As the world reels from America’s decision to back out of the Paris climate deal, a non-binding agreement encouraging countries to stop the world from self-destructing, some leaders have stood up in defiance of the US’s crappy decision. And Malta should do the same, but with more than just words.
The agreement, signed by 194 countries, allows nations to set their own goals for the negation of CO2 emissions while encouraging them to turn to renewable energy sources. Only three nations across the globe haven’t signed it; America, Syria and Nicaragua (who refused to sign in protest as they believe the agreement should be way greener). Even North Korea has agreed to the deal.
Citing ‘the good of the American workers’ Trump decided to ignore international scientific consensus and charge ahead as though climate change is little more than a minor inconvenience, just to give his voters a ‘win’.
As a tiny island at risk of disappearing entirely, Malta should be completely committed to positioning itself at the forefront of the stick-it-to-the-man movement.
We are basically all Merkel at this point
We’ve all heard about the threat of rising sea levels as climate change melts the polar ice caps, but have any of us considered how screwed we really are? If the seas rise by a predicted six meters, most of Malta will be completely flooded; everything that isn’t Rabat or Mdina will be ruined, or completely gone.
Selfish desires to not become a second Atlantis aside, an island of our size combined with a population that always strives to be the best in the world is an environmental revolution waiting to happen.
And this wouldn’t be the first time we’ve positioned ourselves as an international environmental authority.
“As a tiny island at risk of disappearing entirely, Malta should be completely committed to positioning itself at the forefront of the stick-it-to-the-man movement.”
Way back in 1988 a Maltese professor’s research predicted the challenges we’d face due to climate change. The work of Professor David Attard spurred the Maltese government of the time to take its concerns all the way to the United Nations, where, with the help of Guido Demarco (who was the President of the UN’s General Assembly) the issue was pushed to the forefront of the discussions.
By 1992 the issue of climate change, possibly first flagged by Malta, led to the UN Convention on the Protection of Global Climate, and eventually the massive 1997 Kyoto Protocol (a treaty that extends the commitments to reduce greenhouse emissions).
But this wasn’t the first time we stood up for the planet. In the 70s Malta also led the charge on a document that saw the seabed officially documented as Common Heritage of Mankind. Arvid Padro, Malta’s ambassador to the United States, spearheaded a change in law that would protect reefs and marine environments from the destruction caused by trawl-fishing and pollution.
“After a 30-year absence, it’s time for Malta to be a pioneer once more”
Photo: Owen Zammit
After a 30-year absence, it’s time for Malta to be a pioneer once more. Small nation states like Costa Rica and Nicaragua are already showing how simple changes can make a world of difference. As Malta gets ready to start a new legislature, and as the final stages of our EU Presidency come into force, let’s take the time to really prioritise achievable and groundbreaking change.
Let’s use our unique situation (an island nation at risk of total eradication) to position ourselves as a tiny beacon of hope amidst a sea of climate disasters.