The online discussion #BUILDBACKBETTER GREECE  was held on Thursday February 25th 2021 and the discussion lasted 90′. The event was organised by the Build Back Better Greece initiative, with the support of Energy Democracy Dialogues and INZEB. The sustainable recovery by engaging all stakeholders with commitment and effective participation in the overall restart effort, in terms of sustainability and real progress was the main issue at stake of the discussion.

The following contributed to the discussion: Dr. Haris Doukas, Assoc. Professor NTUA, Prof. Arthοuros Zervos, Chairman REN21, Dr. Alexandra Papadopoulou, Chem. Engineer NTUA, Dr. Ioannis Tsipouridis, Managing Director R.E.D. Pro Consultants & Visiting Prof. Technical University of Mombasa (TUM), Nikos Charalampidis, Managing Director of Greenpeace Greece, while the discussion was coordinated by Alice Corovessi, Managing Director of INZEB. Additionally, important in the development of the discussion turned out to be the contribution of the 120 participants who posed questions to the speakers.

In the context of the event review, below are presented the key points raised by the speakers.

Dr. Haris Doukas analysed the meaning and the background of the term “build back better”, spoke about the social, environmental and economic damage caused by the pandemic, while stated that “we want to be a catalyst for synergies and initiatives for a sustainable involvement and commitment under ciscumstances of viability and true progress in an effort of total restart”.

Prof. Zervos highlighted the dimension of proper prioritisation, outlining the foundations that need to be layed in the energy sector, while he suggested “Transition from lignite to RES and not to gas. The Aegean is a privileged region for the production of hydrogen from RES.”

Dr. Alexandra Papadopoulou stated that “Long-term, integrated energy and climate planning, implementing multilevel governance, is key for local government to organize its actions.”, focusing her speech on the obligations, needs and difficulties of municipalities to draw up a long-term plan in the energy sector.

Then Mr. Charalambidis took the floor and stressed out that “The decisions that the Greek government will make today will define the “tomorrow” that we will all live. Going back to the past cannot be an option. Now is the time for brave decisions and radical changes that will build a sustainable and fair tomorrow for all. The European Recovery Fund must be the starting point for a new beginning, not a way back to yesterday.” pointing out at the same time the key role of society so that we have a sustainable and green future, where society as a whole is part of the solution and not of the problem.

“It is remarkable that our children tell us over and over again “listen to science”. They use in us the logic of education that we used. They tell us in their own way “take care”.”, said Dr. Tsipouridis and pointed out the importance of changing energy sources and the way in which they are used and consumed, characterizing the practice so far as wasteful and unconcerned about the consequences, while also giving special importance to the social dimension of the problem.

This was followed by a fruitful discussion between the speakers, answering key questions posed by the audience.


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