Switching to gas is necessary but things should be done properly
During a press conference in Birzebbuga, AD spokesperson on industry, energy and transport Ralph Cassar spoke about the need to switch to gas as a transition fuel on the road to cleaner energy and ultimately to renewable energy.
“Climate change is one of the biggest challenges humanity faces. Gas is a transition fuel for energy generation, since it emits less carbon dioxide than other fuels such as diesel and Heavy Fuel Oil. It is also a much cleaner.
“Our vision goes beyond gas. Our goal for our country is increasing year after year renewable energy until we get to 100 per cent renewables, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels as we go along. Those who say that there is no need to switch to gas or that we should rely only on the interconnector have no idea what they are talking about. We have to vary our sources of energy as much as possible because it is economically dangerous to rely excessively on one source. There has also been talk of energy from the interconnector as being free of pollution. This is a myth. The carbon dioxide and other pollutants produced at the places where power is generated and transmitted over the interconnector actually counts as pollution generated by Malta.
“AD’s position is clear – we need to switch to gas and fasttrack the move to more and more renewable energy. This need to switch to gas doesn’t mean that things should be rushed and that shortcuts are taken when it comes to safety and risk mitigation. The fact remains that if towards the end of the nineties we had a government which took the power generation sector seriously, today we would have a gas pipeline and we would not be discussing gas tankers in Marsaxlokk with all the issues it raises.”
Carmel Cacopardo, Deputy Chairperson and spokesperson for sustainable development, said that the Greens participated in the public consultation exercise organized by the Environment and Resources Authority. AD’s submissions focus on the emergency plan which the Department of Civil Protection was duty bound to submit for public consultation. Instead they kept it under wraps under the pretext of national security.
“The Department of Civil Protection has an obligation to publish the external emergency plan under the EU’s Seveso III Directive which has been transposed into Maltese law by the 2015 Regulations on the Control of Hazards from Major Accidents.”
Mr Cacopardo said that public consultation with those affected by the external emergency plan is a democratic duty which the Department of Civil Protection cannot avoid.
“AD,” he said, “will continue to insist that this plan is published.”