The Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy presented a series of amendments to an omnibus bill on climate change for public consultation until April 15.

The legislation aims to address matters related to water and forest management and protection, urban resilience and policy, tackling illegal construction, and energy security.

Some of the key amendments included in the omnibus bill are:

  • The creation of a single entity “Thessaly Water Management Organization Anonymous Company” to manage the region’s water sources, including strategic planning, irrigation, ground improvements, and flood control.
  • Consigning responsibility for the management of rainwater (drainage systems, pipes) from separate municipalities to the Athens Water Supply and Sewerage Company (EYDAP) and Thessaloniki Water Supply Company (EYATH) in their respective areas of responsibility.
  • The more effective management of forests by clearing highly flammable biomass accumulated in these forests, while developing the forest economy. To this end, subsidies for biomass removal will be established.
  • The establishment of a system for the immediate large-scale mobilization of forest workers and their machinery to combat mega-fires.
  • The Ministry of Environment and Energy will be responsible for identifying unauthorized constructions and their demolition via technology (drones, satellite imaging, aerial photography, integration with the e-permits application, and an automatic detection system for each new unauthorized building).
  • The introduction of stricter measures to fight electricity theft and systematic bad debtors to reduce the burdens on average electricity consumers, including the right of the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator to obtain information from the Independent Authority for Public Revenue (AADE) about consumers who do not pay their bills.

Minister of Environment and Energy, Theodoros Skylakakis, stated that the crucial reforms included in the bill for environmental protection, are aimed at forest ecosystem management reform, reforms to address unauthorized construction, and Greece’s position in the global energy map. “Those interested in the many and significant issues covered by our bill now have all the information at their disposal to formulate well-founded and comprehensive comments.”