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PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND PLANNING

Reference Number: PR200397en, Press Release Issue Date: Mar 06, 2020
​Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning Aaron Farrugia drew attention to Malta’s specificities in the context of the European Green Deal, during a meeting with European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans.
 
The Minister called on the Commission to enable tailor-made mechanisms and financial assistance to address the realities of an island member state like Malta, with limited landmass and resources, as well as unfavourable economies of scale. 
 
He said that, while the country is facing a number of challenges in this regard, the government is committed to overcoming these challenges and turning them into opportunities with the support of the EU.
 
During the Environment Council (ENV), Minister Farrugia intervened in a similar vein in the context of the European Green Deal exchange of views, which focused on two elements; climate and the circular economy. 
 
From a climate perspective, he emphasised that no member state should be left behind and that Malta’s specificities, in the context of the EU’s transition towards climate neutrality by 2050, have to be addressed. 
 
He added that a balanced approach is imperative, and that a thorough study is needed in order to determine the real capabilities of each and every member state in attaining the 2030 targets and beyond. Minister Farrugia also stated that Malta would be engaging heavily in discussions on the recently adopted Climate Law. 
 
From a circular economy perspective in the context of the European Green Deal, the Minister noted that a shift to a circular economy is necessary for both the economy and the environment, but Malta is facing a number of challenges in this transition, due to its vulnerabilities as a small island; its high dependence on resource imports and waste exports, the Minister said. 
 
The Minister explained that Malta exports most of its production, therefore closing the loop on our own is not the optimal solution for the environmentally sound management of our resources. The Minister explained that Malta is already working on a number of sector-specific strategies that consider national circumstances, such as the Single-Use Plastic Products Strategy for the next decade and the Construction and Demolition Waste Strategy for Malta for the period up to 2025. 
 
Malta is also investing in an awareness-raising campaign enabling consumers to make more informed choices, whilst reinforcing the Extended Producer Responsibility mechanism, thereby striving for more sustainable production and consumption patterns. In this vein, Malta has already set up the Resource Recovery and Recycling Agency, intended to address concerns arising from specific waste streams.