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Cyprus ‘well below’ EU renewable energy target

virginijus sinkevicius, european commissioner for environment, oceans and fisheries, holds a press conference, in la paz
Virginijus Sinkevicius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries

Cyprus’ contribution to the EU renewable energy target “so far is well below that seen in EU legislation”, EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevicius said on Saturday.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), he added however that the island has taken “significant steps” towards implementing green reforms and investments and added that “there is untapped potential of renewable energy in the country” and that the updated national Recovery and Resilience Plan is an important tool in accelerating its use.

Ahead of his visit to Cyprus on Monday, he commented on Cyprus’ failures in Natura 2000 areas and the EU’s decision to take the country to the EU Court of Justice.

Areas of conservation will not work unless there are appropriate measures applied,” he said.

However, he added that environmental protection and development of tourism should not be contradictory goals.

He also spoke extensively about the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy and how the fishing sector can adapt to meet environmental challenges while also ensuring the livelihood of professionals in the sector.

Sinkevicius also referred to the role that the EU plays in supporting bi-communal cooperation on the environment in Cyprus, through technical support and funding, as well as through projects with an environmental footprint that benefit both sides.

He commented on the need to prevent increased wildfires due to climate change, as well as on reforestation policies, air pollution and ways to deal with the increase of dust storms in Cyprus.

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