The Malta Independent 15 November 2018, Thursday

Updated: Malta buying emissions allocations from Bulgaria costing €180,000 a year

Rebekah Cilia Monday, 5 November 2018, 19:45 Last update: about 9 days ago

Malta has exceeded its annual emissions allocations (AEAs) since 2013 but has covered the deficit by purchasing AEAs from Bulgaria at a price of €180,000 per year, PN MP Jason Azzopardi said quoting a Eur Comm Report.

Speaking in parliament on Monday, Azzopardi made reference to the report entitled 'Paris Climate Agreement: Taking stock of progress' issued on 26 October 2018, which said that Malta is the only EU state who exceeded these emissions.

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Azzopardi said this agreement made with Bulgaria was carried out in secret by the government at the end of 2016. This agreement covers the years 2013 to 2020 totalling to €1.4 million. It was done with Cabinet's approval, he noted. 

"Malta is the only country from 28 that had to pay to allow us to pollute the air more than allowed," said Azzopardi. Due to the government's incompetence and irresponsibility the taxpayers have to pay fines to foreigners from Malta's taxes, he continued. 

Azzopardi also mentioned the new waste collection notice which he described as a 'mess.' Rehashing the saga behind the old legal notice and the new one, he pointed out several mistakes in the latter. 

The tender for waste collection imposed the duty to supply and distribute bins and leaflets to every household in 80 days, he said, noting that the document mentioned penalties in cases of non-compliance.

In fact, he said that many were deterred by this condition but a clarification notice was issued insisting on this requirement. Azzopardi then asked the Minister to tell the amount in penalties that were imposed on the selected bidder for obvious issues of non-compliance.

Compost was also part of Azzopardi's speech, saying that in Malta there are only 8,000 hectares of soil.  According to the Waste Management Plan, however, Malta generates 150,000 tonnes per annum of clean biodegradable municipal waste. He questioned where all the compost will be used saying that obviously, the compost will be going to the landfill. 

Azzopardi also noted government's silence on enforcement. 

Whilst acknowledging that the aim behind the establishment of Ambjent Malta was positive and needed he noted that to date no legal notice has been issued formally launching the authority, as was required by law.

Environment Minister

Reacting to the emissions argument, Environment Minister Jose Herrera invited Azzopardi to ‘illuminate’ him and come up with solutions.

He explained that the country had already drastically reduced power station emissions with the gas project but other emissions could only be decreased by reducing the use of fossil fuels.

Herrera said that government has already committed itself to end the use of fossil fuel cars in Malta but such a changeover took a lot of time and work to implement.

Replying to the criticism about the amount of compost that would be generated, Herrera said that not all organic waste would be turned into compost. He said the real figure would be closer to 35,000 tons of compost. “We never said that all the waste will be recycled - some of it will go into the incinerator,” the minister said.  

He urged the Opposition to ditch the negative politics and start having a vision.

 

“Today we have gone nationwide with the organic bag scheme. If it was for the Opposition we would still be discussing it. People expect more than words from us. Even on this subject, the Opposition was against and tried to stop this process from being implemented. The people deserve much better than the Opposition.” 


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