Green economy national strategy launched for final consultation

53 proposals for green-led economic growth

Environment Minister Leo Brincat
Environment Minister Leo Brincat

A draft of Malta’s first ever national strategy and action plan for a green economy has been launched for its final consultation.

Addressing the launch at the Toly premises, Environment Minister Leo Brincat said the project was nearing finalization and enjoyed the backing of all entities and ministries.

The document lists 53 proposals in nine pivotal sector which should result in green-led growth once they come to fruition. It will be subjected to a final economic evaluation by the government after the consultation process is finalised.

The initial consultation process was launched in November 2013 with the assistance of a leading Irish green growth expert and a UK specialist from the corporate sector.

Since then, extensive consultation at stakeholder level took place: key components of the private sector and constituted bodies, at an inter ministerial level, as well as through various one to one meetings with individual ministries and government entities.

“As our economy continues to grow the importance of its sustainability becomes even more imperative than ever,” Environment Minister Leo Brincat said.

As an example, Brincat referred to the link between sustainable tourism and sustainable transport.

The minister said that the document needed to be “practical and viable to address Malta’s specificities”.

While there is no unified global definition of what constitutes a green job, green growth is not limited to the environmental sector.

On the contrary, it is linked to all those initiatives that strengthen the basis of a green economic development, either through the application of clean air technology, the strengthening of energy efficiency in products and in buildings, increased resource efficiency, re-use and recycling of waste, improved water management, green buildings and less polluting vehicles on the road.

“While governments must continue to lead by example, if used judiciously, the corporate sector can look upon green growth as the ideal vehicle to boost its competitiveness and enhance its profitability,” Brincat said.

He said that innovation and research should form the basis of these future efforts.

Brincat said the green economy was being applied worldwide by countries that are performing well in various stages of development and economic prosperity.

Others like Portugal and Ireland had managed to think outside the box when experiencing some of the most difficult moments of their austerity periods.

Italy had put the green economy at the forefront of its EU presidency a few months ago, while oil rich countries like the UAE were already planning for the post oil economy. 

Brincat acknowledged the consistent work by the United Nations at UNEP level, the priority the OECD has been giving green jobs over the years, as well as the prominence given to the green economy by the Global Green Growth Institute in South Korea that he had visited months ago.

Even the World Bank had recognised the importance of green growth as a spur for a more sustainable and inclusive economy.

“If this strategy and action plan is put into effect efficiently and effectively, the net beneficiary will be the country itself, the ordinary citizen as well as our quality of life,” Brincat said.

“Our biggest challenge should be that of matching our short term goals with our medium term and long term objectives with the ultimate aim of creating more and better quality jobs.”

The draft document will be subjected to a final consultation online process that runs till the 3 November 2015. Accordingly, one is invited and encouraged to send his/her suggestions at [email protected].

More in Environment