The Malta Independent 22 September 2021, Wednesday

Green

Alfred Sant MEP Thursday, 29 July 2021, 08:00 Last update: about 3 months ago

One of the defence mechanisms that are being built up against climate change seeks to promote “green” investments and penalise those backing processes and projects that will end up releasing more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. “Green” investments will be given preferential treatment by governments and bank lending guidelines will do likewise.

A problem was, and to a certan extent still is, how to define “green” investments. Clearly, projects run on renewable energy are green; but not those that rely on coal. But if a project is intended to change energy usage from coal to a less carbon polluting source, even if it still does release carbon dioxide, should it qualify as green or not?

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And should nuclear energy be classified green? Or energy generated by wood harvested from a managed forestry provider?

Many (not all) of the difficutlies raised by such questions are being resolved, even if some states still hold to their reservations.

Meanwhile, the clock of climate change keeps on ticking, perhaps at a swifter rate than previously.

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LONGER TERM

Across all of Europe, the belief has spread that the war against Covid-19 will continue for longer than was being prospected quite recently. Given that at last, vaccination campaigns had gathered momentum, the infection rate could have come well under control by the end of summer and would be totally extinguished or almost during the autumn.

That expectation is no longer there, since following the arrival of the Delta variant, a new wave of infections again took off.

Still though there seems to be a resigned acceptance of this, what is strange is that all things considered, forecasts regarding economic growth for the coming months have remained buoyant, not to say that they have improved. It looks as if economic operators have already factored into their calculations the possibility that we will have to become accustomed to live with Covid as a part of life.

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CRAYFISH ON THE MARCH

As far as I know, there’s still no Maltese name for them even if they have found excellent refuge in this country. They have the shape of a lobster in miniature. I was told they can be found in three hues – those I saw seemed to be reddish.

I had heard or read that they have greatly multiplied in some of the valleys which retain winter rains. They had escaped or were released from some aquarium and in a short while discovered where to live and raise their families. They happen to be extremely fertile.

Still I never imagined that crayfish could be so invasive. During a visit to the hugely valid project that is being run by the Energy and Water Agency in Wied Qlejja (or the Chadwick Lakes), I was astonished by the innumerable crayfish that crowded the few pools of water that still can be found at the bottom of the valley, and by the many crayfish nests borrowed into the sides of the valley. The crayfish population there has exploded and is destroying the fauna that lived there before their arrival, including frogs and elsewhere the sweet water crabs still to be found in Malta.

           

 

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