As a leading maritime nation, Cyprus feels it is its duty to accelerate the transition of shipping to a low-carbon and climate-resilient industry, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Friday, addressing the “One Ocean Summit” taking place in Brest under the auspices of the European Union’s French Presidency.
The Cypriot president, who was speaking as part of a panel discussion titled “Tackling Climate Change with a Special Focus on Green Shipping,” said that maritime transport has an international character, while climate change knows no borders, adding that it is obvious we need to act together to agree on targeted international measures.
“The use of cleaner fuels, the deployment of relevant fuel infrastructure, the electrification of ships, and the use of energy efficiency technologies is the way forward,” he noted, adding that “a combination of all the above, coupled with the industry’s initiatives and commitments, such as the Green Marine label, does have the potential to improve the commercial and environmental sustainability of the sector.”
Anastasiades added that the Cyprus government has already devised its long-term strategy for shipping, titled “SEA Change 2030,” with the main objectives being the responsible management of the open seas and oceans, as well as the environment.
In his address he also referred to Cyprus’ initiative to coordinate climate change actions in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, pointing out that this project aspires to encourage and provide incentives to the countries of the region to prepare their own regional action plans on the basis of their respective specificities.
“We are also extremely pleased that, after several years of systematic deliberations among the Mediterranean states through the Barcelona Convention system, a proposal has been recently submitted to the International Maritime Organization for the designation of the Mediterranean Sea as an Emission Control Area for Sulfur Oxides,” he added.
The president of the Republic of Cyprus underlined that it would be extremely significant to protect public health and the environment in the Mediterranean by reducing exposure to harmful levels of air pollution resulting from these emissions. He also reiterated Cyprus’ readiness to work toward ensuring this proposal is approved and enters into force by January 1, 2025.