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Environment

Cyprus Environmental Movement stages protest ahead of COP26

file photo: children hold placards during a global climate change strike rally in nicosia
Children hold placards during a global climate change strike rally in Nicosia, Cyprus September 27, 2019

The Cyprus Environmental Movement will be staging a protest on October 30 in light of the 26th UN Climate Conference (COP26) which will begin in Glasgow the following day.

“Climate change is a global environmental and developmental challenge, the effects of which have an impact on important sectors, water resources, energy, food production, land availability and, above all, human health,” the NGO said in a statement.

“Our homeland Cyprus, in addition to the consequences of the global environmental crisis, is threatened with desertification, water scarcity and all their consequences”.

The NGO also expressed hopes that during COP26, “world leaders will make better decisions to combat climate change and the environmental crisis,” as the situation is still – but not for long – reversible.

The statement was in support of reducing EU emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030, and reaching neutrality by 2050, “but we demand even more”.

“These measures must not burden the poorest social classes in the name of green growth,” the statement said. “Our goal must be to put the protection of the environment and the interests of the people above the interests of capital and to strive to maximise their profits at all costs.

“We expect the next steps of the international community to be more courageous if the phenomenon of climate change is to be tackled effectively,” it finally said.

Referring to Cyprus specifically, the NGO asked that the government maximise the use of renewable energy sources and limits fossil fuels, promote alternative technology such as electric cars and photovoltaics and protect forests, water, flora and fauna.

“We are unspeakably concerned about the absence of an environmental policy the past eight years, the fragmented implementation of legislation, and the illegal developments putting protected ecosystems at risk”.

Projects and environmental policies must replace the grand statements and unfulfilled commitments that come as a result of the government’s “neoliberal, conservative policies that have no respect for the environment and man,” the statement finally said.

The peaceful protest will begin at 10am on Saturday October 30 at the Ledra-Onasagorou junction by Eleftheria square.

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