Cyprus has a role to play in issues concerning climate change by building up a new station to monitor the effects, General Secretary of the World Meteorological Organisation, Petteri Taalas told CNA.
On the sidelines of the conference “Climate Change in the Mediterranean and Middle East, challenges and solutions,” Taalas underlined the urgency to start implementing the Paris Agreement and expressed hope that the Conference in Nicosia will motivate the policymakers to take more action.
“We have to strengthen the scientific basis and we are discussing how to improve the observing systems of Cyprus. There is a plan to establish a new observing sighting in Cyprus to monitor the greenhouse gases,” Talaas said.
He pointed out that the Mediterranean is one of those regions to suffer the most because of climate change.
The effects of climate change, he said, are visible, noting the higher temperatures, the evaporation and the even more frequent drought.
“This will mean great difficulties for agriculture and it may have an impact on tourism if temperatures are too high and nature is not so green. This is of concern.”
He recalled the refugee problems because of intensified drought in the Middle East and African countries.
Noting that drought in Africa will be increasing and at the same time population in Africa will grow, he said that the potential for refugee flows is rapidly growing.
"We expect to see 4 billion inhabitants in Africa by the end of the century and now we have one billion. So the potential for refugees is rapidly growing and this is a matter of concern."
In his speech at the Conference, Taalas said that 2017 was a record-breaking year in economic losses as regards climate disasters, and said that climate change brings more humidity, more rain, more tropical storms, and drought in other areas.