Cyprus’ Environment Commissioner Ioannou Panayiotou has highlighted the important role the EU plays in dealing with climate change.
In an interview with Philenews, Panayiotou said that a number of very important issues for Cyprus fall under the ‘climate change’ umbrella.
“We are a country experiencing only the negative repercussions of climate change and for this reason it is of particular importance to us. We are the only European country in the Eastern Mediterranean and in the Middle East and this gives us a share of responsibility as regards out neighbours,” she said.
Panayiotou also praised the important role played by the EU, noting that it provides the necessary financial tools to Cyprus.
“We draw resources but we could do more,” she said.
Panayiotou added that another two important sources of financing and support are volunteerism and action by the private sector through the CSR (corporate social responsibility) programmes of organisations and companies.
NGOs, local authorities as well as academic institutions also have an important role to play as regards awareness campaigns, she added.
She also stressed that a lot of projects are carried out here with EU finance which concern education, research and infrastructure. One important EU programme directly linked to the environment is LIFE which deals with the management of resources, biodiversity and e-governance.
Asked about the European Parliament elections, she said that debates had not given adequate emphasis to the EU agenda on sustainable development and a cyclical economy.
“It’s not just the question of the environment but the economic model. Decisions that relate to our daily lives are taken in Brussels and as a state we have an obligation to meet the targets. If we did not realize this then there is a gap in information and understanding.”