Tuesday, 18 August 2020
As all the SDGs have targets directly related to the responsibilities of local and regional governments, particularly to their role in delivering basic services, their involvement is essential for the successful attainment of sustainable development. Thus, there is constant close cooperation between the national, regional and local levels for the integrated and coherent implementation of the 2030 Agenda related-policies and there are numerous important activities and initiatives that take place country-wide, related to many SDG Goals and targets.
In this context, the former General Secretariat of the Government (GSG) together with various line Ministries have encouraged and facilitated consultation with multiple stakeholders engaged in the SDGs implementation process, including regional and local authorities, through the organisation of bilateral and multilateral meetings, participation in workshops and roundtable conferences, etc, aiming to raise public awareness on the integrated nature of the 2030 Agenda, promote the shared responsibility of all stakeholders and facilitate the sharing of experiences and lessons learned on the implementation of SDGs at a sub-national and local level.
Greece strongly supports the new EU Green Deal as an 'EU green development strategy' that is fully in line with the current government’s priorities: after a prolonged economic crisis, Greece aspires to become a paradigm for how a socially just transition to a circular, low-emission economy and climate action can create green jobs and economic growth building on the objectives and principles of the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
At the EU level, the achievement of the SDGs has been recognized as an overarching priority of the European Green Deal, and the SDGs have already been included in the European Semester process (i.e. addition of priority on Environmental Sustainability in the EU Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy 2020 and Annex E of Country Reports under the European Semester that presents progress across selected SDG indicators per country). The European Semester has also taken up the responsibility to assess the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs) of EU member States this year (to be funded under the EU Resilience and Recovery Facility - RRF) which should ensure a 37% of overall funds to climate neutrality and alignment to the EU Green Deal objectives. In this context, the reforms and investment actions on Environment and Energy included in the Greek NRRP, are contributing directly to the sustainable development of the country and thus to the implementation of the SDGs.
More analytical, the investments foreseen on energy efficiency, renewables, innovative energy technologies including storage, biodiversity and forests protection, circular economy and adaptation to climate change impacts, have a direct positive outcome on achieving a green transition, with important parallel positive socio-economic results.