K. Skrekas: Over 30 million euros for development and environmental projects in lignite areas

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With a decision signed by the Minister of Environment and Energy, Costas Skrekas, 30.5 million euros from the revenues of the European auction mechanism of greenhouse gas emission rights will be allocated for the financing of development, digital and green actions in lignite areas.

The projects will be implemented in the regional units of Kozani, Florina and Arcadia, by the Green Fund and the Coordinating Committee for Fair Development Transition, under the supervision of the Ministry of Environment and Energy. They are part of the second program of the Green Fund for the financing of interventions in the areas that will be at the center of de-lignification.

The program is structured in five axes as follows:

Energy footprint reduction – Environmental protection

These are actions to reduce the energy footprint, with a total budget of 12.35 million euros. They concern the elaboration of studies and tender documents for energy upgrade of building educational complexes and facilities of OAED in the areas of fair development transition and the University of Western Macedonia. It is also foreseen the installation of photovoltaics on the roofs, the elaboration of studies for the restoration and utilization of lignite soils in the municipalities of Velvento, Voio, Serbia and Prespa.

The actions for the protection of the environment have a total budget of 6.34 million euros and concern irrigation studies in the lakes of Heimaditida and Vegoritida, study for the removal of asbestos roofs in a settlement of the municipality of Megalopolis and pilot interventions based on the directions of the economic plans. in the municipalities of Velvento, Voio, Serbia and Prespa.

Green transformation of areas of fair development transition
The green transformation of lignite areas, with a budget of 2.3 million euros, will cover:
– Action plans for urban revitalization and diversification of the local economy in the beneficiary municipalities of lignite resources.
– Education and awareness actions on green development issues by the group of Active Youth of Florina.
– The guide for post-industrial design of lignite settlements in Akrini with the beneficiary the National Technical University of Athens.
– The organization and creation of two botanical gardens in the lignite areas of the Region of Western Macedonia.

Promoting innovation and enhancing productive business transformation

It concerns actions with a total budget of 4 million euros. Among them is the preparation of a maturation study for the establishment of a hydrogen innovation hub by the Region of Western Macedonia, in partnership with the National Center for Research and Technological Development (CERTH). The Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) will prepare a feasibility study for the establishment of the Mediterranean Center for Entrepreneurship and Culture of the Peloponnese (MEKEPP). The Intermediate Body of Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship Business Programs (EFEPAE) will undertake the execution of the call for support and support of small and medium enterprises of the other municipalities beneficiaries of lignite resources.

Intelligent systems to support the transition to the post-lignite era

The project envisages the creation, by the Information Society (IS), of a platform for geospatial management and promotion of public and private infrastructures and exploitation of areas of fair development transition. The IS will set up an observatory, an open environment monitoring mechanism and agricultural holdings, a professional social networking platform and interconnection between employees, training providers, public and business organizations and support systems for the implementation of digital projects. The total budget of the projects amounts to 4.4 million euros.

Program technical assistance

In the coming days, the invitation to the program will be published in the Government Gazette. The program will also be posted on the internet and will include the deadlines for submission of proposals by the beneficiaries, as well as all the necessary information.

The Minister of Environment and Energy, Costas Skrekas, stated: “The Government has a comprehensive plan to compensate for the social, environmental and economic impact on the areas of Western Macedonia and Megalopolis that are heavily dependent on lignite. We will mobilize a total of € 5 billion over the next few years to provide active support to local communities, households, businesses and workers in lignite areas. “The restoration of land, the promotion of innovation and the strengthening of the skills of workers are particularly important. The emblematic reform of de-lignification will be carried out in terms of social justice and without leaving any of our fellow citizens behind.”

The President of the Green Fund, Stathis Stathopoulos, stated in this regard: “The Green Fund is the first public body in history to implement a Program for de-lignification. The acceptance of our first Program, which was designed from scratch and has been evolving since July. “2020, paved the way for the second Program. Under the guidance of the Minister of Environment and Energy and the Coordinator of the Fair Development Transition Plan, we use every financial opportunity to achieve de-ligation in the best and safest way possible in the vulnerable lignite areas of our country.” .

The Chairman of the Coordinating Committee for Fair Development Transition, Kostis Mousouroulis, stated: “The planning of the Fair Development Transition for the lignite areas of the country is being implemented and is yielding results. ) and a variety of other actions, the new Green Fund Program will support critical development, energy, digital, irrigation, projects and studies. Minister Skreka for his valuable contribution to our joint efforts and the President of the Green Fund Mr. Stathopoulos for his exemplary cooperation “.

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Source From: Capital

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