A new European report has found that Malta is seriously lagging behind in its pledges to cut emissions, having failed to reach every single emission target set out for the country since 2013.
Malta will now have to use taxpayer money to purchase further Annual Emissions Allocations (AEAs) from countries like Bulgaria, who were able to reach their emission targets, to balance out the country’s deficiencies.
“Malta is the only country for which emissions have remained above its Effort Sharing targets since 2013,” the report said. “In 2016, emissions were higher than annual allocations by 0.2 million AEAs, which is equal to a gap of 15%. For the other Member States with 2016 emissions higher than their Effort Sharing targets, the gaps are smaller than 3.1%.”
The ‘Trends and Projections in Europe 2018’ report was published by the European Environment Agency (EEA), and highlighted how just eight out of the 28 Member States were able to reach their targets, with Malta placing just above Cyprus, who came in last place, in the international battle against pollution.
Malta will now have to offset its failures by purchasing AEAs – a form of emission concession – from countries that achieved their targets
“For Malta, deficits are projected for every year until 2020, with an annual gap of 0.1 million AEAs,” the report said.
“To comply with the ESD, Malta has been balancing its surplus emissions with AEA purchases from Bulgaria, which had overachieved with respect to its targets,” it continued.
The report noted that Malta had complied with its legal obligations in relation to emission failures in 2013, 2014 and 2015 by purchasing surplus AEAs from Bulgaria, and will now need to do so for 2017 onwards.
Indeed, instead of lowering them, Malta has increased emissions in the three main ‘Effort Sharing’ sectors
When it came to the Transport, Industry and other, and Construction, Malta had actually increased its emissions in all areas since 2005.
“These trends might partly result from increasing tourism, which can have a large impact on such a small country. This increase goes along with an increase in buildings, transport, waste and also air conditioning systems. While air conditioning systems lead to emission increases in the electricity sector, they also influence the consumption of F-gases, which is included in the ‘industry and other’ sector,” the report noted.
The effort-sharing legislation binds Member States to reaching annual greenhouse gas emission targets
“Malta is the only country for which emissions have remained above its Effort Sharing targets since 2013”
European Member States were bound to reach specific emission targets in particular periods.
The periods of 2013-2020 and 2021-2030, each with their own particular targets, are aimed at making Europe move towards a less pollutant-filled and more environmentally-friendly future.