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EY Cyprus hosts seminar on sustainability, green taxes

EY Cyprus hosts seminar on sustainability, green taxes impact

As Cyprus prepares to take up the EY logoPresidency of the Council of the EU in January 2026, the EY Academy of Learning and Development organised a recent seminar on the expected impact of sustainability and green taxes on businesses worldwide.

The event aimed to educate businesses about the implications of EU compliance requirements and fiscal levies on both local and international entities, particularly in relation to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria and sustainability initiatives.

During the event, discussions centred on the aftermath of COP28 and January 2024 Davos Economic Forum, with an emphasis on environmental measures’ neutrality and the next steps regarding Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, including carbon-credit generation and potential benefits for Cyprus.

Distinguished speakers included:

  • Marilena Raouna, Deputy Minister of European Affairs, Republic of Cyprus
  • Shawn Maher, EY Global Vice Chair, Public Policy, Obama Administration Senior Advisor (view his remotely-delivered message here)
  • Kasia Klaczynska Lewis, Partner, EY Poland, EU Green Deal

The agenda covered a range of topics, including:

  • CSRD Reporting and Sustainable Finance
  • Cyprus’ role in shaping EU sustainability policy
  • EU Tax Policy Tools affecting global trade
  • Cyprus Tax Reform and its green initiatives

“Sustainability issues will remain high on the agenda for the coming years and will continue to affect all business sectors globally and in Cyprus,” noted Stavros Violaris, Partner, Sustainability Leader, EY Cyprus.

“Understanding the challenges of the green transition and developing the skills and capabilities to harness the opportunities ahead is critical for organisations and professionals in Cyprus,” he continued. “It is, therefore, natural the EY Academy should focus on this issue, especially in view of the forthcoming Cyprus Presidency of the EU Council.”

For his part, Simos Simou, Senior Manager, Environmental Tax Controversy Leader, pointed out that: “at this point in time, organisations need to environmentally comply (DECARBONISE) or explain (PAY TAXES)”.

Acknowledging the scale of the challenge, Shawn Maher, EY Global Vice Chair, Public Policy, Obama Administration Senior Advisor observed that: “the question is whether these actions will meet the moment and steer our world off its current path of climate ruin onto a path of recovery and restoration”.

In her own presentation, Kasia Klaczynska Lewis, Partner, EY Poland EU Green Deal, reminded that: “in today’s world, embracing sustainability translates into a competitive advantage”.

Panos Choutris, Senior Manager, Climate Change & Sustainability Services, stressed that: “gaining early insights into a company’s current sustainability status can facilitate a smoother transition towards more sustainable practices in the future”.

Meanwhile, Constantina Charalambidou, Senior Manager, Financial Accounting Advisory Services, made reference to the fact that: “Corporate Reporting evolves in times of change and uncertainty. To meet the growing demand for sustainability information from regulatory authorities and stakeholders, businesses will need to adapt their reporting processes, ensure compliance with the new standards, strengthen data management, and combine financial and sustainability reporting into a coherent corporate report”.

Finally, Christine E Kowal, Director, EY Academy of Learning and Development, commented on the significance of the seminar for EY in particular. “In light of Cyprus taking a leadership role in the EU sustainability agenda, we are very excited and proud to host this important event for our clients and key stakeholders across the region,” she said.

Ultimately, the seminar provided invaluable insights into the evolving landscape of sustainability and green taxes, offering practical considerations for businesses aiming to navigate such challenges effectively. Among the live-stream and video-on-demand audience were high-ranking executives from international groups, academia, public authorities and professional associations from over 100 countries.

View a video clip from the conducted session.

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