The Paris Agreement was an imperative to prevent climate change and strengthen the global response to sustainable, climate resilient cities. The active involvement of local authorities in new climate and energy targets is indispensable, playing a decisive role for states' achievement strategies.
Many European countries, including Cyprus, have implemented fiscal policies promoting energy efficiency, RES, waste reduction, etc., towards a greener economy and a higher quality of life. However, when the green fiscal policies are shifted to the local level for implementation, the successful application is surrounded by many barriers.
Although many local authorities in Cyprus have committed the Covenant of Mayors movement to implementing sustainable energy and climate actions, limited competencies and authorization in their territory, withhold effective, non-time-consuming solutions. Consequently, local authorities in Cyprus were unable to introduce a new -green-taxation category and further support sustainable energy and climate action plans in place.
An innovative three-way approach was identified and promoted in two municipalities, Nicosia and Lakatamia Municipality, for a successful application of green taxation and practices. The first step was to analyze the current legislative framework and how green taxes can be adapted within a taxation category without any Revision Law. The second step was to select a suitable taxation category for each municipality where the green fiscal policies would be approved and applied in their territory. Finally, the third step was the establishment of a green-revolving fund from which green tax revenue would finance sustainable actions supporting RES and energy efficiency measures.
The results were impressive given the fact that many times in the past Cypriot local authorities have been trying to apply green taxation without any success. Nicosia Municipality has approved green taxation under the Hotel Accommodation Tax and the revenue collected will compensate all Hotels in its region, with free Energy Audits as well as funding two awareness events each year. Lakatamia Municipality has engaged a large amount of Waste Management fees for the development of RES-REUSE educational waste inside the municipal waste (green) point. This interactive educational corner will increase RES awareness, energy efficiency, waste reuse, and will become a destination for school trips.
All actions for the implementation of green fiscal policies in the Cypriot municipalities were co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, Interreg MED Program, project LOCAL4GREEN.
This abstract was presented at GCET 20 on Thursday, September 26th, in Limassol, Cyprus.
Keywords: Green Fiscal Policies, Green Taxation, Cypriot Local Authorities, Climate Change, SECAPs