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PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND PLANNING - Budget 2021 places the environment, the economy, and social considerations on the same level

Reference Number: PR202072en, Press Release Issue Date: Oct 24, 2020
Budget 2021 places the environment, the economy, and social considerations on the same level
​The environmental measures announced in the budget are based on the government’s vision for the future. The measures pave the path for the green and resilient post-COVID economy that our country is moving towards under the concept of ‘building back better’, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning Aaron Farrugia said.
The Minister was speaking during a press conference on the 2021 Budget, which is the largest budget our country has ever announced, with a significant number of measures that will continue to strengthen and improve the state of the environment, quality of life, and the economy. 
“These measures are the tools with which the government will implement the vision announced by Prime Minister Robert Abela a few weeks ago: a vision which places the environment, the economy, and social considerations on the same level. This is what led to the widespread support of this budget: families, industry, the majority of social partners recognised the work the value behind every measure, and the work that went into it. Overall, there were no real surprises as everyone knows what to expect from this Government: peace of mind, a sense of hope and courage for the future,” the Minister said.
Following the announcement of the largest-ever investment in waste management in Malta, ECOHIVE,  our country will also have a new long-term waste management plan by the end of this year, and for the first time, the issue of waste separation in the commercial sector will be addressed.
Minister Farrugia said that a substantial amount of an investment of €220 million from the Resilience and Recovery Fund will be dedicated to our country’s ecological transition. 
The Minister continued to explain that next year, the necessary infrastructure for the Beverage Container Refund Scheme will be put into place. While this scheme will benefit our environment, it also shows the opportunities offered by the circular economy as resources are recycled and reused, thereby fostering a culture which values the economic significance of recycled resources. 
Among the significant environmental measures in the Budget is the ban on importation of Single-Use-Plastic products from the first of January next year. This will be followed up with a ban on sale of these products, the year after. 
The government is launching a number of new infrastructural initiatives through green projects in urban areas, including the first four green walls in our country with an investment of €1 million, a new scheme which will see an investment of €2 million lead to the creation of green facades for households and businesses. Such projects will lead to a better environment in areas where people live and work.
As the battle against climate change remains at the top of the agenda of various Governments around the world, Malta finalised a plan to reach zero carbon by 2050 and lower emission levels and improve air quality. 
“The financing if these initiatives ensures that our country is among the best when it comes to our ecological transition. For this reason, apart from government investment, private investment and EU funds, the government will also be introducing green bonds to finance projects related to green economy which places our country among more ambitious countries through strong decisions and hard work,” Minister Farrugia said.