The EU is supporting Cyprus in a number of ways to tackle the impact of climate change, EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete has said.
He was responding to a question submitted to the European Commission by Cypriot MEP Costas Mavrides on whether the EC was aware of the magnitude of climate change in Cyprus and whether there are studies to examine the size of the problem.
The Diko MEP told the EC that the first evidence of the impact of climate change is already visible in Cyprus from the intensity and frequency of natural disasters and phenomena such as heatwaves, fires, coastal erosion and increased dust in the atmosphere. These phenomena are expected to increase in the coming years, Mavrides said.
In response, Cañete said on behalf of the European Commission that the European Environment Agency has estimated that the damage caused by extreme weather and climate in Cyprus between 1980 and 2016 amounts to approximately €390m, while only two per cent of these losses were insured.
More recent results show that the Mediterranean climate of Cyprus will become drier, especially if the goal of the Paris agreement to maintain global warming this century well below two degrees Celsius is not achieved, he said. But even if global temperatures rise by only two degrees C, he said, Cyprus could have effects such as water scarcity while coastal damage could amount to about €9m per year by 2050.
In order to meet these challenges, the EU supported the preparation of a national strategy for adaptation to climate change in Cyprus through the LIFE-Cypadapt project, the commissioner said. He added that two additional LIFE projects currently provide support for the protection of public health and urban communities from climate impact in Cyprus. The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action.
The Common Agricultural Policy also supports adaptation to climate change, mitigation and relative management of risks in agriculture through the systems and measures available under the direct aid, the common organisation of agricultural markets and the Cyprus rural development programme for the period between 2014 and 2020.