Gearing ourselves for a green economy

We need to continue gearing ourselves towards a sustainable development model where all citizens can grow, live, work, and age in an environment that optimises their quality of life and wellbeing

The success of the Paris Agreement requires the EU to reduce its own emissions. An essential part of that success involves cooperation with our global partners.

Hence, opportunely our PES environment ministers meeting last week was kick-started with a briefing by European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans on the meeting with the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry.

Continued efforts to drive forward the sustainability agenda, both at the EU-level and globally, are needed to shape a society which is resilient enough to withstand shock to the any of the three pillars of sustainability – economic, social and environmental.

The meeting, chaired by German Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany – Svenja Schulze, further included the European Climate Law, the EU Strategy on Adaption to Climate Change and the Member States’ Recovery and Resilience Plans. ‘Greener, smarter and more resilient – this is the recovery we must build’ is the key takeaway from our meeting.

Action for the climate is a priority.

A year ago, European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans presented the Climate Law.. It is now crucial that work is focused on reaching an agreement on this proposal.

Just last month, the EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change was presented by the European Commission. As a small island country with limited natural resources and highly exposed to climate impacts, Malta has long advocated the need for climate adaptation actions. We now need to ensure the right level of importance is given also to adaptation.

Executive Vice-President Timmermans also stressed the importance of having an ambitious ‘Fit for 55 package’ which is expected to be presented later this year.

Ministers pointed out the opportunity stemming from the Recovery and Resilience Plans, which are currently being drafted by the Member States, allowing to speed up the recovery in Europe and reinforcing the commitment to the twin transitions: green and digital.

The European Green Deal, together with all its branching measures, needs to be at the heart of the pandemic’s recovery.

As the EU and the world continue to undeniably face increasingly frequent and severe climate and weather extremes, desertification, ocean acidification, and sea level rises, loss of biodiversity, land and ecosystem degradation, measures and actions will remain at the top of the agenda.

Fast-forwarding to a post-COVID-19 life, sustainable progress and an ambitious climate approach are what should define this new tomorrow.

On this road to recovery, Malta is already embracing this European Green Deal by embedding measures into society to combat climate change and strengthen our resilience.

We are investing more into families, businesses, infrastructure, and the environment. From the upcoming Low Carbon Development Strategy, which will lead up to the decarbonisation of our economy in line with Malta’s economic vision for 2020-2050 and the attainment of carbon neutrality by 2050 to the Long-Term Renovation Strategy. From the Noise Action Plan to a new National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for the years 2022-2030.

From the new Waste Management Plan, which charts the developments in the sector till 2030, to all our work and initiatives from an environmental dimension. One example is the Green Your Building scheme financed by the Planning Authority with an investment of €2 million.

The reality is that we need to continue gearing ourselves towards a sustainable development model where all citizens can grow, live, work, and age in an environment that optimises their quality of life and wellbeing. For better preparedness and for a better tomorrow.