Proposed science institute will focus on the Mediterranean and Middle East, regions that will be hard hit by global warming.

Nature News, 27 June 2018
Anita Makri

The tiny island of Cyprus is reshaping itself into a regional hub for climate-change research. The country lies at the meeting point of the Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa — areas where climate change is expected to take a heavy toll in the coming decades, but where research capacity to address the issue is limited.

Cyprus’s president, Nicos Anastasiades, announced plans on 5 June to create a government initiative that will coordinate action against global warming across the Mediterranean and support the creation of a €30-million (US$35-million) climate-change research centre at the Cyprus Institute in Nicosia, the nation’s leading multidisciplinary research institution. “This is a priority issue for the government,” says Theodoulos Mesimeris, head of the climate-change division of the Cypriot environment ministry. The initiative will also create a comprehensive plan to reduce Cyprus’s greenhouse-gas emissions in line with the 2015 Paris climate accord.

Resources for climate research in the region are “disproportionately small to even scope the challenges, let alone the solutions”, says Costas Papanicolas, president of the Cyprus Institute, who helped to plan the initiative with government ministers and President Anastasiades.

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