The Malta Independent 9 December 2019, Monday

Malta records the EU’s highest carbon dioxide emissions increase

Saturday, 5 May 2018, 07:54 Last update: about 3 years ago

Malta recorded the highest carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy use increase in the European Union in 2017, information released by Eurostat revealed.

Interestingly, this rise came after a significant drop in CO2 emissions 2016, the largest drop in the EU that year.

This situation sheds light on growing concerns regarding health and air quality in Malta. Malta had closed down the Marsa power station in the last legislature, in addition to the Delimara 1 station, and switched over to the use of gas and the interconnector in a bid to reduce Malta’s emissions, yet now carbon dioxide emissions seem to be on the rise.

According to statistics issued by the National Statistics Office here in Malta, in 2016 emissions from power plant sources dropped by 34.8% over 2015, mainly due to the use of the interconnector.

Eurostat estimates that in 2017, CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion increased by 1.8% in the European Union, compared with the previous year. “CO2 emissions are a major contributor to global warming and account for around 80% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions. They are influenced by factors such as climate conditions, economic growth, size of the population, transport and industrial activities.

“It should also be noted that imports and exports of energy products have an impact on CO2 emissions in the country where fossil fuels are burned: for example if coal is imported this leads to an increase in emissions, while if electricity is imported, it has no direct effect on emissions in the importing country, as these would be reported in the exporting country where it is produced.”

Eurostat explains that according to its estimates, CO2 emissions rose in 2017 in a majority of EU Member States, with the highest increase being recorded in Malta (+12.8%), followed by Estonia (+11.3%), Bulgaria (+8.3%) Spain (+7.4%) and Portugal (+7.3%).

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