Last Updated on Monday, 5 February, 2024 at 4:44 pm by Andre Camilleri
Bill regulating the establishment of the Climate Action Authority presented in Parliament
Malta is establishing its first authority focused on climate action, through a bill that will be discussed in Parliament. The Climate Action Authority will be evaluating policies related to climate change to ensure the optimal coordination and effectiveness of the country’s mitigation and adaptation actions.
Minister for the Environment, Energy and the Regeneration of the Grand Harbour Miriam Dalli announced the new bill during a press conference explaining the proposed legislation and the new authority.
“For the first time, Malta will have an authority focused on climate, and the collective actions that we, as a country, need to pursue. The Government is determined to promote a more sustainable life, and this is why we need decisive climate action,” the Minister explained.
The Minister continued explaining that the country must work to turn the challenges of climate change into rewarding mitigation opportunities.
“Climate change is exerting increased pressures on several sectors, such as tourism, agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing and industry. More importantly, it has an impact on our wellbeing. However, these threats come with opportunities, including new green economy careers, green finance that encourage the ecological transition and the development of new sustainable technologies,” Minister Miriam Dalli said.
She also explained that the way forward is for all sectors to engage in positive climate action, ultimately contributing to the Government’s objective to decarbonise the country’s economy by 2050.
“We already have several initiatives in place, but we need to reinforce them with an increased effort towards this transition. To achieve this, the objectives and obligations of our country need to be consolidated in a coordinated plan. This means increased coordination for the sectors that have the greatest impact on climate change, with an emphasis on their climate plans and initiatives,” Minister Dalli added.
The bill that will be discussed in Parliament proposes several functions for the new authority, including:
- Increasing awareness on climate change and climate action.
- Implementing mechanisms to formulate and adopt legal instruments that meet national and international requirements.
- Establishing a long-term national strategy.
- Establishing a climate adaptation national strategy.
- Updating the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP).
- Collating the necessary data related to climate action.
The proposed act also states that the Authority will have a Board of Directors and a National Council for Climate Action.
“We want a proactive Authority that can provide a long-term vision,” Minister Dalli concluded.
To maximise the use of existing resources, the new Climate Action Authority will be formed instead of the existing Malta Resources Authority (MRA). In this regard, the Government is also proposing amendments to the Environment Protection Act. These amendments will allow the transfer of the regulation of resources to the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA), which will be given new responsibilities to ensure the most sustainable use of mineral resources and to regulate their extraction.
The Bill establishing the Climate Action Authority is available on the Parliament website: https://www.parlament.mt/media/126036/online-bill-89.pdf.