December 14, 2017

Statement delivered by the Permanent Representative Amb. Kornelios Korneliou

kornelios1High-Level SDG Action Event-Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Agenda

UN Headquarters, 23 March 2017

Mr. President,

Cyprus aligns itself with the statement of the European Union and would like to add some remarks in its national capacity.

The consequences of climate change on our planet are well known. It is crucial that our actions be well informed and based on scientific data, research and evidence. The Paris Agreement on Climate Change has offered an international sense of hope to the peoples around the earth that the world is serious about reversing the current situation. Furthermore, the Agenda 2030 and SDG13 highlighted even more the international determination to fight climate change.

I am proud to say that Cyprus has recently become one of the many States parties to the Paris Agreement on Climate change, having ratified the agreement on 4 January 2017 with the Agreement having entered into force in Cyprus on 3 February 2017.

Cyprus, being located in a “hot spot”, the Mediterranean Basin, is already affected by climate change and is set to be affected more in the future, with significant increases in temperature and decline in the levels of rainfall. Projections show that Cyprus is very prone to desertification. In addition, further to the economic impacts of prolonged droughts, the threat to biodiversity and the environment of the island is real.

The Government of Cyprus has already taken and is planning to take further actions, in order to address climate change and contribute to reversing the current situation, fully in line with the European Union relevant policies and with the financial support of the European Union. Inter alia, we aim at decreasing greenhouse emissions by 24% in comparison to those of 2005, which will also assist us in moving towards decarbonization. Currently, we have achieved a 9% decrease of our greenhouse emissions in relation to the 2005 levels.

The transport sector is a major contributor to CO2 emissions, representing 25% of our total CO2 emissions. In tackling this issue, we are preparing a plan, which aims at the transition of the transport sector to low or no emissions. Cyprus is also actively working toward increasing the use of renewable sources of energy, in the framework of a «clean and green energy» plan. Renewable sources of energy already cover about 9% of our energy needs.

Furthermore, the Government actively supports private innovative entrepreneurship initiatives promoting business ideas to fight climate change. Additionally, a Memorandum of Understanding is to be signed between the Cyprus Institute, a renowned academic research centre, and the Ministry of Agriculture of Cyprus, which will include cooperation in education, research and projects aiming at addressing climate change.

I thank you