October 20, 2017

Address by President Anastasiades at the Climate Summit 2014: National Action and Ambition Announcements

New York, 23 September 2014

Excellencies,

Allow me first to express my appreciation to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki Moon for organizing this important Summit.

The consequences of climate change are unfortunately only too well known; unless the international community decides to take concerted action in addressing climate change, there is no future for humanity on earth.

Cyprus is in the Mediterranean, an area which is already experiencing the first serious effects of climate change such as prolonged periods of drought, increased temperatures, degradation of forests and of rare ecosystems. Unfortunately, Cyprus is called upon to formulate a national response to climate change in the midst of an economic crisis, and the difficulties that the military occupation of a part of my country causes in implementing environmental policies.

Cyprus has long been taking action towards reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and has been implementing appropriate policies and measures in that respect. By the end of the year our national adaptation strategy shall be in place. Furthermore Cyprus implements its international commitments and the relevant European Union acquis and actively participates in relevant regional and international initiatives.

It is essential that all states meet their obligations in accordance with the timetable agreed in Warsaw. The major and emerging economies must lead the way and submit their intended nationally determined contributions in the first quarter of 2015, together with other states that are ready to do so. Cyprus and the other EU Member States are working towards that end.

Of significance is the European Commission proposed 2030 [twenty-thirty] climate and energy package, on which a final decision will be taken at the October 2014 European Council. The proposed 2030 [twenty-thirty] EU framework is a coherent package, based on a binding 40% domestic Greenhouse gas emissions reduction. Cyprus participates actively and productively in order to reach agreement on this ambitious package which will contribute significantly to our overall efforts.

On the international level we need to step up our efforts to meet the goals of the Convention. In the EU context, Cyprus reaffirms its objective to reduce emissions by 80 to 95% by 2050 [twenty-fifty], provided that all countries will contribute their fair share. We need to act now on enhancing energy efficiency and replacing existing infrastructure with modern, low-carbon technologies, in a smart and sustainable manner.

We are running out of time. The effects of climate change will soon be catastrophic and irreversible. In the following months, it is crucial to agree on a system to which all nations commit and contribute. By the end of 2014 we should have made progress on how to accelerate reductions beyond the current commitments.

Cyprus intends to contribute to the adoption of a single, global, legally-binding agreement preferably in the form of a new Protocol, applicable to all, that ensures that the global temperature increase stays below 2 degrees Centigrade. Furthermore, this agreement should encourage the highest possible level of ambition by all countries in a way that is fair, efficient and transparent. We, as the international community, need to support commitment and action and provide solidarity to the vulnerable and most affected by climate change.

Thank you.