E-NGO Friends of the Earth Malta is demanding that the government takes climate action now. The Maltese government issued a Climate Emergency in 2019, but since then it’s been business as usual.
Suzanne Maas, Climate Campaign Coordinator at Friends of the Earth Malta, explains: “we are asking the government for bold and ambitious climate policy, a commitment not to invest in any new fossil fuel infrastructure, and instead invest in the energy of the future: renewables, energy savings and community energy”. Since 2015, we have had a Climate Action Bill, but now we need to move from words on paper to action on the ground!
In light of the Climate Conference, COP27 in Egypt, being held over the past 2 weeks and coming to a conclusion this Friday, the NGO publicly issued their demands for climate action and presented these to members of parliament upon arrival to their parliamentary session on Monday 14 November. Politicians, policy makers and the general public are asked to add their name to a growing list of signatories to demand a fossil free future for Malta.
The environmental group demands the following of the Maltese government:
- Act like your house is on fire! Climate change is here, now! The climate crisis is now universally recognised as the biggest threat that our planet faces, with overarching impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human societies. We need bold and ambitious climate policy to reduce our carbon emissions and ensure we live within the planetary boundaries. Malta may be small, but was actually the country that first tabled the issue of climate change at the United Nations in 1988. Let’s live up to that legacy and ensure a future for our country and planet, our only home.
- No new infrastructure for fossil fuels! We need to move away from fossil fuels – oil, coal and gas – as soon as possible. New fossil fuel infrastructure is incompatible with global, EU, and national carbon emission reduction targets. The proposed Melita gas pipeline would lock Malta into a fossil fuel future. We need to ensure that any public investment is compatible with climate targets, and avoid funding any new fossil fuel infrastructure at all costs.
- Invest in the energy of the future! Public money should instead be invested in renewables (like solar and wind), energy savings and community energy. Energy saving, in buildings, operations and transport, is the cheapest and fastest way to reduce energy use and save money. We need to urgently increase our share of renewable energy – currently only 10% – to ensure we can cover our essential electricity needs in the short-term and become fully renewable powered in the future! We need to create a legal framework for renewable energy communities to enable citizens to supply, share and save energy and have a say about our energy system.
- Envision a fossil free future for Malta! Our country should prepare for a climate proof future and move away from fossil fuels as fast as possible. We need to ensure there is a plan for a gas phase-out by 2035 latest. In the short term, we need a new National Energy Policy, outlining the pathway to zero emissions and clean renewable energy for the Maltese Islands.
Anyone can add their voice to the call for climate action on www.foemalta.org/climate. The demands and the list of signatories will be presented to the Prime Minister Robert Abela and the Minister for Energy Miriam Dalli.