NICOSIA (AP) — A new Cyprus-based project aims to fill a research gap on greenhouse gas emissions in the east Mediterranean and Middle East in order to help policy makers seeking to tackle climate change in the vulnerable region, officials said Tuesday.
Coordinator Jean Sciare said the project launch that a key goal will be to build in Cyprus one of Europe’s biggest environmental observation posts to monitor the Middle East that experts say is growing hotter and drier and will in three years produce more greenhouse gases than the European Union.
The Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East Climate and Atmosphere Research Center will bring together more than a dozen top scientists from six countries and will employ satellites and other technology to monitor emissions.
With 30 million euros in funding from the European Union and the Cyprus government, the Center made its home in Cyprus to take advantage of its strategic location as an EU member state at the doorstep of the Middle East.
Sciare said a key mission of the center will be to raise public awareness about climate change in the region.
The project’s launch coincided with the Cypriot government’s own climate change initiative which Environment Minister Costas Kadis said aims to develop a regional action plan to combat climate change.
“We want to bring the scientific community together with policy makers to give them a tool kit to work in ameliorating (the) impact of climate range on region,” Kadis said.
Michel Jarraud, the former head of the World Meteorological Organization warned that even a two-degree Celsius rise in temperatures could have a serious impact on regional water resources and flooding of the vulnerable Nile Delta amid rising sea levels.
By MENELAOS HADJICOSTIS Associated Press