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02-02-2022 11:04

Opening statement by the President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, at the virtual Ministerial Meeting for Climate Change

Honourable Ministers,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all at today’s “Ministerial Meeting for the Climate Change in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East Initiative”, organised and hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture.  

The participation today of so many renowned scientists and eminent policy makers from our immediate region, is a testament, not only of the magnitude of the threat posed by the climate crisis, but also of our readiness to coordinate synergies and share best practices.

A region, which is classified as a “hot-spot”, with our countries being vulnerable to the climate crisis, already witnessing its catastrophic effects on agriculture, public health, tourism, ecosystem development and water supplies, disrupting in this way our economies and everyday lives. 

Bearing in mind the necessity to act on the current climate emergency in a collective manner, as well as the fact that scientific predictions denote that the overall situation is expected to worsen in the years ahead, my Government took the initiative to coordinate a regional response to this challenge.    

In the context of the said Initiative, the Ministry of Agriculture and my personal envoy for climate change, Professor Kostas Papanicolas, coordinated the work of 13 Regional Task Forces, with the participation of more than 240 scientists from our wider region, for the preparation and submission of specific proposals and solutions. Solutions that are scientifically sound, technologically mature and cost effective.

In this respect, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to all the scientists and experts involved in this project on a voluntarily basis.

Your assessments and policy recommendations provide the solid foundation for the Initiative’s 2nd phase, starting with the development of a comprehensive Regional Action Plan, the effective implementation of which will eventually enable our countries to:

  1. Advance actions aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adjust to the devastating impact of Climate Change.
  2. Initiate appropriate mechanisms for more competitive and resilient economies through the transition to renewable and cleaner energy.
  3. Enhance access of financial mechanisms and instruments associated to Climate Change.
  4. Bring forth incentives to businesses and industries with the aim to adapt and switch to green and sustainable technologies.
  5. Create new green jobs and opportunities.    

Having said that, we do hope that the European Union, as well as other regional and international organisations, will support in several ways our Initiative.

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In addition to our concerted efforts to avert the climate challenges at regional level, Cyprus remains fully committed in advancing multiple policies to fulfil the Paris Agreement’s goals, and to implement our commitments at EU level and help achieve its ambitious targets.

To this end, my Government has decided to allocate 41% of our National Resilience and Recovery Plan, which translates to more than 500 million euro for the period up until 2026, for measures introducing cleaner fuels and contributing to Cyprus’ green transition.

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Climate Change is affecting every country, every region, every continent and can only be tackled if we collectively act, plan ahead for the next generations and create together the future we all aspire to live in.

In closing, I would like to express my great appreciation to the Minister of Agriculture Mr. Costas Kadis and my personal envoy on climate change, Professor Papanicolas, for their important work and for hosting today’s virtual meeting, as well as to extend my best wishes to all the participants for most productive deliberations.

I very much look forward to welcoming you to Cyprus next June for the 2nd Ministerial Meeting, during which we hope to finalise the framework of the Regional Action Plan and agree on the mechanisms of its implementation.

Thank you for your attention.