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Cyprus joins global events ahead of Paris climate talks

Photo: CNA

Cyprus` Environment Commissioner Ioanna Panayiotou has called for a culture shift towards green development in Cyprus if the country is to achieve its 2020 EU targets on the environment.

Speaking during an event in which climbers scaled the building housing the Ecologists Movement offices in Limassol on Sunday, ahead of the 21st UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris, Panayiotou said: “Adjusting to EU objectives cannot be achieved through scientific and mathematical models but through changes in our culture towards a new culture directed towards green development.”

Panayiotou said Cyprus had made progress in some of the targets such as the use of renewable energy sources in generating power, which has reached 13%.

She added that both the people and the state should promote this culture, if they wanted to take the necessary measures “not only to have a good life but to have a life.”

Cyprus, Papayiotou added, is already facing grave consequences from climate change such as desertification, beach erosion, and water shortage.

“The solution lies in two words: green development,” she said, adding that the exploitation of natural resources should take place with a view to achieving economic growth, while preserving the ecological balance at the same time.

This should be the message and the targets that would lead to a new deal in Paris, she noted, adding that the EU2020 targets, such as a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, securing 20% of energy from renewable energy sources to cover Europe`s needs and 20% increase in energy efficiency throughout Europe by 2020, seem to increase the necessary percentages for the future to reach 30% or 40%. (CNA)

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