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Extensive discussions on climate policies in Cyprus took place during the conference held at the House of Representatives on Friday, June 23.

The discussions revolved around the new package of European legislation measures, Fit For 55, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union by 55% by 2030. In this context, reference was made to the importance of implementing a climate law in Cyprus to successfully and timely achieve these new ambitious goals.

During the conference, the need to strengthen Cyprus’ climate policy was emphasized, with the President of the House, Ms. Annita Dimitriou, highlighting that “we are the last generation that can still act in a timely manner” and that “this decade is the most critical.” She added that the successful implementation of the measures included in the Fit For 55 package relies on the House of Representatives as the legislative body of Cyprus, while also highlighting the need for collective action.

The necessity for implementing drastic climate policies was also confirmed by Dr. Theodoulos Mesimeris, Senior Environment Officer at the Department of Environment, who referred to the Emissions Trading System (ETS), which has become even more ambitious following a recent revision. According to this revision, emissions will be further reduced in all sectors, and from 2027 onward, road transport and buildings will also be included in the ETS, thus significantly limiting greenhouse gas emissions permits from transport fuel consumption and heating. In case the defined limits are exceeded, fines will be imposed. Dr. Mesimeris also pointed out that excessive CO2 emissions in electricity generation alone led to costs of approximately 247 million euros for 2022, due to the purchase of emission allowances from the EU.

Additionally, Ms. Theodota Nantsou, Head of Environmental Policy at WWF Greece and invited collaborator of Terra Cypria, stated that the goal is “zero,” i.e., totally zeroing out CO2 emissions and called for adopting a climate law in Cyprus as a means to achieve this objective. This can be accomplished through the establishment of specific national emission reduction targets (beyond those set by the EU), the creation of an independent scientific body to monitor the progress of climate policies, the enhancement of citizen participation, as well as the adoption of stronger policies for nature.

She specifically highlighted that climate laws have already been implemented in 18 EU Member States, including Greece, making them a powerful tool for democratising environmental policy. In conclusion, Ms. Nantsou urged the attending MPs and ministry officials to seriously consider the possibility of enacting a climate law in Cyprus, reminding them that tackling the climate crisis is a matter of life and death.