Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Statement by the AKEL Environmental Bureau on the COP25 UN climate change conference and 2019 “European Green Deal”




AKEL C.C. Press Office, 16th December 2019, Nicosia
The disappointment with the results of the talks on the climate could not be better illustrated than by the words of the UN Secretary-General himself. Mr. Guterres said that “The international community lost an important opportunity to show increased ambition on mitigation, adaptation and finance to tackle the climate crisis.” The only outcome after two weeks of talks was the official recognition of the need to bridge the gap between the 2015 greenhouse gas targets set in Paris and the scientific data that demand much larger cuts.
The majority of the Summit’s time was wasted om the issue of creating a mechanism that would allow richer countries and companies to buy from poorer emission pollution rights and in doing so be relieved of the obligation to make the necessary reductions. It is now proven that such efforts to resolve the environmental problem with solutions that serve the interests of the rich countries through carbon trading have not only not improved the situation, but have made it worse.
The EU is committed to climate neutrality by 2050. Despite the fact it is claiming that it is promoting investment in environmental protection, there is no reference whatsoever to climate justice, to the way poorer states should be supported and at the same time the EU is introducing new “green” taxes.
The absence of an agreement for yet another year, condemns hundreds of millions of people to the effects of climate change. The US, Brazil, India and China have refused to support even more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets. The biggest danger comes from the US who have withdrawn from the Paris Agreement, following the decision taken by Donald Trump, who has already called global warming a “farce”.
Unfortunately, so long as a global agreement isn’t concluded and international cooperation is mainly forged, the UN Climate Summits will achieve the same result every year. The solution to the economic, social, political and environmental problem is a single interconnected issue and a collective effort is demanded to solve it, with real commitments and radical changes.
Cyprus must contribute its own share in the increase of the percentage of renewable energy from Renewable Energy Sources, in protecting areas of significant biodiversity, taking all those measures that will protect our country from the effects of climate change. It is not enough for the Anastasiades-DISY government to pompously present initiatives for climate action while remaining bottom of the table regarding Renewable Energy Sources and energy saving issues. We note that as Cyprus we are paying fines and are bottom of the table as regards the implementation of environmental legislation in our country.