The work of Heinrich Böll Foundation Greece in the field of Ecology revolves around just energy transition and environmental sustainability. Our goal is to encourage decision makers and public administrations at local, regional and national levels to establish policies and implement measures in cooperation with our partners, and to empower civil society actors to advocate and engage in activities for a democratic, ecological transformation of Greek society and economy towards social justice and gender equality.
Shifting to a decentralized energy model based on the investment of many in the field of renewables while ensuring that no society group is left behind in the process, is expressed by the concept of Just Energy Transition that stands on two pillars; community energy and energy efficiency. Community energy is in its infancy in Greece while there is huge untapped potential for energy savings in Greece. In addition, improving the energy efficiency of buildings is the most sustainable solution to tackling energy poverty, meeting climate goals, creating jobs etc. Lastly, lignite continues to play a major role in the power sector of Greece despite its low calorific value and relatively high cost. Raising awareness about good practices and benefits of community-owned renewable energy projects, enhancing the linkage between energy efficiency and community energy to tackle energy poverty and facilitating the knowledge exchange and collaboration with German agencies, institutes and experts on phasing-out coal fall under the interests of our office.
Under the pressure of the financial and political crisis and the acute social problems environmental issues were undermined especially among society groups who struggle to cope with basic needs. Low levels of awareness over pollution and mismanagement of key resources (air, water and land) is linked to a widespread lack of responsible consumers’ culture. Nonetheless, the constantly degrading status of the environment continues to affect public health (e.g. fatal air-quality related conditions, natural disasters such as floods proving fatal) while the economic consequences are dire. Hence, there is the clear need to raise public awareness through various mediums (participation in conferences, campaigns, capacity building activities, exchange with international actors etc) on the future of resources, with the goal to alter consumers behaviours towards a more sustainable, efficient and ecologically friendly direction.