Climate change: ‘Biggest challenge is to get people to take policies on board’

European Parliament Valletta

BirdLife Malta CEO Mark Sultana said that the getting the public to take policies on board which are aimed at mitigating climate change, poses the biggest challenge to politicians.

Sultana was speaking at a public discussion on the EU’s Roadmap to fighting climate change on Thursday. The discussion organized in Gozo is part of the European Parliament’s this Time I’m Voting campaign. Acting Head of the European Parliament Office in Malta Anna Zammit Vella, European Parliament Environmental Policies Specialist Baptiste Chatain, Deputy Head of Cabinet of the European Commissioner for Environment Kathiana Ghio, Malta’s Climate Change Simone Borg, and Mark Sultana participated in the public discussion.

Sultana remarked that ‘the biggest challenge to politicians is to get people to take policies on board’, using the plastic bag loophole to explain better. The eNGO CEO underlined the need to highlight the risks associated with climate change as well as the dire need for people to start voicing their concern as well as more active participation. Sultana observed that despite the closing-down of the Marsa power station, Malta has some six or seven cruise liners recurrently docked in port, which use sulphur fuel that is dirtier than that used in the North Sea. Sultana remarked that the European Union is inviting civil organisations where the government is not, and that he explained, is the reason why civil organisations need the EU as it empowers them.

Professor Simone Borg outlined the three main pillars of climate action: mitigation (reducing emissions), adaption to climate change and the governance of climate change issues. Borg reminded that the EU has required that all of its Member States to have a plan of how to achieve a low-carbon economy.

During his keynote intervention Chatain observed how the European Union is only a fraction of the global scenario and stressed on the importance of achieving more through climate diplomacy.

European Parliament Valletta

Zammit Vella highlighted how three quarters of Europeans want the EU to do more to protect the environment. During her introductory remarks she outlined the Parliament’s action and also spoke of the opportunity that Swedish green activist Greta Thunberg was given at the EP to voice her concerns.