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Most Cypriots favour higher taxes and Covid-style measures for climate – EIB poll

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Photo: CNA

Some 67 per cent of Cypriots are in favour of stricter government measures tackling climate change, even if this would impose significant changes in people’s lifestyles “similar to those implemented in response to the Covid-19 crisis which would impose changes in human behaviour”, according to a survey conducted by the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The survey, published on Wednesday, also said that  75 per cent of Cypriots “to a greater extent than Europeans in general” were in favour of introducing taxes on products and services that contribute to global warming.

“A strong majority of Cypriots want stricter measures to fight climate change and protect their country from catastrophic consequences,” EIB Vice President Lilyana Pavlova said.

“Cypriots seem to be fully aware of the danger, the necessary solutions and the actions to be taken. The EIB is ready to support and finance actions aimed at combating climate change in Cyprus, a country that is an example of successful green and sustainable development.”

The survey also revealed that 94 per cent of Cypriots believe that climate change is affecting their daily lives, with 83 per cent claiming they are more concerned about the climate emergency than the government.

Those polled also cast doubts on the island’s ambitions for a green transition. Only 35 per cent of people interviewed believe that Cyprus will be able to drastically reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement commitment and a mere 3 per cent said they believe global warming is not caused by human activities.

When asked what energy source the country should rely on to deal with the climate crisis, 73 per cent of Cypriots are in favour of utilising renewable energy sources, whereas only 2 per cent – compared to last year’s 12 per cent – would consider using nuclear energy.

According to a Eurobarometer survey on Tuesday, when asked to say what they consider the two most important issues facing Cyprus at the moment, the economic situation and unemployment (45 per cent) and cost of living (31 per cent) emerged top of the list.

Other replies were immigration (23), crime (8), people and/or businesses leaving the region (6), the education system (23), the environment and climate change (15), health (29), housing (9), transport (4) and other (6).

 

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