Only by acting collectively can we avoid the worst consequences of climate change in our region, says Minister Kadis

The message of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (EMME) Climate Change Initiative is that only by acting collectively, decisively and based on sound scientific knowledge can we avoid the worst consequences of climate change in our region, said Tuesday Costas Kadis, Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, during a presentation at an event organized by Cyprus Republic on the sidelines of the COP27 in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt.

Kadis said that the latest scientific predictions are dire and suggest that the region is heating up twice as fast as the rest of the planet and under a “Business as Usual Scenario” the region “may have reached temperatures 5 degrees higher than those at the beginning of the century.”

The Minister said that all EMME countries expressed their willingness to comply with the Paris Agreement however EMME region is lacking a detailed environmental observations and modeling, an adequate mitigation and especially adaptation strategies and coordinated policy actions, sharing of good practices and common projects.

He said that the international Conference on “Climate Change in the Mediterranean and the Middle East”, which took place in Cyprus, in May 2018 was the physical Basis of the regional climate change and suggested that we should act on the sectors of education and outreach. It also touched on the issues of energy, migration, built Environment, tourism and health, water Resources, the Green Economy and Innovation, agriculture and Food Chain, cultural Heritage and Marine Environment/Resources.

Kadis went on to say that the EM?E – Climate Action Plan is ready to come into force and that following three years of intense preparatory work a solid scientific understanding of the nature of the evolving climate crisis has been achieved and actions to mitigate the climate change and ameliorate its impacts have been identified which, he added, form the basis of the Regional Action Plan.

“Today, the leaders of the EMME countries will express their willingness to utilise the outcomes achieved so far”, he noted.

Costas Papanicolas, Advisor to the President of the Republic of Cyprus and Special Envoy on Climate Change said in his presentation that the alarming results for our region are based on the best science currently available and the effects will have world – wide repercussions e.g mass migration.

Papanicolas said that the EMME-CCI Initiative is about understanding and mapping the risks in every sector of the economy and social activity and primarily about planning and implementing measures to ameliorate them.

“It is about concerted actions of the countries of the region to engage in transboundary actions/projects which are necessary to achieve this goal”, he added.

Professor Papanicolas also said that the formidable scientific effort of the previous three years allows to assess the situation in each thematic sector, identify gaps in understanding, research and policy needs and to propose technologically mature and affordable solutions for addressing the impacts of climate change in different sectors.

He said that the EMEE – Climate Action Plan is ready to move into implementation and provides technologically mature and affordable solutions for addressing the impacts of climate change in different sectors.

He also said that the indicative priority areas for the action plan includes detailed modeling of impacts, observation data acquisition and sharing, clean energy at affordable competitive prices. He spoke of the threat to coastal systems due to sea level rise, the city emission reductions, the forest fires prevention and protection, the need for job creation strategy for Green development, solar heat industrial processing, renewable Energy driven Desalination and minimization of Climate Change induced diseases.

Professor Papanicolas also noted that we must have the most detailed and precise modeling, “otherwise planning will be imprecise, possibly wasteful and ineffective.”

He added that measurements, Calibration and Verification of causes (Green House Gas Emissions) are necessary for precise modelling and for gauging the effectiveness of policies and measures. As he noted, current state-of-the-art models do not resolve the urban environment and as a result, temperature projections are underestimated.

He concluded by saying that the Declaration is a major milestone, “possibly of historic significance, however the most challenging, by far, difficulty lies ahead which is the implementation”.

Source: Cyprus News Agency