Time isn’t on our aspect: EUMed 9 leaders talk about local weather disaster

ATHENS – The EUMed 9 summit begun in Athens in the present day (September 17), specializing in stability within the japanese Mediterranean in addition to efforts to sort out local weather change and migration flows within the area.

“East Med is going to be affected in a hard way by the climate change which we now call climate crisis. So, time is not on our side,” Constantinos Filis, director of analysis at Institute of International Relations, advised New Europe by cellphone on September 17. “We have to work hard and we have to realize that if we don’t do it in an effective way what we see now during the year is going to become a phenomenon that is going to take place more and more often,” he added.

Greece is among the pioneers in such initiatives. “Greece in theory but also in practice seems to be initiating or to be promoting initiatives which serve the purpose of a turn to greener forms of energy and a green economy,” Filis mentioned. “This means that the desire for hydrocarbons is not as much as it used to be in the previous years including Greece and maybe, only maybe this can serve as a catalyst not necessarily positive developments but at least in avoiding escalation of crises between states for the shake of securing hydrocarbons. On the other hand, of course, there is no much time for the countries to lose. They don’t have the luxury of delaying decisions. If they don’t make up their minds and if projects don’t start materializing then in five years from now it will be late,” he added.

Charles Ellinas, senior fellow, Global Energy Center, Atlantic Council, advised New Europe on September 17 the East Med nations have large potential for inexperienced power, and significantly photo voltaic. “But only Greece has so far made far-reaching commitments. Others are making limited and hesitant steps. Having said that, the new government in Israel appears to be more determined to pursue a deeper environmental agenda, having announced an 85% decarbonization plan by 2050,” he mentioned.

Ellinas famous that although in Cyprus the price of emission allowances is now hurting, and can harm much more when the European Union’s Fit-for-55 package deal is adopted, it is just taking small steps to extend renewable power. It is placing its hopes within the import of liquified pure gasoline (LNG), which now seems to be delayed, he mentioned.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades could temporary the assembly about initiatives being taken to deal with local weather change, involving use of specialists to outline new insurance policies, however there’s now an pressing must move additional into heeding Europe’s lead and implementing formidable targets, Ellinas mentioned.

“However, once the EU fully adopts its new climate change package, the East Med countries will follow suit. The current hike in gas and electricity prices is likely to force change. But equally, the EU needs to pay attention to the legitimate problems the countries of the region have with the impact of energy transition on their economies, their populations and the cost of energy and seek pragmatic solutions,” he mentioned.

According to Ellinas, this yr’s irregular floods and wildfires are additionally prone to be mentioned on the summit, together with measures being taken to deal with the issue, together with EU’s assist.

Turning to the Cyprus drawback, Anastasiades plans to temporary the opposite individuals about current developments relating to the Cyprus drawback, Ellinas mentioned. “But nothing much has really happened since July when Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots announced the opening of Varosha and reconfirmed their positions for a two-state solution in Cyprus,” he mentioned.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen could reconfirm on the assembly EU’s sturdy help for a unified Cyprus and that the EU is not going to settle for a two-state answer, Ellinas argued.

In a glimmer of some type of advance the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres can be seeing each Cypriot leaders in New York through the UN General Assembly however no date or agenda have been introduced. “There are no expectations of any progress,” Ellinas mentioned.

With regards to power within the East Med not a lot is occurring different that US main ExxonMobil’s intention to return to Cyprus finish of the yr to drill an appraisal properly at Glaucus in Block 10. “However, President Anastasiades may brief the meeting about the successful summit with Egypt first week of September where among other issues both sides agreed to study export of gas from Aphrodite by pipeline to Egypt. Even though this is an inter-governmental accord, both sides agreed to progress it,” Ellinas mentioned.

He famous that each Greece and Cyprus could temporary the assembly about Turkey’s most up-to-date aggressive statements. “In the latest, this week, in response to Greece’s plans to carry out maritime surveys in an area between Crete and Kasos, Turkey warned Greece that parts of this area belong to the Turkish continental shelf, as declared to the UN in March 2020, referring Greece again to the Turkey-Libya maritime memorandum,” Ellinas mentioned.

In July, Turkish Foreign Minister Melvut Cavusoglu threatened to return again to offshore surveys and drilling in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) if there was no truthful distribution of revenues, Ellinas mentioned. And earlier this month the Turkish Foreign Minister warned that if ExxonMobil returns to drill in Cyprus’ EEZ, Turkey will do the identical. “Evidently for Turkey rapprochement does not mean abandonment of its untenable claims,” Ellinas mentioned.

Turning to migration flows within the East Mediterranean area, Filis mentioned the results of the current developments in Afghanistan primarily should do with migration. “Indeed, there is a concern that human flows particularly from Afghanistan may multiply in the coming months. This is not the case for now,” he mentioned. But, he argued, “It is probable if we see hundreds of thousands of Afghanis, more than the already 300,000 to 500,000 which are in Turkey, so if we see new flows of Afghanis on Turkish soil, (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdogan will channel them to Greece. He does not have time and the political luxury to sit down and negotiate with the Europeans whom he does not trust anyway. In that case we confront a very serious challenge not only as Greece but as European Union as a whole”.

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