Transport generated almost as much emissions as power stations in 2017

While emissions from power stations have been significantly reduced over the last ten years, emissions from cars keep increasing steadily

Transport emissions increased by 30% between 2007 and 2017 (File Photo)
Transport emissions increased by 30% between 2007 and 2017 (File Photo)

Greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector in 2017 was almost equivalent to emissions resulting from energy generation, according to data published by the National Statistics Office.

The statistics were released on the occasion of World Environment Day, which is celebrated on the 5 June, and through which the United Nations aims to promote awareness about the environment and the need to protect it.

Greenhouse gases absorb heat radiation and include gases like carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane. Their continuous emission as a result of human activities results in the warming of the planet’s surface. 

According to the statistics, greenhouse gas emissions in 2017 reached 2,155 kilotonnes – a 14% increase. Since 2007, the county has registered a 30% decrease.

A look at the data shows that energy industries contributed 34% of all greenhouse gases in 2017, while transport – in all its forms - amounted to 30%. 

In 2007, energy industries produced 2,034 kilotonnes of CO2 equivalent, dropping to 727 kilotonnes in 2017. Between 2014 and 2015 emissions were almost halved owing to the interconnector between Malta and Sicily coming online, with emissions continuing to fall as the Malta shift to a gas-fired power station.

During the same period, emissions from transport increased from 481 kilotonnes to 636 kilotonnes, driven to some extent by a large increase in the number of cars on Maltese roads. A total of 33,807 cars were added to Maltese roads between 2014 and 2018.

The number of flights to and from Malta have also increased substantially, as has sea transport between Malta and Gozo.  

The amount of livestock in Malta - another source of greenhouse gases - decreased by 32% between 2010 and 2018, according to the NSO.

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