Article by Charis Kordatos, Climate Change & Environment Expert, CEA. 3 minutes read
Local Authorities are recognized as important partners in the implementation of structural reforms and investments for accelerating the transition to a green economy. About a third of the population in Cyprus (241,584) lives in rural communities represented by 348 community councils. Rural communities consume considerable amounts of energy, corresponding to 37% of the CO2 emissions of Cyprus. Cyprus has committed to a reduction of 32% of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 through its National Energy and Climate Plan, which will require significant action by all sectors of the economy and at all levels of governance.
Local Community Councils, however, are faced with several challenges that significantly impede their capacity to undertake sustainable energy and climate action. Increasing rates of rural to urban migration, low economic diversity, an aging population and fewer assets have resulted in a lack of technical expertise and resources in Community Councils. As a result, community councils require technical assistance and guidance, to achieve their ambitious visions.
The project (technical support) will finance the development of 30 joint SECAPs, covering 348 local authorities, which will act as a roadmap towards their 2030 sustainability targets and beyond. A SECAP includes mitigation, adaptation and energy poverty actions and supports policies, investments, and activities to promote climate neutrality and alleviating energy poverty in the involved cities.
The technical support for the development of the joint SECAPs will be financed by the Recovery and Resilience Facility with an estimated budget ≈ 400.000 EUR and it will be completed in 2026. The technical support will be provided by the Cyprus Energy Agency with the support of the Union of Cyprus Communities.
Climate Change does not affect all citizens equally, thus this initiative adopts the principle of "leave no one behind" and aims to reduce urban-rural disparities by supporting a "just green transition" through sustainable and inclusive growth and the provision of opportunities for the local communities of Cyprus.