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OECD report flags up climate change, water and wastewater challenges faced by Greece

The latest OECD Environmental Performance Reviews for Greece 2020 says the country faces challenges in managing waste and water and is highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change.

According to the OECD, despite being “generously endowed” with freshwater resources, scarcity issues expected to intensify with climate change.  Key challenges include freshwater abstraction levels which are high due to irrigation. Agricultural use of fertilisers, pesticides and water has increased in recent years, while wastewater is not adequately treated in many agglomerations.

The OECD also says that ensuring that prices cover supply costs and reflect scarcity, coupled with effective agri‑environmental measures, would support sustainable water management. According to the report, water charges do not fully reflect fi nancial, environmental and resource costs.

Commenting on social tariffs, which are aimed at improving the affordability of electricity and water services. The report says they have not been effective in targeting the poorest and they reduce investment capacity and direct payments not linked to energy or water use, could help address social concerns and promote more effi cient resource use.

Other recommendations in the report include:

Trends in water abstraction and quality should be better assessed to address pressures from diffuse pollution and irrigation.

Improve urban wastewater treatment in line with EU requirements.

The report is the third Environmental Performance Review for Greece produced by the OECD which published two earlier reports in 2000 and 2009.

It evaluates progress towards sustainable development and green growth, with special features on climate change mitigation and adaptation, and biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.

Click here to read the report in full online


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