The reduction of greenhouse gas and air emissions by about 32% can offer social benefits of more than one billion euros, and its implementation requires public expenditures equal to about 3% of the annual GDP of Cyprus for the period 2021-30.
In the economic research of the University of Cyprus “scenarios of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by optimization of multiple criteria” it is noted by the authors (Chryso Sotiriou and Theodoros Zachariadis) that the Republic of Cyprus will be called to meet the new ambitious commitments. In this dynamic context, the study, according to the authors, provides information to the country's decision-makers, through multi-criteria optimization, on the possibilities of achieving emission reductions for the period 2021-30, exploring the interaction between greater environmental ambition and higher costs.
The analysis applies to measures that affect the economic sectors not covered by the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), ie transport, buildings, light industry, agriculture and waste management. It is noted that “each measure included in the optimization model is characterized by three dimensions: its discounted cost, its efficiency and the speed of implementation. The analysis shows that the maximum possible emission reduction by 2030 is 35% compared to 2005.
“The current 24% target can be achieved and at the same time bring net social benefits, but as we move towards more stringent targets, there is an increase in costs.” “It is noteworthy that, according to the proposal published by the European Commission in July 2021 to divide the effort to reduce emissions in each EU country (Effort Sharing Regulation), Cyprus will be called to reduce its emissions in non-ETS sectors by 32% in 2030, as much as the “optimal” scenario of our calculations shows “, the report states.
The authors of the report note that the more ambitious the reduction of emissions undertaken by Cyprus (up to 32%), the more beneficial it will be for the society, because the benefit due to the reduction of fuel imports and the improvement of air pollution in the cities of Cyprus exceeds the emission reduction costs. Our analysis leads us to the conclusion that the recent more ambitious EU emission reduction targets require measures that will benefit the economy, but initially require a commitment of a lot of public and private resources.
In this context, the investments envisaged by the Recovery and Sustainability Plan and the Structural Funds can contribute to achieving the objectives, with the exception of the sustainable transport sector, which requires additional investment by 2030. ” The report concludes that “green investment (especially in sustainable transport and waste management) must start today, because it is slow to pay off (as it requires serious investment in infrastructure and change in citizens' behavior) in order to reduce emissions as required by 2050 “.