Mobilization of citizens towards climate-neutral cities

Ioli Christopoulou participated in a “roundtable” discussion during an online event co-organized by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology with the support of the PRAXI Network entitled
“Financing Opportunities from the ‘Climate-neutral & smart cities’ Mission of the Horizon Europe 2021-2027 Framework Program”. The event took place on July 7, 2020.

With her remarks Ioli Christopoulou noted the following. First, there is a continuous need for awareness-raising, especially promoting best practices and initiatives that have already been implemented. This will demonstrate to citizens that change is possible.

Second, open and participatory consultation processes are required, so that citizens can co-design the proposal for their city. When a plan emerges through such a process, then it becomes ownership of the citizens facilitating implementation, because of greater acceptance and prior consensus.

Third, while national targets set out in the National Energy and Climate Plan provide the overarching framework, there is a need for flexibility so that the application of funds can be differentiated based on the characteristics of each city.

Finally, she noted that while the idea of national champions is an interesting one, the effort towards climate-neutral cities should not take the form of an adverse competition, rather one of a noble rivalry. The time to transition to climate neutrality is narrowing and everyone’s participation is needed.

A total of ten invited speakers from the local government, the General Secretariat for Research and Technology, the academic and research and business sectors and civil society participated in the roundtable discussion.

More information about the event, the presentations, and the recording of the event (in Greek) are available at https://praxinetwork.gr/el/event/2380