AD/PD has accused Prime Minister Robert Abela of peddling the European Union’s Green Deal vision as his own in a statement on Wednesday.
The AD/PD referred to the Prime Minister speech at the Cabinet meeting held at the Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, noting that while it was good to see that Abela was recognising that there should be a green and just transition to a fairer society and a zero-carbon economy, this vision is a European Union’s vision.
The two parties noted that this vision resulted following years of pressure from the European Green Party and Greens in their respective countries and in the European Parliament, as well as pressure from civil society. This in turn is forcing national governments to take the necessary steps to combat climate change and the collapse of the current economic system.
“The EU’s ‘Green Deal’, if implemented properly, means that we could reach an EU-wide zero-carbon society by 2050. However for this to happen, the attempts of the Maltese government and of other national governments to undermine the proposed targets, rendering the EU Green Deal ineffective need to stop.”
The parties noted that science shows the need for drastic reductions in carbon emissions.
“The European climate law must bind member states to reduce emissions by 65% by 2030. So far Maltese governments have always negotiated ridiculous and low targets for Malta.”
AD/PD said that for Abela to be taken seriously, the government should commit to a drastic reduction in emissions by 2030, saying that they expect Abela to announce the phase-out of petrol and diesel, and the phase-out of heavy fuel oil by the Maltese merchant fleet, which accounts for 5% of pollution from ships worldwide.
“We expect a serious plan to strengthen the electricity distribution system so that the proportion of electricity generated from renewable sources can be drastically increased.”
AD/PD maintained that Abela’s words could not be taken seriously because several government actions were contrary to such vision naming the widening of roads for more cars, the Malta-Gozo link, the lack of effective infrastructure for alternative modes of commuting and the economic focus on mass tourism as an example.
“The government has not even launched a comprehensive plan on switching vehicles to electric ones, despite having long promised to launch such a plan.”
AD/PD stressed that for the EU’s vision to succeed, the government had to present a detailed and ambitious plan for Malta for a deep, public discussion on a fair transition to a zero-carbon society.