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Food waste top of agenda for joint House, parallel parliament group

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Food waste, the formation of a strategic plan for energy and the climate are top of the agenda for the House environment committee and the ‘parallel parliament’ for the environment, heads George Loucaides and Dinos Nicolaides announced on Wednesday.

The so-called parallel parliament for the environment operates alongside five other parallel parliaments, established by a House initiative a year and a half ago to encourage the public to interact with legislative action, head Dinos Nicolaides explained.

Parallel parliaments are part of the UN secretary-general’s goals to improve quality of life and eradicate poverty. The public, organised groups and others are encouraged to identify issues that need to be addressed by MPs and offer recommendations for tackling them. The parallel parliament on the environment deals with ecology, sustainability and health.

A “useful and constructive” meeting took place on Tuesday, Loucaides said, where it was agreed that the House environment committee will use the expertise and studies of the parallel parliament and give the latter space to discuss new bills, draft laws and other issues.

During the meeting, the House environment committee listened to suggestions and views on important environmental issues concerning Cyprus with a particular focus on food waste.

The parallel parliament for the environment prepared ten proposals which passed through a House plenary session and were forwarded to the relevant ministries and committees., Nicolaides said.

Nicolaides referred to EU research showing that a billion tonnes of food are wasted and thrown away while millions of people and children around the world continue to go hungry.

In Cyprus, 40 per cent of rubbish is organic matter (food), which is disruptive to the economy and the food supply chain on top of causing problems with waste management, Nicolaides said.

He went on to say that a strategic plan for energy and the climate was also discussed, saying it needs to be updated to reflect the new targets set from 2020 to 2027.

The EU had set a target of reducing gas emissions by 55 per cent by 2030, with the big target of a pollution-free and climate-neutral Europe by 2050 to avert a climate crisis, he said.

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