The impact of climate change on security and regional conflicts will be a top priority for Malta should it be elected to the United Nations Security Council, Prime Minister Robert Abela told the UN General Assembly yesterday.
Abela told delegates that climate change posed significant challenges that could exacerbate long-standing vulnerabilities and emerging conflicts, as well as threaten the very existence of some countries and regions.
“In view of this relationship between climate change and security, it will be high on Malta’s agenda if elected to the security council. We will place a particular emphasis on bridging the gap between science and global security concerns, especially the ocean as the single largest habitat on our planet,” Abela said.
Malta is a candidate for one of two non-permanent seats up for grabs in the Western European and Other Regions group for the period 2023-2024. The seats’ allocation will be decided through a vote in June 2022.
In his address, Abela said that the COVID-19 pandemic had emphasised the need for multilateralism to the world, insisting that it was only together that countries could address common problems, such as climate change.
Malta, Abela said, had placed the shift to a carbon-neutral economy by 2030 at the centre of its economic vision.
He said that Malta had formulated a low carbon strategy that would see it better positioned to both mitigate and adapt to the negative impacts of climate change.
“Small island states are among the lowest emitters but also the most vulnerable to climate change. We also have limited options to reduce emissions, leading us to incur higher marginal and disproportionate abatement costs,” Abela said in a pre-recorded interview.
World leaders had an obligation to act without delay, he said, while expressing his satisfaction at the EU also launching its own strategy on adaptation.
Abela said that Malta was keen to share its experience with other island states and to lead the way on small island-state governance.
Malta, he said, was committed to ensuring that the voice of those states most significantly impacted by climate change was heard and was working within the UN’s structures to raise awareness in this regard.
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