Cyprus: Climate Change Initiative for the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East Region

Cyprus Climate Change Initiative

On 22 May 2019, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Cyprus approved the action plan submitted by the Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, regarding the initiative by the President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades to address Climate Change on a regional level.

The initiative will enable Cyprus to assume a coordinating role in the efforts by the countries in the region to tackle climate change and its impacts in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (EMME). All competent authorities will promote this initiative in order to step up cooperation with neighbouring countries and to reserve for Cyprus a coordinating role in curbing climate change and mitigating its consequences for the region.

The Cyprus Institute (CYI) will play a major role in the scientific activities of the initiative, while its president, Prof Costas N. Papanicolas (in photograph with former Prime Minister of France Laurent Fabius, Prof Jeffrey Sachs, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides and Prof Jean Sciare), has recently been appointed as Advisor and Special Envoy of President Anastasiades on Climate Change.

Meetings at the level of Presidents of States are expected to take place in the context of this initiative, and a scientific conference will be set up to map the needs at regional level. Consultations concern individual meetings, scientific task forces, where research on plant phenotyping is expected to have a major role, Heads of State visits and political synergies in order to form real, tangible actions, including the exploitation of best practices to deal with the problem.

The initiative closely follows the results of the successful 2018 Climate Change International Conference that CyI organized on this subject, with the participation of over 300 delegates from 35 countries.

These efforts are under way on the basis of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement, the first universal and legally binding agreement on climate change, ratified by the European Union in 2016. This agreement is a joint action plan to curb warming below two degrees (2 ° C) in the period after 2020.