The Malta Independent 21 September 2021, Tuesday

We cannot ignore social impact of shift towards carbon-free environment – Cutajar

Friday, 23 July 2021, 16:17 Last update: about 3 months ago

“Whilst we need to work hard for a better and carbon-free environment, we cannot ignore the social impact this transaction will have,” MEP Josianne Cutajar said.

Whilst intervening during the last meeting of the Committee on Industry, Research and Innovation (ITRE) before the summer recess, during which a presentation by Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson on the energy sector aspects of the ‘Fit for 55 Package’ was delivered, MEP Josianne Cutajar stressed that although she agrees with, and will work towards, the European goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, Europe cannot ignore the social impact that such a transaction will have.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Fit for 55 Package includes a series of legislative proposals that will lead to a 55% reduction in emissions, with the aim of Europe becoming the first climate neutral continent. Josianne Cutajar called for the European Union to be careful so as not to increase the impact on lower-earning workers and families. “It is important to work towards an agreement that provides Member States with the needed flexibility to adopt their approach to reach the climate targets, whilst taking into account the needs of their communities” said Cutajar.

“Whilst I welcome the creation of a Social Climate Fund, much more needs to be done to ensure that we really leave no one behind especially islands and countries on the periphery, such as Malta and Gozo," Josianne Cutajar reiterated. She went on to say that countries such as Malta whose connectivity solely depends on aviation and maritime transport, will be hit much harder by environmental taxes and other measures which may have an impact on transport fares and costs in these sectors. It is therefore necessary to ensure adequate compensation and support to safeguard the competitiveness of all operators working in the field, whilst also guaranteeing transport and energy affordability.

  • don't miss