Koulas to reduce pollution: The project in Vasiliko should be completed quickly

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Statement of MP and Press Representative Mr. Onofrios Koullas on the Auditor General's report on emissions.

Such a statement:

The Auditor General's Report on emissions clearly records that the targets we had until 2020 were met. What has changed drastically is the increase in the price of pollutants on the European stock market. From 5 and 10 euros per ton a few years ago, the price went up to 100 euros per ton emission, mainly from the EAC, to fall again today to 85 euros, with the result that the cost is really huge and in recent years we have, after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, new challenges.

We have revised targets from the European Union, even more ambitious for reducing emissions, and we will also have a new, huge cost because other sectors will join the obligation to buy pollutants when they emit such as shipping, air transport, then the road transport, buildings and so on. This immediately requires that there be revised planning, overall planning, to be able to achieve these new ambitious goals by 2030 but at the same time to limit this expected increased cost to the Cypriot economy, to consumers, to taxpayers, to all of us.

We believe that the financial tools are already in place to achieve these new ambitious goals. It is the Recovery Plan that we have designed and the vast majority, somewhere around 43%, is for this purpose. It is the just transition fund of the European Union, it is the new program "Repower EU" that was designed immediately after the invasion of Russia in Ukraine, but also state resources resulting from, among other things, the auctioning of these pollutants. Therefore, such a revised design can be made to achieve our goals and to reduce costs as I said.

In this design with these costs coming in, we believe that the requirement or the commitment for other green taxes is overdue because the ones that are coming are going to be huge anyway.

At the same time, we believe that the Vasiliko project must be completed quickly so that natural gas can finally arrive so that there is a significant reduction in the emission of pollutants for electricity generation purposes.