The Board of Directors of EuroCommerce in Greece – Co-organization with ESEE of the Workshop for the “Race to Zero” Campaign

The steps to achieve in our country the goals set by the global business community in the Retail sector for the drastic reduction of carbon emissions were discussed at the Workshop co-organized in Athens on Monday, October 10, by ESEE and EuroCommerce, as part of the Campaign Race to Zero. The campaign is organized within the framework of the actions of the United Nations and specifically under the direction of the group UN High–Level Champions for Climate Action to create a coalition of initiatives from the global business community for zero carbon emissions by 2050 following the Agreement of Paris. It is supported by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and businesses, foundations, and agencies in over 120 countries.

Especially in the field of Retail, it aims to create a global movement that will be aligned with the goals of limiting the increase in temperature to 1.5°C degrees compared to pre-industrial levels by 2030 to reach zero carbon emissions (Net Zero). , by 2050. Major retailers worldwide and many Retail trade unions have already committed to these goals.

The Workshop was graced by the participation of the Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy, Mr. Giorgos Amyras, and the General Secretary of Natural Environment and Water, Mr. Petros Varelidis. In his greeting, Mr. Amyras emphasized:

“The Hellenic Confederation of Commerce & Entrepreneurship, as an active member of EuroCommerce, participates in the great initiative regarding the climate crisis and the ways to deal with it. “Race to Zero” goes hand in hand with the effort of Greek society to decarbonize the country’s economy by 2050. Through the National Climate Law, Greece’s commitments to the EU, its environmental reforms, and the ongoing fight to protect biodiversity are at the forefront of the “climate fight.” Trade in all its aspects, transport, raw materials, energy needs, consumption habits, etc., is a critical link in the environmental chain that must not be broken. Warm congratulations to the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce & Entrepreneurship”.

The General Manager of EuroCommerce, Ms. Christel Delberghe, noted:

“We are very grateful to our Greek member organization, ESEE, and the UN Retail Race to Zero campaign team for organizing a beneficial workshop with our Board of Directors regarding the discussion on how European retail and wholesale trade associations can help their member businesses contribute to reducing carbon emissions. The trade sector is in a key position in the supply chain to address the challenges of climate change but has a limited direct impact on carbon emissions. More collaboration within the industry and with our supply chain partners will be key to success.”

The President of ESEE, Mr. Giorgos Karanikas, stated:

“It is with great pleasure and honor that ESEE hosted in our country the Board of Directors of EuroCommerce, the leading European employer organization in the field of Commerce—with the joint organization in Athens of the exciting Workshop for the “Race to Zero” Campaign, which is supported by the United Nations Organization, Eurocommerce, and ESEE highlighted the importance of the contribution of all commercial enterprises to the reduction of global warming. At a critical juncture where – despite major economic and geopolitical challenges – the concept of Sustainability is shaping the new global social and consumer consciousness, constituting for millions of citizens a key criterion for their purchases, Retail can and must play an important role in achieving zero carbon emissions. We invite all our members, to the best of their ability, to contribute to a sustainable future for all. The Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship, as a full member of Eurocommerce, actively participates in the co-shaping of the positions of the European Retail Trade, on the one hand by conveying to international forums the concerns and requests of Greek commercial enterprises, on the other hand by informing Greek commercial enterprises about the global developments that they make up the present and the future of the commercial sector”.

During their stay in Athens, the members of the Board of Directors of EuroCommerce were guided by ESEE executives to the central commercial market of Athens, where they had the opportunity to learn about the current state of commercial enterprises, the positive synergies between tourism and the Retail trade and, above all, for the negative consequences of increased energy costs and inflation on the turnover of commercial SMEs.