Malta way off target to cut carbon emissions, EU report shows

Carbon emissions shot up by 28% since 2005 • Malta lags behind in EU emissions target but surpasses the employment and tertiary education targets

Carbon emissions from traffic are probably to blame for the increase in greenhouse gas emissions
Carbon emissions from traffic are probably to blame for the increase in greenhouse gas emissions

Malta’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 28% in 2018, greatly exceeding the Europe 2020 target of limiting increases to only 5%, a report released today shows.

This emerges from an EU commission report assessing member states’ progress towards EU targets in various sectors.

The EU 2020 targets use 2005 as the benchmark year.

EU 2020 targets: How has Malta done?

  • Greenhouse gas emissions up 28%, far off target
  • Renewable energy three points below target
  • Employment at 75% is five points above target
  • Tertiary education target acceded
  • Sharp drop in early school leavers but still among the highest
  • People at risk of poverty up 9.9%

Malta was one of 10 EU member states who failed to achieve the emissions target. But the EU as a whole has managed to reduce its emissions by 11%.

According to the report Malta has not met its annual green house emissions targets for each of the five years, from 2013 to 2017. The island complied with legal obligations by resorting to flexibility mechanisms, a term used to refer to the transfer of emissions from one member state to another.

The increase in emissions is probably linked to petrol-powered and diesel-powered vehicles.

In 2018, Malta's roads had to cater for 28,000 new vehicles the largest yearly increase in car registrations since 2000.

The government is committed to introduce a cut off date for the importation of such vehicles to gradually convert the fleet to electric power.

Malta is also struggling with its renewable energy target being still three points under its 10% target.

But Malta has not only met its employment target of 70% in 2016 but exceeded it by five percentage points in 2018, reaching an employment rate of 75%.

Malta has surpassed ist tertiary education target
Malta has surpassed ist tertiary education target

Malta has also surpassed its tertiary education target.

In 2018, 34% of people aged between 30 and 34 had a tertiary education. According to the report the increase came as a result of a continuous increase in the tertiary educational attainment of 30- to 34-year-olds since 2008.

The report refers to a significant drop from 32% to 17.5% in the share of early leavers from education and training since 2008.

But Malta, alongside Spain and Romania, still reported the highest share of early school leavers in the EU.

The number of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion increased by 9.9% between 2008 and 2018, “moving the country further away from its Europe 2020 goal”.

NSO statistics have shown the increase in people at risk of poverty being corresponded by a decrease in people experiencing severe deprivation.

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