The Malta Independent 15 July 2024, Monday
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1,000 citizens and 14 NGOs sign petition against Malta gas pipeline

Tuesday, 23 January 2024, 12:25 Last update: about 7 months ago

Some 1,000 citizens and 14 NGOs have signed an open letter asking for plans for the proposed Melita TransGas pipeline to be shelved.

“Corruption, assassination, and environmental destruction are keywords associated with the Electrogas power station and the Melita TransGas pipeline that the Malta Government is proposing,” the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation and Friends of the Earth said in a statement.

The letter was sent to Prime Minister Robert Abela, Energy Minister Miriam Dalli, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana and MEPs forming part of the European Parliament’s ITRE (Industry, Research and Energy) Committee. MEPs in this committee have the opportunity to review and reject the inclusion of the Melita TransGas Pipeline on the Projects of Common Interest (PCI) list in a vote in the week of 12th February.

In October 2023, Friends of the Earth Malta and The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation launched a video as part of their campaign opposing the pipeline project.

“It uncovers the unsettling reality of the Electrogas project and the proposed Melita TransGas Pipeline, which will lock Malta into burning fossil fuels for the next 40 years. A thousand citizens and representatives of 14 NGOs signed the open letter asking decision makers to ensure that no public money goes to this fossil fuel project,” the organisations said.

The proposed Melita TransGas pipeline, estimated to cost €400 million, was included in the EU’s fifth list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI), making it eligible for EU funding, and again features on the sixth PCI list, which the European Parliament and member states now have the opportunity to review and reject in a vote in the week of 12th February.

“Clauses in Electrogas agreements are set to trigger a multi-million payout to the company once the gas pipeline is completed and connected to the Electrogas power station, rewarding the ultimate beneficial owners of the corrupt project - including Yorgen Fenech, who stands accused of commissioning the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia,” the organisations continued.

“Corruption in the Electrogas project was a core part of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s investigations, which, according to the findings of the public inquiry into her assassination, possibly motivated her murder,” the organisations said.

Matthew Caruana Galizia, Daphne’s son said: “The European Union and Malta risk not only rewarding the alleged killer of Daphne Caruana Galizia but also her murder itself.”

Climate campaign coordinator at Friends of the Earth Malta Dr Suzanne Maas said: “The proposed Melita TransGas pipeline would lock Malta into a fossil fuel future and signify a climate-incompatible investment, leading to stranded assets and wasting public money.”

Colin Roche, climate justice and energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe, added: “This project is one of the last vestiges of a fossil fuel age that Europe has not yet the courage to end but which the climate crisis urgently demands we do. It's time to finally pull the plug on new fossil fuel projects and concentrate our efforts on cheap reliable renewables. The European Parliament should reject these fossil fuel projects and demand a fossil free energy system instead.”

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