THE RISING cost of petrol has exacerbated three of the island’s gravest environmental problems, Environmental Commissioner, Charalambos Theopemptou, said yesterday.
In a statement to the media yesterday, Theopemptou outlined what he believed an appropriate energy policy should contain, which detailed his thoughts on issues linked to the development and the production of energy, energy efficiency and other issues, such as energy security and environmental protection.
According to the commissioner, past mishandling in the areas of water, traffic and energy have been associated to the rising cost of petrol as a first energy source.
Theopemptou said a comprehensive energy policy was fundamental to securing Cyprus’ energy needs.In his statement, he outlined the need for a clear policy statement regarding future energy requirements, production and energy use, supplemented by an appropriate legislative measure which would regulate commercial activities and energy usage.In addition he urged the government and other organisations to formulate clear guidelines which deal with energy issues and encouraged a more active participation on the part of the state for energy research and development programmes.
Economic measures for energy issues and services (e.g. taxes, sponsorship) are another important aspect of the policy, as well as specific measures to ensure environmental protection.He further emphasized the necessary ability of an appropriate Energy Policy to provide information on issues regarding statistics of energy production and usage, and the current and future energy consumption scales.
The number of consumers who are inhibited either economically or otherwise from acquiring a minimum amount of energy should also be made available, along with the foreseeable action program in crisis situations and ways in which energy saving systems could be promoted.Finally, the Commissioner asserted that public dialogue, publication of facts and intentions, along with frequent reviews and programming are the essential complements to an appropriate Energy Policy.
By Maria-Christina Doulami, Cyprus Mail 2008