A strategic perspective towards a climate resilient and inclusive future for European cities and regions
14. September 9:15 - 10:30
European cities and regions have recently experienced extreme climate events and natural disasters, occurring simultaneously in various countries. The summer of 2022 especially has proved to be quite unpredictable when it comes to climate events and their cascading effects. This is happening, while in parallel, the European Union is putting the Mission for Adaptation and Societal Transformation in practice, aiming to prepare European cities, regions and communities to face climate change impacts by indicating strategies to enhance adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience, and reduce their vulnerability.
The opening plenary will look into the recent EU policy developments and in particular the Mission for Climate Adaptation and Societal Transformation and will offer insights from European cities that have been pioneers in adaptation and resilience planning, and which will share on their plans to contribute in making Europe climate resilient by 2030. The session will look into both the challenges cities are facing and the solutions that have proven to be cost-effective and easily replicable in other contexts. The session welcomes speakers from Athens, Paris, London and Valencia and Athens together with representatives from the Committee of the Regions and the Region of Attica.
Head of the General Directorate of Sustainable Development and Climate Change, Region of Attica
Argyro Paraskevopoulou, Head of the General Directorate of Sustainable Development and Climate Change, Region of Attica
Environmental Physicist, General Director for Sustainable Development & Climate Change of Attica Region. She holds a PhD in the field of Diffusion Models for Atmospheric Pollutants at the Department of Geophysics of Pierre-and-Marie-Curie University (Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie), also known as the University of Paris VI (Paris 6). Till 2018 was the director of the Environment & Climate Change and among her duties was to express and/or adopt opinion over Environmental Impact Studies, environmental monitoring, and inspection of implementation and enforcement of environment legislation. She is, also, the scientific coordinator in European projects concerning environmental issues as well as climate change adaptation and mitigation. She has been a member of Advisory Boards in European projects and participates in meetings of CPMR’s Task Force for the Climate representing Region of Attica.
Mayor of the Municipality of Kallithea
Dimitrios Karnavos, Mayor of the Municipality of Kallithea
Dimitrios Karnavos, holds an MSc in Sustainable and Local Development and he is an Economics BSc graduate. He has a license on Category 27 (Environmental Studies). He has been the Mayor of Kallithea, Attica Region, Greece, since 2014. He also is the second Vice-President of the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece, Vice President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), which is the "official voice" of Local Governments in the European Union, a Member of the Commission for Environment, Climate Change and Energy (ENVE), as well as a Member of the Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy and EU Budget (COTER). He was the rapporteur general on the 8th Environment Action Plan of the European Union, which was approved by an overwhelming majority. This Program, like all the previous ones, will guide the formulation of the EU environmental policy.
Deputy Mayor in the Valencia City Council and councilor of Integral Water Cycle, Transparency and Citizen Participation Councillorships, Valencia City Council and EMSHI
Elisa Valía Cotanda, Deputy Mayor in the Valencia City Council and councilor of Integral Water Cycle, Transparency and Citizen Participation Councillorships, Valencia City Council and EMSHI
Elisa Valía Cotanda is an architecture and has a Master's Degree in European Law. She has worked for almost a decade in the definition and study of European Public policies. Nowadays, she is deputy mayor in the Valencia City Council and she is the councilor of Integral Water Cycle, Transparency and Citizen Participation Councillorships.
Moreover, she is the president of the metropolitan public entity responsible for the supply of drinking water in Valencia and its metropolitan area (EMSHI) for 1,7 inhabitants.
Vice Mayor for Urban and Buildings' Infrastructure and City Planning of the City of Athens.
Vasileios-Foivos Axiotis, Vice Mayor for Urban and Buildings' Infrastructure and City Planning, City of Athens
Vasileios-Foivos Axiotis is Vice Mayor for Urban and Buildings' Infrastructure and City Planning of the City of Athens.
At the same time he is active in the construction industry.
He is a graduate of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) School of Civil Engineering and holds a Master's degree from Columbia University The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science in New York and the Harvard Business School in Boston.
Deputy Mayor, City of Paris
Pénélope Komites, Deputy Mayor, City of Paris
Deputy Regional Director - Sustainable Resources, Climate & Resilience, ICLEI European Secretariat
Holger Robrecht, Deputy Regional Director - Sustainable Resources, Climate & Resilience, ICLEI European Secretariat
Holger joined ICLEI in 1997. He holds a Diploma in spatial planning and is member of ICLEI’s Board of Directors, and leads ICLEI´s Sustainable Resources, Climate & Resilience team. Holger holds more than 25 years of experience in local environmental and sustainability management and planning, project development and co-ordination, team supervision as well as guidance and training. He developed, supervised and coordinated international and European projects including on urban resilience, climate adaptation, nature-based solutions and green infrastructures through various research projects and engaged with studies such as the European Environment Agency’s report on ‘Urban adaptation to climate change in Europe 2016’ and the ‘EKLIPSE Impact Evaluation Framework’.