Climate Action Act
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Climate Action Act

The Climate Action Act was published as Chapter 543 of the Laws of Malta in 2015 and is Malta’s main law on climate change. The Climate Action Act, as an enabling Act specifies that it aims to contribute to the mitigation of climate change by limiting anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and to protect and enhance greenhouse gas sinks and reservoirs. The Act was promulgated following unanimous endorsement by Parliament.  It also provides legal obligations for coherent and coordinated governance to deal with this challenge on a national level. The subsidiary legislation under the Act transposes the legally binding commitments the EU member States have under the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), 1997 the Kyoto Protocol and the 2015 Paris Agreement. Besides the Climate Action Act there are various national Policies, Strategies and Plans that address climate action. 

The Climate Action Act, acknowledges that change in Earth’s climate caused by human induced emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and that the harmful effects resulting therefrom, are a common concern of humankind. It establishes that all persons have a duty to combat climate change and lists a number of obligations the government has to mitigate climate change which includes carrying out the inventory of GHGs, publishing and reviewing the low carbon and adaptation strategies, facilitating research and innovation. The government is also guided a set of specific climate friendly principles in fulfilling its functions under the Act. The Act focuses upon instilling a proactive approach upon government entities towards climate action whilst roping in the support of non-State actors. 

The Act establishes a Climate Action Board (CAB) as a body that represents government entities, the academia, business and civil society which ensures representation of all sectors of Maltese society in the fight against climate change, even by facilitating stakeholder dialogue. It aims to instil ownership relating to climate action governance across the public and private sectors. The Minister responsible for climate change shall every year, lay before the House of Representatives the report of the Climate Action Board. 

The Climate Action Act also sets up a Climate Action Fund, which has a separate juridical personality and serves to act as the financial instrument which supports the implementation of the Act namely measures to abate GHG emissions and to adopt carbon neutral technologies as well as to enhance sinks of such emissions whilst building a society, whose sectoral components are resilient to climate change.

Malta has various legally binding targets to meet by 2020 and by 2030 as an EU member State and a Party to multilateral legal instruments referred to in the Act itself.  The Act also addresses adaptation to climate change by requiring government to take measures for the prevention, avoidance and reduction of the adverse impacts of climate change. Such measures are intended to reduce vulnerability, enhance resilience. More specifically, on adaptation, the Act dictates the process to conduct periodic reviews and update of the National Adaptation Strategy. It also foresees to include information on climate change actual and projected impacts. 

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