Republic of Cyprus

Green Economy




GREEN ECONOMY

The global economic crisis, rising commodity prices, the effects on the environment from uncontrolled development and the recognition that development models based on increasing resource consumption and emission of pollutants is not viable, have created the need for a more environmentally-oriented economy, which has been established as a “Green economy”. The dissemination of the concept of green economy is partly supported by the economic crisis of recent years at the global level and the failure of markets and the traditional economic model to cope with the situation, and partly in recognition of the seriousness of the environmental problems we are facing as a result of the rapid and uncontrolled development, which until recently had driven the economic growth to the detriment, often of our society, and always of the the environment that sustains the economy, society and life itself.

The idea of a green economy is a new economic model, based on which financial progress does not necessarily rely on the increase of environmental risks, depletion of natural resources and social inequalities. The United Nations have defined the “Green economy” as an economy which leads to improved human well-being and social justice, while significantly reduces environmental risks and ecological shortcomings. Green economy aims at improving human welfare, environmental protection and social justice and can be essentially seen as a green, competitive economy, with efficient use of resources and low carbon emissions, which will shield growth and job positions, it will create significant economic opportunities, improve productivity, reduce costs and boost competitiveness.

In practical terms, a green economy leads to increased income and employment as a result of public and private investment which lead to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and pollution, enhance the efficiency of energy and resources, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. These investments are supported by targeted reforms in public spending, policies and procedures, while required to enhance and where necessary to rebuild the natural capital as a crucial economic resource.

The current economic conditions in Cyprus, require more than ever measures and policies to support the increase of production and efficiency in resource use, while promoting the conservation of natural ecosystems and reduce environmental effects. For the rational and systematic promotion of the above policies and measures the coordinated and systematic effort is required, which can only be attained with the preparation of an Action Plan on a Green Economy, characterized by goals, short, medium and long-term measures and milestones, adopted by the Council of Ministers.


    Institutional framework

Green Economy is one of the main pillars of action of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20 and includes the promotion of economic development while safeguarding the environment and society. The European Union promotes the pillar of green economy, through the efficient use of resources which is an essential component of the “Europe 2020” strategy for growth and jobs up to 2020. In this context the Flagship Initiative for a more efficient Europe in the use of resources is also promoted, through the Resource Efficiency Roadmap adopted by the Commission communication in 2011 (COM (2011) 571), which creates a long-term framework for action in many areas with the aim of integrating the green economy targets in all policies.

To meet the current challenges, a radical transformation of the economy is required, particularly in the fields of energy, industry, agriculture, fisheries and transport, as well as in the practices of producers and consumers. This transformation must be based on a policy framework creating a level playing field, rewarding innovation, efficiency and change and creating economic opportunities especially through product redesign, sustainable resource management, proper management and wider material re-use and substitution and resource savings. The disengagement of economic growth from using resources and affecting the environment needs cohesion and integration into policies that shape the economy and lifestyle.

Promotion of the Green Economy requires the creation of favourable conditions through the adoption of relevant legal regulations, policy development in the individual sectors and the creation incentives for business, industry and the general public, with the main objective the transition from an economy based exclusively on resource usage and depletion and environmental destruction, to a green, competitive resource efficient economy, with low carbon emissions.

The main parameters promoted through the different environmental policies include:

§ Investing in key natural resources,

§ Incentives for increasing efficiency in the use of resources, enhancement of productivity, reduction of waste and energy consumption and allocation of resources in accordance with their highest use value.

§ Market and regulatory measure promotion, such as environmental taxes, cancellation of harmful subsidies, mobilization of public and private financial resources, investment in green jobs and support of green innovative technologies.

§ Opportunities for innovation through policies that enable strong new ways to tackle environmental problems.

§ Creating new markets by stimulating demand for green technologies, goods and services, creating opportunities for new employment opportunities, and

§ Improvement of Governance and encouragement of Private Sector Engagement.



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