The Malta Independent 22 July 2019, Monday

Malta taking a leadership role in the Commonwealth to tackle climate change - Carmelo Abela

Wednesday, 26 June 2019, 12:01 Last update: about 25 days ago

Malta is taking a leadership role in the Commonwealth to tackle climate change, Foreign Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela has said.

"Commonwealth countries must send an important signal to stakeholders and citizens around the world that the international community is serious about addressing climate change and about moving towards a climate-neutral economy", Abela said during the Commonwealth Symposium on Climate Finance and Small States organised in Malta.

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He remarked that Malta is taking a leadership role in tackling climate change, by encouraging the commonwealth community especially the 31 small states out of the 53 countries, to make their voice heard on the adverse effects of climate change and to promote the implementation of the Agenda 2030 on sustainable development. He remarked that Malta is proud to be supporting small states on climate action through capacity building offered by the Commonwealth Small States Centre of Excellence.

Minister Abela called on to the commonwealth community to reaffirm their commitment to the Paris Agreement as the essential multilateral framework governing global action to deal with climate change. The Minister warned small island states that they are among the ones to suffer most from climate change as they are set to endure great material losses because of sea-level and climate variability.

Abela mentioned Malta's current work on the development of its Low Carbon Development Strategy, aimed at transforming Malta into a low-carbon and climate resilient country through symbiotic societal and economic collective actions by 2050. He also mentioned Malta's initiative to eradicate completely the use of cars that depend on fossil fuels. He noted how notwithstanding its small size Malta is going to be at the forefront of such green initiatives.

Minister Abela applauded the Commonwealth's initiative to establish the Climate Finance Access Hub. The EU, its member states, and the European Investment Bank are the biggest provider of public climate finance, including to the multilateral climate funds, having contributed over 20.4 billion euro in 2017 alone.

He concluded by reiterating the message that small island states like Malta provide ample proof that small states are in a unique position, because of their size and lack of major vested interests to contribute constructively and for the common good to the work of the international community.

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