Patrick Child, the European Commission’s Deputy Director General for Environment, is impressed with the level of ambition in Limassol on climate transition.
The EU Mission manager for climate-neutral and smart cities addressed the Cyprus Forum Cities two-day conference on sustainable planning.
Child said in a video message, “Cities are disproportionally impacted by these challenges.
“We must therefore do all we can to help them become climate neutral and sustainable within the shortest possible time so we can reach the time set by the European Green Deal to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.”
Cities account for over 70% of global Co2 emissions and consume over 65% of the world’s energy.
“The climate neutral and smart cities mission aims to deliver 100 climate neutral and smart cities by 2030.
“And we want to empower these cities to act as role models for all EU cities to become climate neutral by 2050,” Child added.
He was “particularly impressed by the level of ambition in Limassol.”
Child congratulated Limassol “as being the only Cypriot city that is selected for the mission.”
“Limassol is an excellent example of activating local stakeholders and connecting to wide national networks.”
He hoped Limassol would inspire other cities in Cyprus to accelerate their efforts on climate transition.
“Cities need to have closer engagement with their national governments and stronger support from the political level. This is vital for the success of the mission.”
Apostolos Tzitzikostas, First Vice President of the Committee of the Regions and Governor of the Region of Central Macedonia, Greece, congratulated the city of Limassol and its Mayor, Nikos Nicolaides, on the inclusion among the 100 climate-neutral and smart cities of Europe.
“As an island, you are further exposed to the consequences of climate change.
“At the same time, you are a living lab, and your forward-looking vision represents an added value for all Europeans,” he said.
Nicolaides, Mayor of Limassol, said that problems like climate change require global action.
“The involvement of cities is very crucial because solving these problems requires large social concessions, and the only way to achieve that is through local authorities.
“I think local authorities – cities and regions – never had such importance as today.
“And this importance is greatly acknowledged by the EU, and there are a number of programs which try to empower cities and regions to undertake this very important role in addressing global problems.”
Nicolaides stated that cities like Limassol and most of the cities in Greece are at a disadvantage compared to cities of Northern Europe, which started the target of climate neutrality many years ago, and they had time for their societies to absorb the changes.
“We don’t have this time, but we have another advantage.
“This is the advantage of using the example of these cities. And I think that the most important weapon we have is our cooperation and the opportunity to share experiences and good practices.”