The Maltese Parliament has hosted the national parliamentary workshop organised by the European Forum for Renewable Energy Sources (EUFORES) on the European Green Deal and the National Energy and Climate Plan in Malta. The aim of such a national workshop is to bring together members of the Maltese and European Parliament, government officials, NGOs and experts in the field to share their experience and discuss the energy transition progress in Malta.
The themes of the workshop were; the 'Setting of the ambition for renewable energy and energy efficiency in Malta', 'EU energy efficiency policy implementation in Malta', 'Enabling factors and barriers for implementing energy efficiency in Malta', and 'Towards a new and sustainable Maltese energy system'.
Deputy Speaker David Agius addressed the opening session of the workshop. In his address, the Deputy Speaker spoke about the climatic changes that are increasingly being observed, and the impact that these are having on the lives of citizens. He also spoke about the potential impact on food and energy security, especially in light of the energy crisis, the impact of which is expected to hit this winter, resulting from, amongst others, the geo-political tensions to the East of the European Union.
The Deputy Speaker also spoke about the need for legislators in their roles as policymakers to step up their efforts in the area of climate change and renewable energy sources, adding that, unlike fossil fuels, renewable energy sources are not susceptible to such geo-political issues, and also have considerable economic potential. He also referred to the Parliamentary Committee on Environment, which now has the added remit of Climate Change.
The Deputy Speaker also referred to the facts that in 2019 the Maltese Parliament unanimously voted to declare a climate emergency, and through its work in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Small Branches in 2020 contributed to the adoption of a climate-change toolkit for parliamentarians. He remarked that national parliaments, also in the framework of EUFORES, can and should play a crucial line in outlining and delivering plans to deal with the prospect of soaring energy bills faced by households and businesses in the coming winter, and added that public-private collaboration through renewable energy sources will play a crucial role.
Maltese Members of Parliament Minister for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise Miriam Dalli, Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Chris Bonett, Eve Borg Bonello, Cressida Galea and Mark Anthony Sammut addressed the workshop, as well as other players from the local and EU energy community.