NICOSIA – Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said the island, with a major shipping presence, should move faster toward reducing carbon emissions in a sector that relies on polluting fossil fuels.
Speaking to the One Ocean Summit meeting in Brest, France as that country holds the rotating, symbolic European Union Presidency, he said during a panel discussion that, “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 added: “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,” said Kathimerini.
He said that his government has already devised its long-term strategy for shipping, titled SEA Change 2030, for more responsible management of the open seas and oceans, as well as the environment.
“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.
He said that the goals have to be met – it’s unlikely they will, given how governments keep vacillating – to reduce exposure to harmful levels of air pollution resulting from these emissions by Jan. 1, 2025.