The UN Sustainable Development Goals Partnership Platform: Greece’s Commitment to Green Growth Through Circular Economy

The “Partnerships for Sustainable Development Goals online platform” is United Nations’ global registry of voluntary commitments and multi-stakeholder partnerships made in support of sustainable development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The platform is open to all stakeholders, including member states, civil society, local authorities, private sector, scientific and technological community, academia, and others, to register a voluntary commitment or multi-stakeholder partnership which aims to drive the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to provide periodic updates on progress.

Greece’s voluntary commitment to green growth through circular economy is as follows:

The transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient and circular economy is of paramount importance for Greece to ensure environmental protection but also to boost green growth, to create new jobs, fight unemployment and support innovation in production, consumption, value chain of materials, sharing use methods and reduction, reuse and recycling of waste, in order to extend the life circle of products and optimize the resources, water and energy. The Greek government has set implementation of circular economy objectives in practice, through a Circular Transition Business Plan of Greece, as one of its key cross-sectoral priorities, by accelerating action at three levels:

– Setting criteria for green and circular public procurement including though incentives for enhancing secondary raw material markets and industry, as well as designing, repairing and reuse of products, aiming to “close the loop” of product life-cycles and to promote secondary use of by-products and waste in new production processes as raw primary materials, also applying in practice the “hierarchy approach” in waste management and with specific measures and targets for Plastics (single use plastics, fishing gears, etc) and food waste.
– Promoting industrial symbiosis and clustering of businesses for supporting circular entrepreneurship, environmental industry, digital transformation.
– Stimulating employment through measures to strengthen sharing or collaborative economy and small-scale entrepreneurship.

The abovementioned foreseen actions are all of a cross-cutting nature and have multiplying effects to more than one SDGs, addressing the strong interlinkages between SDGs 12, 9, 7, 13, 15, 7 etc.

Their implementation is expected to be further accelerated, coupled by a strong education – awareness raising component (SDG 17) by supporting circular consumption patterns through awareness raising and education; enhancing partnerships, synergies and communication between the various involved actors; and giving emphasis on monitoring progress and results through concrete performance indicators.

To this end, the Government is relaunching an inter-minιsterial Committee comprising representatives from all key involved Ministries, coordinated by the Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy, and has updated its National Strategy and Action Plan for the Circular Economy originally endorsed in April 2018, to now extend up to 2025 (activity linked to SDGs 16 and 17 implementation).

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