Prime Minister Mitsotakis opened Greece’s pavilion this afternoon at COP 28 in Dubai and spoke about Greece’s vision for the green transition. He also discussed the upcoming 2024 Our Ocean Conference with U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and announced Poros as the next GR-Eco Island.

Together with Kerry, Mitsotakis discussed the challenges the globe is facing on account of climate change as well as some of the solutions that can help governments and societies to tackle the problem. The Greek PM later held a special event with COP 28’s President Sultan al-Jaber at the pavilion, where he announced that the next GR-Eco Island initiative will be run on Poros island, fueled by a partnership with Masdar/Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD). The President expressed his pleasure to be part of the project and the two Parties concluded the session with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding related to the project.

In his opening address at the pavilion, the PM noted that he has been attending COP conferences since 2007 and highlighted that while there is great work being done by technocrats as they negotiate over legally binding agreements, the “coming together” of the various stakeholders through the side events is also very important, sometimes more interesting. He also expressed his pride over Greece’s accomplishments in reducing emissions.

The Prime Minister promised that the Greek pavilion has many events in store that aim to advance discussions on climate action, particularly related to green shipping and carbon capture. He closed his remarks with statements that Greece will continue to work on adaptation and mitigation measures, and will continue to explore how technology can be implemented to accelerate systemic transformation.

The Greek pavilion is significant for Greece because it highlights the country’s climate agenda, best practices and projects while exploring different challenges through multisectoral and multistakeholder panels and events that will run from today December 1 until December 10.  The program has been put together by the Greek Ministry of Environment, in coordination with other Greek ministries, and primarily focus on the latest developments in green energy and climate action, as well as related best practices.

The advent of a Greek pavilion this year, for the first time, can be seen as a strategic step indicative of Greece’s ambition to be a key player in the Eastern Mediterranean’s energy sector and in the green transition. Many events will be livestreamed through the pavilion’s dedicated feed.

In reference to the 2024 Our Ocean Conference, Greece was announced last year as its host. The event is an initiative of the US Department of State and started in 2014. The Our Ocean Conference will be held in Athens at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center on the 16th and 17th of April and aims to draw attention to the critical role that healthy oceans play in ensuring the sustainability of life on our planet. The six areas of priority to be explored are: marine protected areas, sustainable blue economy, the climate-ocean nexus, maritime security, sustainable fisheries and marine pollution.

The GR-Eco Islands initiative embraces the green and digital transition to transform the Greece’s islands to climate neutrality. The strategic framework for the initiative was made possible through the passing of Greece’s National Climate Law (Law 4936/2022). At the Pavilion today, the PM signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Masdar/Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) to transform Poros island into the “The next Green-Smart Island” project and outlined the many projects related to the holistic transformation of the island.

This year’s COP boasts 188 pavilions and over 70,000 attendees and was kicked off yesterday, November 30, through remarks by COP 28 President Sultan al-Jaber.