Implementation of Green Deal a challenge for Cyprus, says Foreign Minister at the Cyprus Forum

The implementation of the European Green Deal is a challenge for Cyprus, Foreign Minister, Nikos Christodoulides, has said, pointing out that Cyprus is cooperating with countries in the region to mitigate the effects of climate change.

In his speech at the Cyprus Forum, at the panel on “Cyprus and the Mediterranean: New Realities, the Green Agreement, a Connected Mediterranean”, the Foreign Minister said that the central theme of the recent EUMED 9 Summit in Athens was climate change and its effects on the Mediterranean, noting that the need for future coordinated action to address weaknesses was recognized, especially due to the limited connectivity between the Mediterranean and mainland Europe.

“It is true that it will be a great challenge for Cyprus to be able to meet the new commitments arising from the implementation of the European Green Deal, because our particularities as a country – and here I focus mainly on our isolated energy system – are significant limiting factors that make the whole effort difficult,” he said.

However, he noted that despite the difficulties, the implementation of the Green Deal – at least for the EU member states – is a one-way street. “The sooner we realize this, the sooner we will be able to understand that the challenge that certainly exists, is an opportunity that can lead us to redesign policies and measures based on new data,”.he added

Christodoulides referred to Cyprus initiatives for immediate actions and mitigation of the effects of climate change, especially in the Eastern Mediterranean region, aiming as he said, to prepare in cooperation with the countries of the region, a Regional Action Plan for achieving the goals set by the Paris Agreement.

In this context, he noted, an important milestone is the organization of the 2nd International Conference on Climate Change in the Mediterranean and the Middle East “Challenges and Solutions” which will take place on October 13-15, in Cyprus.

He also referred to the establishment of the Tripartite Cooperation Mechanisms with Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and the UAE  and the efforts to exploit energy reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean region as a means of economic development, security, stability and peace.

Christodoulides pointed out that the steady steps of Cyprus for the exploitation of the hydrocarbons that are estimated to be located in the Cypriot EEZ and in the Eastern Mediterranean in general aim at gradually making the region an important alternative energy corridor for the EU in order to reduce its dependence from its traditional and highly polluting power sources.

He added that Cyprus, with its regional action in the field of energy, promotes European policies and standards in its relations with third countries in the region, including the goal of the energy transition. The intention of Cyprus, said the Foreign Minister, is for actions related to the energy transition to be promoted within the European Mediterranean Gas Forum, especially during the Presidency of Cyprus in 2022.

Speaking before the same forum President of the House of Representatives, Annita Demetriou, said that the Conference on the Future of Europe is an excellent opportunity to listen to the concerns and expectations of citizens, and in particular young people, about key issues that concern them, such as climate change and green transitions, employment, state of justice, immigration and digital transformation.

Addressing the “Cyprus Forum” panel, entitled “Putting on track a new sustainable horizon for Cyprus 2040”, Demetriou said that it was an excellent opportunity to think about the future we want for Europe.

 “The most important lesson we have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is the need for more solidarity, cooperation and synergy,” she said.

In the same discussion European Commission’s Vice President Margaritis Schinas said that he will soon pay an official visit to Cyprus for discussions throughout his portfolio which has to do with promoting the European way of life.

Schinas spoke about a new, modern, different, sustainable Cyprus that plays a central role in regional peace and prosperity and in all EU processes in general. “It is a common goal to strengthen this role in the years to come”, he said.

He pointed out that a key anchor in the European future of Cyprus will obviously be the new European fiscal tool, Next Generation EU, with total resources of 750 billion and the newly established facility for recovery and resilience. The 1.2 billion euros allocated to Cyprus from this fund, he said, will be channeled for investments and reforms in 5 key areas, which will, as he said, make a difference, based on the national plan `Cyprus, tomorrow` approved last July by the Commission.


About the author

Related Post

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *