Cyprus to get EU support for green transition

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Brussels understands Cyprus’ concerns over the costly impact of the “Fit for 55” package to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in tourism and the economy.

Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said there was support for Nicosia after meeting the EU Commission’s Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans.

Karousos said Cyprus’ proposal for a mechanism to promote sustainable fuels in aviation has the support of the EU Council at the level of Transport Ministers.

He hopes they will finally adopt the proposal for the Environment in their meeting on 28 June.

This proposal is included in one of the many pieces of legislation of the “Fit for 55” package proposed by the Commission.

Once the position of the Council on the proposal is agreed upon by the Environment Ministers and the European Parliament has adopted its position, the institutions will negotiate the final content of the bills.

Karousos said he had a constructive meeting with Timmermans, during which he analysed and presented Cyprus’ concerns regarding the measures being formulated and how they will affect the economy.

The way Cyprus is affected “is disproportionate to the rest of the EU member states,” Karousos stressed, noting that the country’s gross domestic product will be impacted eight times more than the EU average.

“We are very pleased that the executive vice president understands this issue.

“It seems that our recent initiatives, especially in the last two months, to brief the European Commission, the European Parliament, and aviation stakeholders on this issue are bearing fruit.”

Cyprus’ proposals, particularly concerning the mechanism to support alternative fuels in aviation, have been approved by EU Transport Ministers.

Nicosia argues it would be one of the most negatively affected countries with the transition to cleaner aviation fuel costing €18 bln between 2024-2050 for an economy generating €24 bln GDP.

Karousos believes the excess cost of travel could see tourism arrivals plunge 20%, with the loss of 10,000 jobs and a 1.75% GDP hit.