Cyprus has initiated discussions with countries participating in a regional climate change initiative to create projects and undertake measures to address the effects of climate change, President Nikos Christodoulides said on Friday during the COP28 summit in Dubai.

During his speech, Christodoulides added that Cyprus will also host the inaugural ministerial meeting of the Commonwealth on oceans.

He emphasised that the seriousness of the situation in relation to the effects of climate change requires global action for quick and effective decisions.

“The magnitude of change in the climate system is due to anthropogenic pollutants that are now at a higher rate than at any time in human history,” he said, adding that states must greatly limit pollutants.

Cyprus, he said, is in the heart of the eastern Mediterranean, an area that is extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change, experiencing these consequences to a greater extent than other regions.

“In recent years we have witnessed greater frequency of fires, droughts, and floods, as well as prolonged periods of extreme heat waves, which have destroyed much of our forests and the extraordinary ecosystem in our region,” he said.

Christodoulides added that the world must act urgently, decisively, and collectively.

The president highlighted the need for regional cooperation between countries to address climate change, citing the 2019 Cyprus initiative focused on climate change in the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East as an example.

“We are now ready to proceed with the implementation of the action plan agreed in the framework of the initiative,” he said.

He added that Cyprus has started a dialogue with the countries that are part of this initiative for the creation of specific projects, as well as for taking actions, to promote the reduction of the effects of climate change.

In conclusion, he emphasised the importance of governments listening to the youth regarding environmental protection, as they represent the future.