Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana said that Gozo will be benefiting from European Union funds of around €500,000 in order to truly become a unique destination and ecological island.
During a press conference, Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana and Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia announced that Gozo will be benefiting through two INTRREG MED 2014-2020 projects with funds that amount to around €500,000. Minister Caruana said that the Ministry for Gozo is constantly exploring new and different means to obtain EU funds to implement the vision of the Ministry for Gozo.
Through the SHERPA project, the Ministry for Gozo aims to improve energy efficiency through the public administrations’ buildings and reduce CO2 emissions. This should help in the implementation of EU directives regarding the existing stock of Mediterranean public buildings, given the specific conditions and difficulties related to EEB projects in the MED area and the associate potential of energy saving.
Currently, 10 buildings were identified in Gozo to be studied for their use of energy over the past five years along with current measures present in the building which resulted in reduction of energy consumption. Minister Caruana added that a similar project, funded through ERDF with a €2.5 million budget is underway. It involves the retrofitting of the public building that houses the Ministry for Gozo offices into an eco-friendly building.
The CONSUME LESS project aims to bring together restaurants in Gozo to effectively reach a number of criteria related to the reduction of energy use, water use, and generation of waste, which will lead to the establishment being awarded the CONSUME LESS MED label if requirements are met.
Farrugia said that through SHERPA and CONSUME-LESS, public buildings as well as private entities like restaurants will make the best of innovative systems in order to preserve energy and improve the surrounding environment. He explained that through these projects, Gozo will be receiving EU funds which go over and above the 10% of the voted EU structural funds.