Larnaca - Managing natural resources to preserve the attractiveness of the area
Assessment of the territories’ climate action
Association Climate Chance (Climate Chance)
Since 2015, the Climate Chance Association has been involved in the mobilization in the fight against climate change. It is the only international association that proposes to bring together on an equal footing all the non-State actors recognized by the UN. In order to strengthen their action and to give credibility to the climate stabilization scenarios, the Climate Chance Association launched in 2018 a Global Observatory of Non-State Climate Action, which aims to explain the evolution of greenhouse gas emissions, by crossing national public policies, with sectoral dynamics, private actors’ strategies, local public policies, and actions undertaken by the actors of the territory. In 2019, in order to analyse the coherence of local public policies, Climat Chance proposes 13 new case studies of cities and regions. Here, the Cypriot port city of Larnaca.
To download : climate-chance-2019.pdf (1.5 MiB)
Governance and integration of climate policies
Larnaca attaches great importance to the protection of its natural and cultural heritage, as they concentrate its tourism potential. The attractiveness of the city lies in its natural and strategic geography : between its international airport, its large seaport and its marina, Larnaca is the economic strength of the country.
The Greater Larnaca Urban Region shows its environmental concerns by initiating programmes focused on the rational use of natural resources and energy efficiency. The plan for the strategic development of the city, LARNACA 2040, describes its objectives since 2014 to consolidate the roles of energy centre, strategic portal, tourist destination and multiplier of opportunities of the city.
Its Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) sets out 23 local measures to achieve this. Larnaca has also contributed to national targets by participating in the National Plan for Energy Savings in Public Lighting, which aims to achieve 44% energy savings by 2021. This plan has not been renewed : the local authorities have taken up the issue, and have started working with Energy Authority Cyprus to replace almost 8,000 street lamps with LED bulbs, resulting in more than 2,300 MW of energy savings per year.
Climate policy monitoring and evaluation
The economic crisis of 2008 partly explains the reductions in energy consumption and GHG emissions, the data show such reductions to require coordinated policy commitments. Indeed, Larnaca reduced its overall emissions by 28.7% between 2009 and 2014 (from 390 to 278 MtCO2eq). Over the same period, Larnaca’s overall energy consumption fell by more than 25%, from almost 1 GWh in 2009 to 723,504 MWh in 2014. This decrease is mainly due to the reduction in fossil fuel consumption.
Energy - Efficiency through behavioral change
Larnaca aims at energy self-sufficiency : the municipality energy transition at the heart of its strategic plan LARNACA 2040 The municipality has taken part in the FIESTA project (funded by Intelligent Energy Europe), which has resulted in energy savings of almost 60 MWh and reduced emissions by 51 t CO2 with efficient heating and cooling systems and behavioural changes.
However, local electricity production remains limited, and while local renewable energy production accounts for less than 0.1%, it has recently increased fivefold, from 148 to 739 MWh/year from 2009 to 2014. 2 photovoltaic parks of 150 kW each opened between 2014 and 2016. Larnaca’s objectives seem achievable, provided that the economic recovery has not led to an increase in energy consumption or GHG emissions.
Mobility - Reversing the modal share of cars and bicycles
Larnaca Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan
« SUMP FOR LARNACA » of 2018 aims to improve the quality of urban life through non-motorised transport. By 2019, it is estimated that 76% of households will own 2 or more vehicles, and 32% will own at least 3 passenger cars, used for daily commuting. In contrast, just over 1/3 of households own a bicycle. To encourage their use, the city plans to add 43 km of bicycle paths to the existing 25 km.
The Larnaca SEAP allows low CO2 emission vehicles to benefit from low taxes and subsidies, all electric vehicles are parked free of charge, and the infrastructure has been renovated and improved : 2 recharging stations for electric cars, one-way streets, etc. Larnaca has been participating in European Mobility Week since 2002 - when the first car-free day was introduced. The city has received 5 awards for its efforts to raise awareness and promote sustainable mobility.
Larnaca’s infrastructure network is well integrated in its regional context, with 17 regional lines (and 8 night lines) in operation. Larnaca International Airport has reduced its CO2 emissions and energy consumption by 32%, and has achieved Level 3 « Optimisation » of the Airport Carbon Accreditation.
Natural Resources - Managing Natural Resources to Support Sustainable Tourism
Several environmental protection projects have been implemented: the « Larnaca stops plastic straws » initiative, the cleaning of a beach as part of a green marathon and the installation of underground bins along the beaches are among the most publicised. Larnaca wants to solve the aesthetic problem posed by conventional bins and ensure that the 64 collection points are ideally located before September 2019 to improve the waste recycling rate. The €1.5 million project (co-financed by Larnaca and the Ministry of the Environment) includes the refurbishment of the city’s refuse trucks and equipment for local businesses. Every 3 months, recycling rates are assessed according to the quantity of waste weighed.
Concerned about preserving the environment as well as its tourism potential, Larnaca is turning to sustainable alternatives such as agro-tourism. ANETEL, the Larnaca District Development Agency, has developed the ALTER ECO project (2016-2019) to strengthen the development of local and sustainable tourism by promoting the Mediterranean identity. The Larnaca Mountain Region Environmental Information Centre and the Salt Lake Observation Kiosk (one of Larnaca’s remarkable sites) have been created to preserve the environment by raising awareness. In addition, the citizens of Larnaca are calling for the relocation of oil facilities to free up a large part of the waterfront.
Larnaca is also taking the lead in research, and is home to the new Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute (CMMI), which focuses its work on the blue economy and on a range of climate and environment-related missions (plastic-free oceans, zero-emission ships, a system for monitoring the land-ocean interface, etc.).
Adaptation - Coping with the consequences of climate change
Some areas of Larnaca are only 2 metres above sea level, making it the most vulnerable area of the island to coastal erosion and flooding - phenomena aggravated by human activity (urbanisation, mining). 23m of beach have been lost in recent years (1m/year) according to 2013 estimates.
Sea level rise threatens infrastructure and increases the need for costly coastal defences : 6 dikes have been built between 2009 and 2018, 16 more are under construction. They are financed by the national government, which is responsible for the maintenance of the seafronts. Experts are concerned about the disruption these dikes may cause to natural currents by creating stagnant water. They recommend replacing the dyke materials to be built with construction waste to create artificial rocks. The Water Development Department implements a variety of other measures : protective dams, surface water drainage channels, flood prevention technologies, etc.}.
Cyprus is very prone to droughts : despite water restrictions, Larnaca remains under-supplied (70%). In combination with the unsatisfactory storage of water in dams, a seawater desalination plant is needed to supply Larnaca and its surroundings with drinking water.}