation scenario variant. The macroeconomic and sectoral projections of the economic indicators and impact factors will rely on the GEME3 model for Greece. The impact assessment will take care to close the loop between damages and economic projections as well as to ensure consistency between the economic projections by sector and the projection of physical indicators by scenario.

Research

The research priorities and knowledge gaps outlined in the NAS were based on a thorough assessment of available information through the Bank of Greece (CCISC) report, and have been subjected to stakeholder and public consultation. The NAS outlines sectoral knowledge gaps that need to be closed. It is expected that the development of the RAAPs will allow identifying additional knowledge and information needs arising from the climate impact and vulnerability assessments and/or for specific geographical areas/hotspots. This information will be communicated through the NCCAC to relevant bodies (e.g., academic institutions and the Ministry of Education and Research) to also inform their work. As part of the LIFE IP AdaptInGR, targeted surveys and interviews with key stakeholders are planned to investigate the specific aspects, knowledge and requirements that key actors have on climate change impacts and adaptation issues. This action will provide feedback for the update of the research priorities and knowledge gaps outlined in the NAS. Ongoing adaptation-related research, development and innovation projects and initiatives of particular interest for Greece include:

  • Climate KIC: The EIT Climate KIC Greece Hub has been recently established bringing together various organisations across the knowledge triangle.
  • LIFE Projects:
    • ADAPT2CLIMA- Adaptation to climate change impacts on the Mediterranean islands' agriculture (2015 - 2019).
    • LIFE TERRACESCAPE - Employing land stewardship to transform terraced landscapes into green infrastructures to better adapt to climate change (2017-2021).
    • LIFE ASTI-Implementation of a forecasting system for urban heat island effect for the development of urban adaptation strategies (2018-2021).
    • LIFE GrIn - Promoting urban integration of green infrastructure to improve climate governance in cities (2018-2021).
    • LIFE Prespa Waterbirds - Bird conservation in Lesser Prespa Lake: benefiting local communities and building a climate change resilient ecosystem (2016-2021).
    • LIFE AgroClimaWater - Promoting water efficiency and supporting the shift towards a climate resilient agriculture in Mediterranean countries (2015-2020).
    • LIFE The Green Link - Restore desertified areas with an innovative tree growing method across the Mediterranean border to increase resilience (2016-2020).
  • HORIZON 2020 Projects:
    • CONNECTING Nature- Coproduction with Nature for City Transitioning, Innovation and Governance (2017-2022). ERA-PLANET- The European network for observing our changing planet (2016-2021).
    • BRIGAID- Bridges the gap for innovations in disaster resilience (2016-2020).
    • SOCLIMPACT - Climate impacts and decarbonisation pathways in EU islands, and enhancing socioeconomic and non-market evaluation of climate change for Europe, for 2050 and beyond (2017- 2020).
  • National Energy & Climate Plan (NECP): A specific working group - within the NECP - is dealing with the necessary research and innovation subjects for energy and climate issues.

Monitoring progress

As already mentioned, an integrated climate change adaptation monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework will be developed by mid-2020, through the EU-funded LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project. The M&E framework will combine both qualitative and quantitative approaches and will comprise two distinct components: 1) A monitoring component, which will be aimed at measuring through indicators, progress towards the intended outcomes of adaptation measures and interventions, and progress against the baseline established in the project; 2) An evaluation component, which will be aimed at providing a broader view of progress, taking also into account ancillary benefits and the costs of adaptation interventions, and the fact that adaptation is a continuous process rather than an end point to be reached, which should be integrated with different sectoral requirements and development priorities.

The M&E framework will be further improved, refined and fine-tuned through two M&E implementation cycles. The 1st cycle (2020-2022) will cover all the priority sectors of the Greek NAS, taking further into account vulnerabilities and sectoral priorities identified in the RAAPs. Lessons learned from the 1st cycle will also help to improve M&E methodologies and indicators, and their fine-tuning in the 2nd cycle (2022-2024). The 2nd cycle will include a re-assessment of climate change vulnerability across all 13 regions and the monitoring and evaluation of adaptation progress across all NAS themes for all 13 regions and at the national level. The 2nd M&E recycle results will further be used to provide the basis for the review and revision of the Greek NAS and the 13 RAAPs, and to prepare the passage to the next adaptation policy cycle. The Greek National Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (NCESD) will assume the responsibility and undertake all actions relating to monitoring, reporting and evaluation of climate change adaptation policy after the end of the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project.

Governance

Greek Law 4414/2016 designates the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MEEN) as the national competent authority for national adaptation policy with responsibilities to oversee the process for the evaluation and revision of the NAS. It also established the National Climate Change Adaptation Committee (NCCAC) as the formal coordination and advisory mechanism body for adaptation policy monitoring, evaluation and planning. The NCCAC is chaired by the MEEN Minister and comprises representatives from all competent ministries (Environment and Energy, Economics, Internal Affairs, Economy & Development, Tourism, Infrastructure & Transport, Health, Maritime Affairs & Insular Policy, Rural Development & Food, Education, Research & Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports, National Defence). The NCCAC also includes representatives from the Union of Greek Regions, the Central Union of Greek Municipalities, the Hellenic Meteorological Service, the Association of Industries, NGOs and academics specialising in climate adaptation issues. Additional participants can be invited to participate on the basis of identified needs. The composition of the NCCAC reflects the need for the horizontal coordination of sectoral policies, for ensuring feedback and vertical coordination among different levels of government, as well as for involving non-governmental authorities in all aspects relating to climate change adaptation.

The consultation procedure leading to the formal endorsement of the NAS and RAAPs also ensures good vertical coordination across the three levels of governance (national, regional and local), as well as engagement of the private sector and other vulnerable stakeholders. The draft NAS was subject to a public consultation prior to its finalisation. Stakeholders who provided feedback included academia, ministries, the Hellenic National Meteorological Service and NGOs. The MEEN will check the compliance of the RAAPs with the NAS (Law 4414/2016, Article 43), while the local authorities, the regional stakeholders and citizen representatives will give formal opinions on the RAAPs of the respective regions through the existing Regional Consultation Committees. Stakeholder engagement and public consultation have been made mandatory for the development of the RAAPs (Ministerial Decision 11258/2017). The main regional stakeholders (public authorities, scientific community, business and industry, civil society, etc.) are invited to submit their views on measures that can contribute to the adaptation of their region/area of interest. Public consultation on the RAAPs will also take place through the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process, as the RAAPs will have to undergo this step before their final endorsement.

The "Covenant of Mayors" (CoM) also enables local authorities to influence climate adaptation policy making. A total of 51 signatories from Greece joined the Mayors Adapt initiative, 41 of which have also committed to the integrated 2030 Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. Within COM there are other relative project-initiatives, such as the "C-track 50" to achieve carbon neutrality, of which Greece is among the 11 countries involved. This project tries to identify potential ways to improve planning issues in each country reinforcing cooperation between local and regional authorities.

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 shared data collection stations, etc. The development of these actions is still in progress. The RAAPs assess the transboundary character of climate impacts to identify needs for international cooperation. There are already bilateral and sectoral programmes in this field. For example, a Greece-Bulgaria bilateral cooperation programme funded through Interreg foresees 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. Transboundary public consultations on the RAAPs will also occur through the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process in order to consider potential transboundary impacts.

Knowledge

A National Adaptation Hub (NAH) will be launched in early 2021. The NAH forms part of the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project and will draw from the experience of other European countries in developing similar online knowledge and information sharing platforms on climate adaptation. The NAH will provide tools and resources for assisting decision-makers at different levels and sectors in the different steps of the adaptation policy cycle; raise awareness among the different target groups on adaptation, including citizens; and promote the sharing of good practice among adaptation stakeholders in Greece. A wide adaptation capacity building programme is envisaged for 2021-2025 in the framework of the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project.

Thirteen (13) regional and two national capacity building workshops will be organised across Greece. The regional workshops aim at building the technical skills, management and governance capacities and raise the awareness of the different target groups. As such, the target audience of the action goes beyond the regional authorities, and embraces all stakeholders that are called to design and implement adaptation measures. On the other hand, the national workshops will be addressing the national and governmental staff of related Ministries' Directorates as well as stakeholders from the public and private sector. They will also include a session on local administration authorities.

The LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project is also going to produce guidebooks for climate change adaptation actions at regional and local levels, building on the experience to be acquired through the project's pilot applications. Environmental education has been considered a priority in the Greek educational system since the early 1980s. The Educational Institute of Greece is providing substantial guidance to teachers to implement environmental education programmes. The 53 Educational Centers for Sustainability (ECS) are also involved in the implementation of educational programmes and activities. They provide educational programmes to scholars, organize training seminars for the educators, produce educational material, develop thematic networks of schools, promote international cooperation actions for the training of educators, and develop activities in the local communities. The ECSs of Kastoria and of Stylida- Ipati have been pioneers in climate adaptation education. The ECS of Kastoria, based on the thematic unit "Climate change and its impact on biodiversity," established "The laboratory of life - biodiversity" already in 2003. Up to 2018, 508 environmental teams, 14,216 students, and 952 teachers of both primary and secondary education joined the network programmes and activities. The ECS of Stylida- Ipati established a national thematic network on "Climate Change - Extreme Weather Conditions" in 2008. By 2018, it had engaged 257 schools, 7,043 students and 557 teachers.

An eight year (2019-2026) educational programme run by the LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project aims to further support behavioral change towards adaptation. The programme targets teachers, pupils and the youth. Two specific activity strands are distinguished:

  1. Teachers' training material and seminars: Presentations and teaching guidelines for proper training of primary and secondary education teachers on climate change adaptation shall be developed. The material produced (teacher's kit) will be designed, to be distributed to schools' teachers. The kit will be also made available on-line. It will include a teacher's guide as well as instructions on how teachers can develop different educational activities (both indoor and outdoor) for their pupils. Following the material development, various seminars will be organised for teachers across Greece.
  2. Youth adapts material and campaign: Production of material for pupils of all ages (from 7 to 17 years of age) and the pilot use of this material in the environmental curriculum of selected schools across Greece. An educational campaign (the "Youth Adapts" campaign) will take place, whereby the material shall be distributed and taught in at least 100 schools across Greece. Furthermore, material targeting higher-age groups shall be properly adapted to form part of adult life-long education programmes on major environmental issues. Two school competitions and awards are planned to facilitate the actions taken towards students' environmental education on climate change. In these competitions, pupils will be asked to make a short length film and/or an interactive game or other artistic creations.

NGOs and a number of institutions of the civil society are also taking initiatives related to climate change adaptation. These institutions can contribute to the awareness and promotion of good practices. Awareness raising activities are also planned under the LIFE IP AdaptInGR project, e.g., info-days across Greece, conferences, audiovisual materials, social media and information material.

International dimensions

Greece's long-standing cooperation with countries of the African region is especially characterized by the social, economic, commercial, cultural and environmental links induced by sharing the Mediterranean Sea. The cooperation with Africa is significant since Africa is a region particularly vulnerable to climate change. Greece, being a member to several international organisations, engages in cooperation and mutual support with African countries. In the UN system, such organisations mainly include the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Greece's efforts have focused on capacity building, and promoted the principles of demand-driven projects and local ownership. Thematic priorities have included water and natural resources management, climate change, and the establishment of transboundary networks and monitoring mechanisms. Greece is currently further intensifying its efforts regarding the Official Development Assistance (ODA), focusing on climate change adaptation. For example, Greece is currently financing programmes for adaptation to climate change in Least Developed Countries and in regions that, due to their geographical location, are under severe danger from climate change. In order to ensure the best possible utilisation of funds and distribution to programmes according to the most significant needs of the threatened regions, the Hellenic Development Assistance Plan has been implemented in coordination with regional organisations of the areas under consideration.

It should be noted that Greece has also signed two trilateral agreements for cooperation on environmental issues. One with Cyprus and Israel and another one with Cyprus and Egypt. Adaptation issues are considered a top priority for cooperation, mainly based on the exchange of knowledge and know-how on adaptation policy monitoring, evaluation and good practice at regional and local scales.

          Ministry of Environment & Energy

          Officer, Environmental Engineer

          Ioanna Tsalakanidou

          Directorate for Climate Change & Air Quality

          147 Patission str., 112 51, Athens, Greece

          Tel. (+30) 2108642118

          Mail i.tsalakanidou@prv.ypeka.gr 

          Website http://www.ypeka.gr  

           

          [Disclaimer]
          The information presented in these pages is based on the reporting according to the Monitoring Mechanism Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 525/2013) and updates by the EEA member countries