Achieving sustainable transport demands policies on a governmental and local level which will give priority to users, providing more accessible, fair and clean alternative solutions, chairman of the parliamentary committee on transport, Charalambos Pittokopitis, has said, noting that the transition could not be achieved overnight.
In an intervention during the discussion on sustainable and smart mobility, in the framework of a teleconference on Monday organised by the German Presidency of the EU Council on “The European Green Deal and the Common Agricultural Policy: For a sustainable and climate-neutral Europe”, Pittokopitis said that in Cyprus, the transport sector was the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions and was responsible for 50% of the final energy consumption.
He said Cyprus’ aim was to reduce emissions by 40% by the year 2030, compared to 2017 levels, adding that the country was promoting alternative transport means, sustainable urban mobility plans, and policies upgrading infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists.
Green transition in agricultural sector will be equally tricky
Also addressing the videoconference once discussion shifted to the EU Green Deal and the Common Agricultural Policy, the chair of the parliamentary committee on agriculture Andreas Kafkalias said the introduction of environmentally friendly standards in agricultural production, which reduce the use of pesticides, antibiotics and fertilizers, will be beneficial for the health and well-being of European citizens.
Such a transition to digital technologies, however, would involve higher costs, which may in turn increase the cost of agricultural products.
The Cypriot MP also spoke of the particular problems Cyprus is faced with as an island which is isolated from large export markets and is most severely affected by the climate crisis, underlining that the "Farm-to-Plate Strategy" that was drafted before the coronavirus crisis is in need of revision, taking into account the lessons learned from the pandemic.
Kafkalias also pointed out that the projected budget cuts in the field of agricultural and rural development under the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, as well as the reduction of funding for the Fair Transition Fund are not in line with its ambitious environmental and climate goals.