The total stock of licensed motor vehicles stood at 397,508 in 2019, a total increase of more than 3% over the previous year, the National Statistics Office (NSO) said on Friday when it published environment related statistics on World Environment Day.
World Environment Day is celebrated on 5 June.
According to the data provided by Transport Malta, the NSO observed that the increase in stock of licensed vehicles had grown by 15% when compared to 2015. A yearly increase was registered between 2015 and 2019. The absolute majority of licensed vehicles were passenger cars, more than 77% of the total. This was followed by commercial vehicles (54,410) and motorcycles/e-bicycles (30,275). These made up almost 14 and eight per cent, respectively of the stock of licensed motor vehicles.
An increase in all engine types with the exception of gas-powered vehicles was registered in 2019. The number of petrol- and diesel-fuelled vehicles amounted to 236,892 and 154,459 respectively, together making up more than 98% of the total in 2019. The number of petrol- and diesel-fuelled vehicles increased by nearly three per cent over 2018.
Electric and hybrid vehicles amounted to 4,493 vehicles, a significant increase of almost 90% over 2018. In 2019, vehicles that run on gas as well as those combined with petrol and diesel amounted to 1,664 vehicles an increase of 13 per cent over the previous year.
An increase of 47% over 2015 in departing passenger flights was recorded according to the data provided by the Malta International Airport. The NSO said that the data showed a year-on-year increase in departing passenger flights between 2015 and 2019.
Data from Transport Malta showed that in 2019 the total number of cruise liner calls amounted to 359, the largest since 2015 and an increase of nearly 16% over 2018. The NSO reported that according to sources provided by the Gozo Channel Co. Ltd showed that in 2019 total trips to and from both islands amounted to 27,631, resulting in the largest amount of total trips for years between 2015 and 2019.
2019 saw decline in pig stock
The highest drop in livestock was recorded in pigs which decreased from 33,516 to 32,745 in 2019. When compared to 2018, the drop was of 2% however, when compared to 2010 the drop was of 50%.
The largest increase was registered in sheep.
During the period under review, in the Gozo and Comino region, compared to 2018, goats registered a decline of 140, followed by cattle with a decline of 92. On the Maltese islands, in 2019, the largest decline was registered in pigs from 36,294 to 35,477. When compared to 2010, an increase in sheep and goats was recorded, with 1,288 and 1,209 respectively.
Government ignoring other sources of renewable energy – PN
Partit Nazzjonalista said that the government was ignoring new technologies to meet the energy demands through renewable sources.
In a statement to mark World Environment Day signed by Opposition spokesperson for the environment David Thake, the PN said that the government only paid lip-service for the attainment of the EU Energy Union goals for renewable energy production within the islands.
The PN said that the goal to attain only a 11.5% production output of renewable energy by 2030 was unacceptable if our economy continued to grow and pollute.
The Opposition noted that the government only focused on using solar panels as the main recourse to renewable energy production, adding that it ignored new technologies in both affixed and floating offshore wind, and critically, ignoring the cardinal rule of renewable energy production: creating a suitable renewable energy mix.
According to Partit Nazzjonalista, the government sought to continue making Malta more gas dependent, remarking that it also conferred all the responsibility to kick-start renewable energy change on the island upon the shoulders of the citizens.
“Clearly, incentives for battery storage and Solar PV modules will never replace a consorted political effort in this area. The approach by the Maltese government has resulted in society’s indifference towards the protection of the environment and undermines the community spirit required to tackle the threats posed by biodiversity loss,” the PN said.