The majority of Cypriots are in favour of accelerating the green transition, with 76% responding that the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its consequences should provide an additional impetus (compared to 66% in the EU), according to the results of the latest annual climate survey by the European Investment Bank (EIB), which was conducted across the European Union in August and published this week.
Other findings in Cyprus include that 90% of Cypriots say that if consumption of energy and goods is not drastically reduced in the coming years the world will head to a global catastrophe, 65% said that they are in favour of indexing energy prices to the level of consumption per household and 60% said that they believe that highly polluting goods and services, such as sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and air travel, should be more expensive to account for their level of pollution.
According to a EIB press release, while COVID-19 was considered one of the biggest challenges facing Cypriots last year, concerns about inflation now predominate. 83% cite it as their top concern, compared with 36% across the rest of the European Union. However, 78% of Cypriots say they are feeling the effects of climate change on their daily lives.
About 89% of Cypriots feel that the government is reacting too slowly, and only 30% think that Cyprus will succeed in substantially reducing its carbon emissions by 2030.
Asked to rank their energy priorities, 70% responded that they expect their government to prioritise the development of renewable energies, before focusing on energy supply diversification to avoid being overly reliant on a single energy provider (21%).
Also, when it comes to measures to reduce energy consumption, 60% of Cypriots said that they are in favour of heavily taxing highly polluting goods and services, such as SUVs and air transport, while 65% said they support the indexing of energy prices to the level of consumption per household, that is the more you consume, the more expensive energy becomes.
However, if Cypriots were to lower the temperature in their homes this winter, only 4% said they would accept capping it at 19°C (24 percentage points less than the European average of 28%). Meanwhile, 42% of Cypriots say that they already cannot afford to heat their home properly.
Regarding measures against high energy prices, 37% of Cypriots think that in the short term the government should prioritise reducing energy-related taxes, 24% support capping or regulating the price of gas, oil and coal and 21% agree with giving out energy vouchers.
In a statement, the EIB’s vice president Lilyana Pavlova pointed out that the results of the survey show that Cypriots believe that accelerating renewable energy is a priority in fighting the global energy and climate crisis.
“At the EIB, we have been supporting innovative clean energy investments for many years, such as the construction of off-shore wind farms and more energy-efficient social housing. We stand ready to use our full range of advisory and financial instruments to support Cyprus in a just green energy transition that leaves no one behind” she added.
More than 28,000 respondents, of which 500 in Cyprus, participated in the survey in August 2022.