climate changeThe issue of climate change has started to concern once again the Members of the European Parliament as well as the Cypriot MPs. According to the Green MEPs, the aims that had been set at a preliminary stage from the European Union for a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020 are considered outdated, and a new target of a reduction of 30% should be set.

The existing target acts as an obstacle towards a substantial reduction in emissions and prevents investment in green technology which could result in job creation. The Green MEPs submitted a proposal to the European Parliament for stricter targets with the aim to of imposing substantial measures towards the combat of climate change and the subsequent promotion of green development in Europe. This proposal was eventually outvoted after an effort by conservative and central-right winged MEPs to make unacceptable amendments to the preliminary draft.

In Cyprus, the Department for the Environment has commenced an effort for the syntax of a legal framework for climate change, with the aim of setting our targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. According to the proposed plan, a committee for “the climate change” will be set up and will be given a consulting role. Such a committee could have been salutary had it been set up 10 years ago since it could have averted on time many of the events that have driven us to the current situation.

It is now of great importance that we advance into more drastic and determining policies. The E.U. has already created a position of a Commissioner for the Environment in its Council. Many countries have established separate ministries or departments in their Ministries of the Environment (in Cyprus unfortunately there is no ministry for the environment and the relevant department is the most understaffed department in the Ministry of Agriculture).

It is evident that the current conditions require monitoring and the imposition of strict rules and providences. In this way, austere measures will be taken for the combat of climate change whilst green job vacancies will be created. A large number of young scientists will be employed in positions that will boost our economy, such as the renewable sources of energy sector, in which we greatly lack behind.

The issue of climate change should be addressed within a total framework without victimising once again the citizens. The state did not take measures for the reduction of emissions and the fines paid out to the European Union burden the consumers through taxation and bills. It should be ensured that the new law on climate change is not loaded on to the shoulders of the people but that the issue is addressed in a scientific manner. There are young people with knowledge and experience that can contribute to this sector and they should be given the opportunity to offer their services.

Alexia Sakadaki

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