The next steps for the Initiative were announced at a Press Conference held at the Presidential Palace. Photo from left to right: President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, Special Envoy of the President and CyI President, Prof. Costas Papanicolas, Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment of the Republic of Cyprus, Dr Costas Kadis, and Perm. Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment, Mr Andreas Gregoriou
The initiative of the Republic of Cyprus for tackling the consequences of climate change in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East (ΕΜΜΕ) region is in the final phase of implementation, emphasised the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, at a press conference held at the Presidential Palace on Thursday 13th of October 2022.
President Anastasiades said that the Initiative was formed back in 2018, following the 1st International Conference for Climate Change in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, organised by The Cyprus Institute. The Conference conclusions indicated that our region is ranked among the most vulnerable on the planet, a climate change “hot-spot”.
“Within this framework, and making the most out of the excellent relations that we have developed with the countries of the region, we have set as target to jointly shape a scientifically valid Regional Action Plan”, noted the President of the Republic. This plan was conducted by a team of more than 240 scientists and technocrats of the entire region under the guidance of The Cyprus Institute, including synergies in 13 Task Forces, with the following aims:
-The reduction of greenhouse gas and carbon emissions.
-The development of actions, policies and projects to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis with a focus on cross-border actions.
-The transition to renewable and cleaner forms of energy.
-The creation of new employment opportunities in green jobs and incentives for green technologies.
President Anastasiades confirmed that the President of Egypt, Fatah al-Sisi, accepted for the Cyprus Initiative to be presented at the upcoming United Nations Global Summit on Climate Change (COP27). At the summit, to be held in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt on November 8, it is expected that a Joint Declaration aimed at implementing the Regional Action Plan and promoting cross-border activities to stop the climate crisis and mitigate its devastating effects, will be approved. President Anastasiades has been invited to co-chair the summit.
“Humanity is at critical crossroads”, the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Development, Dr Costas Kadis stated, pointing out that scientists, policymakers and society must either act now and collectively, or live forever with the consequences of Climate Change. At the same time, he was optimistic that this huge challenge for our region and the entire planet, will be faced effectively, since the foundations of a continued cooperation towards this direction have already been laid.
The Advisor to the President of the Republic of Cyprus on Climate Change, Presidential Special Envoy for Climate Change, and President of The Cyprus Institute, Professor Costas N. Papanicolas, described the Cyprus Initiative as a major challenge of international significance.
This initiative, explained Professor Papanicolas, is not only about understanding the extent and intensity of the effects of the Climate Crisis, but mainly about understanding the risks in every sector of the economy and social activity, along with planning and taking measures to mitigate them.
In order to achieve this goal, Professor Papanicolas indicated that it’s necessary to have the most detailed and accurate modelling on a regional basis, otherwise the planning will be impressive, but non-effective.
On the occasion of the upcoming Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Prof. Papanicolas called everyone to join forces since, as he said, the greatest difficulty lies ahead of us, in the actual implementation of the Regional Action Plan.