Cyprus is implementing a comprehensive policy to tackle climate change, President says

Cyprus is in full compliance with its obligations arising from active participation in international organisations and is also planning and implementing a comprehensive policy to tackle climate change, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Saturday evening.

In a speech delivered by Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Nicos Kouyialis, at an event to mark “Earth Hour” hosted at the Presidential Palace, Anastasiades noted that the national target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is expected to be around 24% from 2005 levels.

“It is estimated that in order to achieve this new goal, changes will be required mainly in the sector of energy with the penetration of cleaner fuels such as natural gas, the promotion of appropriate policies and measures to further save energy and the penetration of renewable energy sources,” he said.

The reduction of emissions in the transport sector, he noted, “constitutes an important challenge. Currently, the sector accounts for about 25% of all emissions in Cyprus. At the same time the relevant policies and measures from other sectors, such as agriculture, industry, land use and forestry and waste management need to be reviewed.”

Anastasiades said that “despite the ambitious target to be undertaken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for Cyprus we are optimistic that by developing and implementing the appropriate policies and measures that have already decided, we’ll achieve that goal.”

“Simultaneously we work towards decreasing our dependency on fossil fuels imports, thus enhancing our competitiveness, creating new jobs and transiting to a low carbon economy,” he added, according to an official press release, noting that “moreover, through the new climate and energy framework of the European Union, appropriate financial tools can be utilized, which will support the implementation of relevant policies and measures.”

At the same time, he said, Cyprus implements policies and measures that combine economic growth and environmental protection. “In this respect Cyprus applies policies incorporated horizontally into economic activities,” he noted.

The President said that in particular, coherent plans have been established and are applied regarding greenhouse gas emission reduction and adaptation, effective liquid and solid waste management, protection of water resources, maintaining and enhancing biodiversity, enhancement of resource efficiency, transition towards green economy and green labor market and the integration of environmental dimension into developing activities.

Additionally, Anastasiades said, Cyprus has included in its energy balance the “clean and green energy”. “Green economy” is promoted through appropriate schemes in order to encourage the use of renewable energy sources and energy savings and the proper management of all waste streams.

Anastasiades also said that Cyprus has introduced the best available techniques in industry, has intensified controls and inspections and has expanded Public Transportation.

“Our willingness to take urgent action against climate change for the protection of our countrys natural capital is demonstrated once again as we symbolically turn off the lights for an hour and add our voices to the millions of people from around the world for a cleaner, sustainable and green economic activity and efficiency of our resources,” he noted.

Anastasiades stressed that “we have to act without further delay, and take effective measures against climate change, for the protection of our natural environment. It is our duty and responsibility to preserve the natural resources of our planet so that future generations can enjoy a healthy environment and a better quality of life,” he noted.

To make this feasible, he added, “we need to act immediately and implement the necessary policies and measures to ensure that the challenge of climate change is manageable and reversible. Our efforts should be organized, coordinated and collective on a local, regional, national and international level. It is essential for all institutions, political and social, to commit in the reduction of global warming.”

Source: Cyprus News Agency