Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has given an update on the progress of a revolutionary program for addressing climate change. The “Astypalea: Smart & Sustainable Island” project is moving forward as an experiment on how to shift Greece into a more circular economy.
According to Mitsotakis, it’s imperative that Greece take advantage of the benefits of green mobility and other paradigm movements toward more sustainable growth. Launched a year ago, the Astypalea: Smart & Sustainable Island project is a five-year program that should improve the standard of living on Astypalea, while creating a dynamic model for expanding the program to other Greek islands.
Volkswagen Group partnered with the Greek government to help develop the project for transforming Astypalea, particularly the implementation of more electric transport. About 1,300 people live on Astypalea, but something like 70,000 tourists visit the island annually. The people of the island are now committed to showing that it’s possible to have a purely electric public transport system.
Mr. Mitsotakis also visited the island of Rhodes last week, where TUI Group and the TUI Care Foundation penned an agreement to transform the island into turn the island into a model sustainable tourism project. The Rhodes Co-Lab – Sustainable Tourism Destination project, which was announced back in January, is the largest project ever conceived of for an island of such size.
Recent studies show that over 50% of Greeks are concerned that climate change is a real threat not just to Greeks, but to all humanity. However, most are not sure about the micro-impact on local communities. While Mitsotakis and the experts focus on the importance of local production and more sustainable methods, the economics of truly sustainable efforts are still not hardwired into the business of tourism.