Cyprus And The European Union Green Deal
One of the most significant challenges of our time is climate change, and the European Union is taking steps forward to make Europe the first climate neutral continent in the world. Cyprus is one of the European Union members that is dedicated to the accomplishment of this objective. Despite the European Green Deal’s 2050 deadline, the EU is already on a path to reach its climate targets in a fair, cost effective and competitive way.
The European Union introduced the Green Deal in December 2019 with the goal of transforming the EU economy in response to climate and environmental challenges. This initiative has been undertaken as a result of the European Union ratifying the Paris Climate Agreement in October 2016.
The Green Deal’s Implementation in Cyprus
In Cyprus, the new National Governance System for the European Green Deal was approved by the Council of Ministers (CoM), and the National Energy and Climate Plan implementation was introduced under the Regulation on the governance of the energy union climate action, which will be enforced from 2021 to 2030.
The National System for Energy and Climate was developed further with the launch of this new system, which was previously approved by the CoM in November 2017.
Cyprus National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP)
The National Energy and Climate Plan for Cyprus is a comprehensive roadmap for achieving Cyprus’ energy and climate targets by 2030. It was approved by the Council of Ministers on the 15th January 2020 and presented to the European Commission on 21st January 2020.
The NECP also sets out important policy priorities in addition to Cyprus’ Energy and Climate goals, that will be implemented in order for the country to achieve its goals.
Some significant objectives and key policies included under the Cyprus National Energy and Climate Plan are as follows:
– Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and environmental objectives
Emissions in the non-Emission Trading Scheme sector are intended to be reduced by 20.9% and the emissions in the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) sectors are intended to be reduced by 24.9% in comparison to 2005 emission levels. non-ETS is understood as a part of the domestic greenhouse gas emissions that are not covered by the European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
It also includes goals for reducing national emissions of specific air pollutants and reducing emissions from land use, land use change or forestry.
The NECP of Cyprus aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the implementation of several key policies, including promotion of natural gas and renewable energy sources, the expansion of carbon sinks, improvement of energy efficiency in buildings, industry and infrastructure, and reduction of emissions from transportation, agricultural, and waste sectors.
– Increasing the share of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) in energy consumption
One of the other objectives of the NECP of Cyprus is to increase the proportion of RES in energy consumption. This is intended to reach 23% in gross final energy consumption, 26% in gross final electricity consumption, 39% in heating and cooling, and 14% in the transportation sector, respectively, in terms of the share of RES.
Cyprus plans to achieve this goal by implementing a variety of RES support schemes for self-consumption, promoting RES in all energy sectors, introducing financial incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles, installing RES and energy efficiency technologies in public buildings, developing new possibly financial incentives, and introducing new measures for RES in transport sector.
– Improving energy efficiency
Furthermore, the NECP of Cyprus indicates that Cyprus aims to achieve an overall energy saving of 243.04 ktoe between 2021 and 2030. Cyprus will specifically introduce an energy efficiency obligation program for energy distributors.
Additionally, support schemes will be introduced to encourage energy efficiency in households, enterprises and the wider public, and energy funds will be offering soft loans for energy efficiency. Promotion of energy efficiency in enterprises will be encouraged through voluntary agreements.
An action plan will also be used to implement energy-efficient street lighting, energy efficiency in water sector as well as in road transport. Additional duties such as vehicle excise duty based on CO2 emissions, energy consumption fee for RES and energy efficiency on electricity bills, and excise tax on road transport fuels will also be imposed or made more targeted.
The European Green Deal will enable Europe to adapt to the unavoidable effects of climate change and protect its residents against the impact of climate change and environmental risks. Furthermore, the European Green Deal will help to preserve and improve the natural resources and ecosystems of the EU while also protecting the health and wellbeing of its citizens by fostering innovative growth strategies.
In order to reach the EGD goals which require many changes and strict observation of obligations, undoubtedly, need commitment from both governments and individuals. However, once it succeeds, it will be a revolutionary global move that will help lead not just the EU but the entire world’s population to a better and brighter future.