The national target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is expected to be around 24% from 2005 levels by 2030 in line with EU targets, President Nicos Anastasiades has said.
In a message read out by Agricultire Minister Nicos Kouyialis at a ceremony for Earth Hour on Saturday night at the presidential palace, Anastasiades – who is currently in Rome – said that in order to achieve the emissions goal, changes would be required mainly in the sector of energy with the penetration of cleaner fuels such as natural gas, the promotion of appropriate policies and measures to further save energy, and the use of more renewable energy sources.
The reduction of emissions in the transport sector also constituted an important challenge, he said.
Currently, the sector accounts for about 25% of all emissions in Cyprus. At the same time the relevant policies and measures from other sectors, such as agriculture, industry, land use and forestry and waste management need to be reviewed, he added.
“Despite the ambitious target to be undertaken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for Cyprus we are optimistic that by developing and implementing the appropriate policies and measures that have already decided, we’ll achieve that goal,” he said.
“Simultaneously we are working towards decreasing our dependency on fossil fuels imports, thus enhancing our competitiveness, creating new jobs and transiting to a low carbon economy.”
According to a paper by Theodoros Zachariadis, from the Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Cyprus University of Technology which said that due to the economic downturn since 2013, energy demand had dropped in recent years, so that carbon emissions have also declined. As a result, a 5% reduction in year 2020 was probable, it said. “The outlook is different, however, until 2030. If an economic rebound occurs in the next years, as expected by the national government and international organisations, energy use will most likely grow in line with economic activity, even despite EU-wide energy efficiency legislation. Therefore, the -22% emissions target is very difficult to achieve under a ‘business as usual’ evolution in the way that energy is used in Cyprus.”
Anastasaides in his speech said plans have been established and are being applied regarding greenhouse gas emission reduction and adaptation; effective liquid and solid waste management; protection of water resources; maintaining and enhancing biodiversity; enhancement of resource efficiency; transition towards green economy and green labour market and the integration of environmental dimension into developing activities.
Additionally, Cyprus has included in its energy balance the “clean and green energy”. “Green economy” is promoted through appropriate schemes in order to encourage the use of renewable energy sources and energy savings and the proper management of all waste streams, Anastasiades said.
Cyprus is also simultaneously planning and implementing a comprehensive policy for tackling climate change through the introduction of best available techniques in industry; the intensification of controls and inspections and the expansion of public transportation, he added.