Updated | Malta registers second-highest carbon emissions in EU in 2018

While the EU has registered an average decrease of 2.5% in CO2 emissions, Malta’s carbon emissions have increased by 6.7% in 2018

Malta continues to register increases in emissions as most countries in Europe are decreasing theirs
Malta continues to register increases in emissions as most countries in Europe are decreasing theirs

Updated at 5.35pm with PN statement

Malta’s carbon dioxide emissions have increased by 6.7% in 2018 compared to the previous year, placing it as the second highest increase in the EU.

Latvia topped the list with an increase of 8.5% in 2018. Countries that have likewise increased their CO2 emissions were Estonia, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Finland and Lithuania. All other EU countries have registered a decrease in emissions since 2017.

A Eurostat report in fact shows that emissions from fossil fuel combustion decreased by 2.5% in the EU compared with the previous year.

CO2 emissions are a major contributor to global warming and account for around 80% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions, influenced by factors such as climate conditions, economic growth, population size, transport and industrial activities.

Germany has the largest share of the EU's total CO2 emissions in 2018 at 22.5%, followed by the United Kingdom at 11.4%. 

Malta hasn't been performing well in this sector as even in 2017, the country registered the highest increase in CO2 emissions, placing it at first place with a 12.8% increase from the previous year.

These increases are mostly linked to petrol-powered and diesel-powered vehicles used on the island. Malta has failed to reach the EU's emission reduction targets every year since 2013 and it looks unlikely to reach the goals set for 2020.

This surrounds the running controversial policy that regulates the building of new fuel stations and the Prime Minister’s repeated declarations of a bid to move to the electrification of transport.

PN concerned over pollution

Opposition shadow minister Stephen Spiteri said the Nationalist Party was worried about the statistics, linking the higher carbon dioxide emissions to an increase in the incidence of allergies, asthma, respiratory diseases and cancer.

"Although the government has boasted about the closure of the Marsa power station, the past three years have seen an increase in carbon dioxide emissions," Spiteri said, adding this was leading to disease and people dying of pollution

PN MEP candidate Roselyn Borg Knight said pollution should be tackled through policy measures.