The Cyprus Institute at COP28: Advancing Science-Led Regional Climate Action

The critical role of The Cyprus Institute as a regional hub of science and innovation to address climate challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East region was underlined during COP28 Summit in Dubai. 

The critical contribution of The Cyprus Institute’s (CyI) Climate and Atmosphere Research Center (CARE-C) in advancing scientific knowledge on climate change and air quality in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (EMME) region, was highlighted in a dedicated session hosted on 9 December at the COP28 Summit by the government of UAE, this year’s COP organizers.

The session titled “Jaywun Research Vessel and Marine Expedition”, took place at the UAE Pavilion in the COP’s Blue Zone, a UNFCCC-managed site, open only to accredited party and observer delegates where the official negotiations between countries take place. At the session, insights from a pioneering Atmospheric Research Expedition undertaken by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) in collaboration with CyI and the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz (MPIC) were presented. The expedition, a first of its kind, took place between November and December 2022 and involved EAD’s new research vessel “Jaywun”, which travelled through international waters from Spain to Abu Dhabi, passing through three continents and eight major bodies of water, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Gulf, and covering a distance of more than 10,000km.

CARE-C Director, Prof Jean Sciare and CyI Assistant Professor, Dr Efstratios Bourtsoukidis, along with Dr Ruqaya Mahmoud Mohamed, Section Manager of Air Quality, Noise and Climate Change at EAD, presented and discussed the preliminary outcomes of this innovative scientific undertaking. The expedition marked the start of an ongoing international collaboration between EAD, CyI and MPIC, focused on capturing environmental observations from a largely underexplored area, and utilizing these unique datasets to inform effective climate change mitigation and adaptation measures in the EMME region, which has long been recognized as a global climate change “hotspot”. The importance of further advancing the ongoing research collaboration on atmospheric and climate science was also emphasized.

CyI’s strong commitment in facilitating regional cooperation on climate science to inform collective regional climate action is fully aligned with the announcement of next steps for the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East Climate Change Initiative (EMME-CCI), by the President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr Nikos Christodoulides during his delivery of Cyprus’ National Statement (Brief Intervention) at the COP28 Summit. The EMME-CCI was initiated by Cyprus in 2019 and coordination of its scientific component and interim Secretariat have been assigned to, and led by, CyI.

In his address, President Christodoulides stressed the need for regional synergies to combat and mitigate the impact of climate change in the EMME region, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. He highlighted that during COP27 in Egypt, the Heads of States and Governments of countries belonging to the EMME-CCI adopted a political declaration and a Regional Action Plan, and that currently Cyprus is in the process of moving forward with facilitating a dialogue and stocktaking process with participating countries for the Plan’s implementation, including specific projects and actions to promote climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Source: The Cyprus Institute | News (