Malta is the only country in the EU to have missed every single emissions target since 2013, according to a recent report published by the European Environment Agency (EEA), which also showed that the government’s failure is resulting in an additional financial burden on taxpayers.
The report shows Malta has fallen significantly short of its climate and emissions targets when compared to the progress of other EU Member States. As a result of its failure to meet its obligations, Malta has been balancing its surplus emissions by purchasing ‘Annual Emissions Allocations’ (AEAs) from Bulgaria and it will have to continue doing so for the foreseeable future.
Malta’s failure to meet basic targets set down by the EEA means that not only is the environment not being treated as a priority by the government, but that additional taxpayer’s money is being spent on purchasing AEAs from other countries.
Malta is one of only four Member States that have actually increased emissions in the ‘building sector’ in the last 13 years, as well as being one of three countries who have increased their emissions by in excess of 50% in the ‘industry and other’ sector.
The ‘Trends and Projections in Europe 2018’ report tracked the action taken by other member states to meet Europe’s climate and energy targets. Eight out of 28 Member States hit their targets, but many others showed significant improvements when compared to last year.
Malta, on the other hand, placed second to last with Cyprus taking the bottom position.
In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, the race to the bottom was only narrowly won by Cyprus and the gulf between second to last and third to last position was vast.
Malta was the only EU country that missed every single emissions target since 2013, the report states. In addition, “it is clear that the current measures being implemented by the government are not only falling completely short of the mark but that if things continue in this way, Malta will be unable to meet its 2020 effort sharing targets”.
The effort sharing legislation comprises of a set of policies that bind annual greenhouse gas emission targets for Member States for the periods 2013-2020 and 2021-2030.
These emissions targets are designed to help move Europe towards a low-carbon economy as well as increase its energy security. National targets, if met, will deliver a reduction of approximately 10% of EU emissions by 2020, and 20% by 2030 when compared to 2005 levels.
Examples of potential policies and measures that can be utilised to work towards meeting effort sharing targets include promoting public transport, a shift away from transport based on fossil fuels, renewable energy for heating and cooling, and support schemes for retrofitting buildings.