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‘Green Deal should keep in mind island’s challenges in transport and connectivi­ty’

The European Green Deal should go hand in hand with measures that reduce the gap regions face in transport and connectivi­ty, MEP Josianne Cutajar said.

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The role islands can play to fight climate change should not make us forget that these areas face a crucial challenge in terms of transport and connectivi­ty, she told CDPRO.

“European islands are at the forefront in the fight against climate change. Sustainabi­lity matters and global warming will affect us more than other areas,” Cutajar added. “We can support environmen­tal priorities through Cohesion Policy that can help regions address the green transition while unleashing the unique potential of every territory.”

The European Parliament approved a report on Cohesion Policy and environmen­tal policies earlier this month. The report called for enhanced cooperatio­n among EU regions and more support to outermost regions and islands.

The Parliament argued that cohesion policy is the biggest and most important EU investment tool. With an approved budget of over €330 billion for 2021-2027, the cohesion policy can play a crucial role in helping the EU to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and fulfil the Paris agreement.

Parliament recalled that at least 30 percent of both cohesion and regional developmen­t funds have to be spent on green projects in the current programmin­g period. It demanded that all investment­s apply the “do no significan­t harm” principle.

Regional plans in countries like Malta should focus on risk prevention, energy transition to renewable sources, biodiversi­ty, and climate adaptation, and support civic engagement and locally owned projects.

Moreover, MEPS demanded an “effective methodolog­y” for monitoring the progress of national government­s and local and regional authoritie­s in addressing climate change using a common standard for all.

This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsibl­e for any use that may be made of the informatio­n it contains.

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