Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East Climate Change Initiative
The Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East Climate Change Initiative (EMME-CCI) was initiated in March 2019 by H.E. the President of the Republic of Cyprus and has matured into an ambitious scheme striving to coordinate a concerted effort by the countries of the region to address the climate crisis. A major part of the first phase of the Initiative was carried out by thirteen Scientific Task Forces, which engaged over 240 scientists and experts, primarily from the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (EMME) region, as well as representatives of International Organizations. The Scientific Task Forces were coordinated by the Cyprus Institute under the leadership of Prof. Costas N. Papanicolas, the Advisor and Special Envoy on Climate Change to the President of Cyprus. STeDI-RC faculty and researchers had a leading role in some of these Task Forces, whose thematic focus was largely addressed by expertise available in the various Research Centers and other Departments of the Cyprus Institute.
Scientific Support for the Implementation of the European Green Deal
CyI’s STeDI-RC has become the leading scientific advisor of Cypriot authorities on energy and climate policy issues. In September 2021, CyI signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Finance of Cyprus for the scientific support of the Cypriot government towards the green transition. Professor T. Zachariadis, Interim Director of STeDI-RC, coordinates this project. This is a long-term framework contract to provide continuous scientific support to national authorities on the different socio-economic aspects arising from the implementation of the European Green Deal in Cyprus. The Memorandum has an initial duration of five years with the possibility to be extended until the end of 2029. It provides expert advice to the Ministries of: Finance; Energy, Commerce, and Industry; Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment; and Transport, Communications and Works for designing energy and climate change policy measures in line with the EU decarbonization strategy and assessing the socio-economic impact of these policies. CyI’s work will also inform the Ministry of Finance for assessing progress of Cyprus in the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the medium-term planning of national investments that contribute to this objective.
Policy for Sustainability
The Center is active on the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in national policies. STeDI-RC’s Interim Director T. Zachariadis is a member of the managing team of the European branch of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN Europe), and of the Leadership Council of SDSN Cyprus. In this frame, he has developed a methodology to assess the relevance of public investments for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals; this analysis has been applied for several EU countries and appeared in SDSN’s annual flagship Europe Sustainable Development Report 2021, in the second report of the SDSN Senior Working Group on the European Green Deal that appeared in spring 2022, and in the Lancet COVID-19 Commission's report on the Green Recovery that was published in November 2022.
Support to the city of Limassol in the frame of EU Mission for 100 'Climate Neutral and Smart Cities'
Cities play a crucial role for achieving climate neutrality; although they occupy only 4% of the EU land area, they host 75% of its citizens. In addition, they consume over 65% of global energy and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions. As climate change mitigation is highly dependent on urban action, the EU has decided to support cities in accelerating their green and digital transformation. The EU Mission "Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities" aims to make the participating cities climate neutral and smart by 2030, in areas such as energy, waste management, transport, buildings, etc. with the aim of improving the quality of citizens. The 100 cities will have to develop climate contracts with an overall plan for climate neutrality in areas such as energy, buildings, waste management and transport, along with related investment plans. The Cyprus Institute is the leading scientific advisor to the city of Limassol, the only Cypriot city selected among these 100 cities, for creating an action plan towards achieving climate neutrality.
Behavioral Insights for Green Energy and Mobility Policies
STeDI-RC is the first academic entity in Cyprus to launch a Behavioral Insights (BI) team that can help enhance the effectiveness of public policies. The team, comprising experienced researchers and professionals, is focusing on the improvement of actions like support schemes, awareness campaigns, and policy initiatives by providing recommendations on how to understand and nudge public attitudes towards circular economy, sustainable mobility, and green energy actions.
We are advising authorities like the Office of the Environment Commissioner of Cyprus, Ministries, and municipalities with recommendations tailored to their specific needs.