President Anastasiades pledges over 500m euros and regional synergies on climate action during COP26 address

The President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has used his National Statement during the plenary of the COP26 UN climate summit in Glasgow to set out his government’s action plan to tackle climate change.

President Anastasiades noted that the world needs to strengthen the efforts to fulfil the promises already made, as, despite them, “there is no sign that we are growing back greener, since not only planetary warming is accelerating, but we are witnessing around the globe protracted heat waves, devastating fires and deforestation, increased water scarcity, droughts, floods and extreme weather patterns.”

He said that COP26 could and should prove to be the “historic milestone” in the efforts to address the said devastating impacts.

In this regard, he added, Cyprus fully endorses and supports the initiatives and declarations of COP26 on halting deforestation, on the transition to coal-free power, on accelerating transition to 100% zero emission cars, as well as the US initiative on methane use.

President Anastasiades added that Cyprus also remains fully committed to take all necessary measures so as to achieve the Paris Agreement and the EU targets, with the aim of achieving a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050.

“To this end, and as a first step in accomplishing these ambitious but highly-needed goals, my country will allocate more than 500 million euro up until 2026, adopting new policies and measures as regards using cleaner fuels – such as natural gas and renewable energy sources – and promoting necessary investments in the relevant areas of Transport, Agriculture, Industry, Land Use and Forestry and Waste Management,” said the President of the Republic.

“As a small country,” he went on to say, “we do acknowledge that our national contribution towards tackling the impacts of climate change is indeed limited. We, therefore, seek to enhance regional cooperation through coordinated synergies and sharing best practices, taking into account that the Mediterranean and Middle East is classified as a global ‘climate change hot-spot’.”

As he explained, within this framework, Cyprus has undertaken the initiative of developing a Regional Action Plan, with the involvement of more than 240 scientists from the wider region, as well as various international organisations, who are already preparing policy recommendations, measures and specific solutions.

He added that once the the scientific part of the Action Plan has been finalised, Cyprus will hold a Ministerial Meeting and a Leaders’ Summit that will initiate appropriate coordination and monitoring mechanisms for the implementation of the commitments.

“We are compelled, and people expect from us, to take on urgent action to address climate change and I am certain that you will agree with me that the time to act is upon us. Our vision should be none other than to look to the future with optimism and to use the climate challenge as an opportunity to proudly demonstrate what all countries, what humanity can achieve when we join forces. I have no doubt that by decisively cooperating and acting together, with unity and greater urgency, we will be able to overcome the dire consequences of a warming planet and bring forward the necessary changes for a sustainable future,” President Anastasiades concluded.

Source: Cyprus News Agency