Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus

It is a pleasure to participate to this First Global Stocktake High Level Event on Adaptation.

The first Global Stocktake has to show what the Parties to the Paris Agreement have so far delivered and how they will continue to do so, on the collectively agreed long-term goals.

For this reason, I believe that the outcomes need to be more ambitious and tangible, including setting milestones and benchmarks as part of roadmaps. This will set us to a course for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, as well as enhancing preparedness in terms of adaptation.

Furthermore, the Global Stocktake should record adaptation actions for developing countries through transparent and robust mechanisms, which allow for accountability. We should also make sure that expertise and capacity by these countries should be enhanced, with a goal to improve the design and implementation of their domestic climate policies.

Cyprus is in the heart of a global hotspot where climate change impacts are much more intense than in the rest of the world and the need for adaptation is a priority. For this reason, extensive work has been done both on a national and regional level to map the impacts and to find appropriate adaptation policies and measures.

The Republic of Cyprus, recognising the need for better understanding and adaptation to climate change on a regional level, decided in 2019 to initiate a regional climate cooperation mechanism. What became known as the Cyprus Initiative, which up to date has been joined by a number of countries in our region, such as Bahrain, Egypt, Greece, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman and Palestine, aims, through regional synergies, to combat and mitigate the impacts of climate change in the vulnerable Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East region. The initiative, having undertaken a “Regional Stocktake”, adopted at COP27 a Regional Action plan.

This Regional Action Plan adds value to national and local adaptation efforts. It is a policy instrument with little administrative implications for most stakeholders and has succeeded in focusing attention of our regional partners on the need to prepare for climate hazards.

Throughout the preparation process, the countries of our region have gained valuable insights. The added value of the regional research and innovation actions has been strongly appreciated by all stakeholders. We now aim to switch focus from generating knowledge, to utilising it in the decision-making process, particularly in economic sectors or areas that are potentially more vulnerable in the Mediterranean region, such as agriculture.

The utilisation of the Regional Action Plan by Cyprus towards the fulfilment of its national obligations is an example of how the outcome of the Initiative could be utilised by other countries in the region.

In the same context, I would like to note that we also took the decision to make a significant contribution to the second replenishment of the Green Climate Fund, in support of developing countries to reduce their Greenhouse Gas Emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

I am hopeful that our regional cooperation will further evolve to integrate the international dimension of adaptation and to synchronise with global collective policy and actions on sustainable development, biodiversity and disaster risk reduction, to name just a few.