House Environment Committee raises the alarm over climate change

The House of Representatives Committee on Environment raised the alarm about climate change, on Wednesday, during a special session held on the occasion of the World Environment Day, on 5 June, this year focusing on beating plastic pollution.

The meeting was addressed by the President of the House of Representatives Demetris Syllouris, Minister of Environment Costas Kades and Commissioner for the Environment Ioanna Panayiotou.

Syllouris stressed that climate change constitutes a global challenge and a threat for the environment and development, leading to a change of weather conditions, sea level rise and more extreme weather events. These effects are becoming particularly visible in our country, and we must take measures immediately to prevent their negative consequences, especially taking into account the small size of our country, resulting in even more serious consequences.

Plastic waste, he noted, is a serious problem that everyone should be concerned about.

Cyprus, a small country that hosts many tourists every year and uses many plastic products, must take the initiative to reduce the use of plastic waste, according to Syllouris.

Environment Minister Costas Kades noted that the negative effects of plastics on marine life are serious and substantial in the case of Cyprus, adding that the Mediterranean Sea, a semi-closed sea, is particularly vulnerable to marine litter.

To achieve the desired goal of reducing and properly managing waste we have begun working systematically said the Minister, recalling that a special committee of experts has been set up to examine specific measures.

Kades said that Cyprus has to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 24% until 2030, which requires many changes in the energy sector and other sectors as well. For Cyprus to fulfil its obligations a national plan will be developed in 2018, he added.

He also underlined the need to take measures to adapt to climate change, recalling that recently Cyprus has experienced protracted droughts and severe weather phenomena.

Climate change affects the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean more than any other region of the planet, said Environment Commissioner Ioanna Panayiotou, who stressed the importance of raising awareness among citizens.

Source: Cyprus News Agency