Malta must re­sume its global cli­mate change lead­er­ship – Na­ture Trust

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Na­ture Trust Malta urges the gov­ern­ment to launch rat­i­fi­ca­tion pro­ce­dures for the UN Paris Agree­ment on cli­mate change be­fore its EU pres­i­dency start­ing on 1st Jan­uary.

“We urge the gov­ern­ment to re­sume Malta’s his­toric cli­mate change lead­er­ship, much ad­mired world­wide in past years”, NTMs Pres­i­dent Vin­cent At­tard said. “NTM had hoped rat­i­fi­ca­tion would be men­tioned by the PM’s speech to the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly last Thurs­day - de­liv­ered one day af­ter the UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral’s High Level Event at UN head­quar­ters for the Paris Agree­ment (adopted at the UN cli­mate change ne­go­ti­a­tions last De­cem­ber). Thirty na­tions de­posited their rat­i­fi­ca­tion in­stru­ments – fol­low­ing 29, in­clud­ing USA and China, which had al­ready done so since the Agree­ment was signed by 176 states (in­clud­ing by the Prime Min­is­ter) at the UN on 22 April.

“Cli­mate change is al­ready as be­gin­ning to drive mi­gra­tion, a key topic of the PM’s speech, and much big­ger flows will oc­cur in fu­ture un­less very am­bi­tious mea­sures are taken to halt global warm­ing and cope with im­pacts which are al­ready in­evitable.

“The Agree­ment’s en­try into force con­di­tions call for 55 coun­tries ac­count­ing to 55 per cent of global green­house gas emis­sions. The coun­try goal is at­tained and only un­der 7% are miss­ing from the emis­sions tar­get. There are cur­rently no signs of Malta rat­i­fy­ing the Agree­ment, just three months be­fore its EU pres­i­dency and while it re­mains Chair-in-Of­fice of the Com­mon­wealth un­til Novem­ber next year. CHOGM in Malta last Novem­ber is­sued a Com­mon­wealth Lead­ers’ State­ment on Cli­mate Ac­tion and over half of Com­mon­wealth na­tions have al­ready rat­i­fied.”

Re­act­ing to the Malta’s cur­rent rat­i­fi­ca­tion sit­u­a­tion, Wen­del Trio, Di­rec­tor of Cli­mate Ac­tion Net­work Europe, (re­gional node of the 1100NGO global net­work Cli­mate Ac­tion Net­work with mem­bers in 100 coun­tries) stated that “Malta’s up­com­ing EU pres­i­dency will be cru­cial to bring progress in a num­ber of cli­mate and en­ergy leg­isla­tive files giv­ing life to the EU’s com­mit­ments made un­der the Paris Agree­ment.

“Un­der the Mal­tese pres­i­dency, we need to see sub­stan­tial progress in the adop­tion of the re­form of EU cli­mate, en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and re­new­able en­ergy poli­cies. More im­por­tantly, we ex­pect Malta to launch the process lead­ing up to 2018 UN cli­mate change ne­go­ti­a­tions’ re­view of the Paris Agree­ment and na­tions’ re­lated emis­sion re­duc­tion com­mit­ments as from 2020. It would not be de­sir­able for the EU to be run­ning be­hind other ma­jor emit­ters as is the case with the rat­i­fi­ca­tion process.”

The informal EU sum­mit in Bratislava ear­lier this month agreed that rat­i­fi­ca­tion by EU be­fore mem­ber states had all com­pleted their pro­ce­dures could be fea­si­ble – only France, Hun­gary, Ger­many and Aus­tria have so far rat­i­fied.

NTM em­pha­sises that “Malta needs to show im­me­di­ately that it has an am­bi­tious and in­spir­ing roadmap for cli­mate change is­sues, as a na­tion, in its EU and Com­mon­wealth roles, and not for­get­ting its com­mit­ment to re­gional Mediter­ranean ac­tions through the Barcelona Con­ven­tion and the Union for the Mediter­ranean.

“Dur­ing the forthcoming UN cli­mate change con­fer­ence in Mar­rakesh, Morocco (7-18 Novem­ber) Malta should be able to not only show it has rat­i­fied the Paris Agree­ment, but es­tab­lish its cre­den­tials with the other 195 na­tions at­tend­ing, as well as with the busi­ness, labour and other civil so­ci­ety for­ma­tions present, that it can act again as a cred­i­ble and force­ful cli­mate change leader.

“Cli­mate change must fig­ure on the agenda of the ex­tra­or­di­nary EU sum­mit hosted by Malta on 3 Fe­bru­ary, as well as the fol­low up con­fer­ence to the Val­letta Mi­gra­tion Sum­mit ex­pected dur­ing its pres­i­dency and the EU Arab League sum­mit also ex­pected to take place.

“On the home front, the gov­ern­ment must do much more to in­form cit­i­zens about the huge ex­pected cli­mate change im­pacts on Malta while its fi­nance sec­tor should be in­volved in on­go­ing global dis­cus­sions about green bonds and other in­no­va­tive fi­nan­cial in­stru­ments to chan­nel pri­vate cap­i­tal into the huge in­vest­ments needed to put economies on a low-car­bon path­way and sup­port cli­mate adap­ta­tion poli­cies.

“Through its Na­tional Ekoskola pro­gramme, Na­ture Trust is teaching chil­dren about cli­mate change – the cen­tral is­sues of the chil­drens’ par­lia­ment held at the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in July. As mem­bers of Cli­mate Ac­tion Net­work since 2002 we stand ready to share our per­spec­tives for a mean­ing­ful di­a­logue with the Gov­ern­ment on its cli­mate change lead­er­ship role. “

Malta’s cli­mate change lead­er­ship role started in 1988, when it tabled a res­o­lu­tion at the United Na­tions call­ing for the world’s cli­mate sys­tem to be con­sid­ered as the her­itage of hu­man­ity.

The world’s na­tions agreed to launch ne­go­ti­a­tions for a treaty, man­aged between 1989 and 1992 by a se­nior Mal­tese UN official, Michael Zam­mit Cu­ta­jar. The UN Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change was adopted in 1992, came into force in 1994. Mr. Zam­mit Cu­ta­jar was its first Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary (1994-2002) and then Malta’s am­bas­sador for cli­mate change (to 2011) play­ing a key role in ma­jor ne­go­ti­at­ing ex­er­cises.

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