Minister for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change Leo Brincat called for early ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement during the EU Environment Council Meeting held in Brussels today.
He stated that this should help keep the EU in the forefront of climate action while showing its commitment and continuous ambition to the other UNFCCC Parties.
Minister Brincat said that while Malta considers that in-depth legal analysis is necessary in order to investigate all the possible implications, it nonetheless considers that efforts should be made to bring on board the other signing parties especially those who are considered as the major contributing countries.
He added that while Malta thinks that early action is crucial in obtaining major reductions in the cost of future mitigation and adaptation efforts, Malta is content to see that adaptation has been given the recognition it deserves - something that lobbied for strongly prior to COP21 itself.
Minister Brincat claimed that a more in depth approach should also be presented on the technical issues, such as capacity building and technology transfer for developing countries as well as support for the monitoring, reporting and verification processes.
Circular Economy and Green Growth
While Malta recognises the need for the EU to move towards a circular economy for further EU green growth and value added, Minister Brincat felt that even though waste management is pivotal for the success of a circular economy, the focus of the package should be on all stages of a product life cycle. Since failure to address all phases of a product’s life cycle could weaken the loop.
Minister Brincat welcomed the fact that the package recognises that the different realities and challenges in waste management even from a country specific perspective should be duly considered in ongoing discussions. In Malta’s case the lack of economies of scale hinder the feasibility for investment in waste management resources whilst our insularity leads to restrictions particularly at the disposal stage.
Minister Brincat spoke on the need for governance model that ensures swift and effective progress without administrative burdens on the industry, consumers and authorities.
He called for focus on fiscal and economic incentives in order to ensure an effective waste management and in order to reach regulatory obligations, while ensuring competitiveness of our businesses particularly of our SMEs and facilitating the tapping into EU funding opportunities. Minister Brincat also invited Member States to cooperate multilaterally with third countries on the various stages of a product’s life cycle given that a product can be consumed in a different country other than that it was manufactured in.
Minister Brincat stated that the move towards a green economy is a promising pathway towards achieving sustainable development as this could be an excellent avenue for job creation, a chance to redirect investment and to boost innovation.
While referring to Malta’s low carbon development strategy underway Minister Brincat said that that sustainable development is not only an integral part of Europe’s new growth agenda, but also that economic instruments enabling the establishment of a low carbon economy are essential.
Minister Brincat met on the margins Commissioner for Climate Action Miguel Arias Cañete, the Commission Director General for the Environment as well as the British Climate Minister in the House of Lords Lord Bourne.