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07-06-2022 14:48

2nd Ministerial Meeting of the Cyprus Government Initiative for Coordinating Climate Change Actions in the Eastern Mediterranean & Middle East (EMME) Region

Towards the development of a Regional Climate Action Plan for the EMME

The 2nd Ministerial Meeting of the Cyprus Government Initiative for Coordinating Climate Change Actions in the EMME took place in Lemesos, Cyprus, on 7 June 2022, facilitating discussions for the development of a 10-year Regional Action Plan for urgently-needed climate action in the region. The Meeting precedes an EMME Heads of State Summit due to take place on 25 October 2022, for the ratification and official launching of the initiative.

The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, in his address to the 2nd Ministerial Meeting, delivered on his behalf by the Deputy Minister to the President Mr Kyriacos Koushos, stressed the urgency for coordinated climate action in the EMME region, and restated the commitment of the Republic of Cyprus to help coordinate joint regional efforts for the introduction of measures, structures and mechanisms that can help accelerate progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement, within the framework of the Initiative.

President Anastasiades commended the active involvement of responsible Ministries from governments of countries of the EMME region in the Ministerial Meeting, noting that this shows the region’s commitment to ensuring a safe and sustainable future for its peoples. He also thanked the representatives of other countries and international organizations that participated in the Meeting as Observers, including the EU, Australia, France, the organizers of COP26 Italy and the UK, the US, the Union for the Mediterranean and the International Renewable Energy Agency, for acknowledging and supporting the joint efforts taken by the governments of the EMME region.

In his address, Cyprus Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Mr Costas Kadis, emphasised that what makes this Initiative very special is that it brings together governments, scientists and policymakers. He reminded that the policy recommendations and measures proposed in the Regional Action Plan have been put together by 240 scientists who voluntarily participated in the Scientific Task Forces of the Initiative, with the aim of targeting the specific needs and challenges of the EMME region – which has been recognized as a climate change “hotspot”, and is due to experience Climate Change more intensely and sooner than other regions of the world.

The Ministerial Meeting presented and discussed the first draft of the Regional Climate Action Plan, as it was put together by the Initiative’s Interim Secretariat, which has been assigned to the Cyprus Institute. The Plan proposes possible policy measures, joint projects and actions for Climate Change mitigation and adaptation in the EMME region, based on the scientific findings and recommendations produced by the Initiative’s Scientific Task Forces.

During the Meeting, governance, monitoring and financing mechanisms were also discussed for the successful implementation of the Regional Action Plan, and priorities were set for its finalization. The Regional Action Plan will be revised, based on the inputs of the Ministerial Meeting, ahead of the EMME Heads of State Summit, set for 25 October 2022.

During the Opening of the Ministerial Meeting a one-minute silence was held in memory of Cyprus Minister of Labour, Zeta Emilianidou, who passed away on 6 June.