During the first Environment Council Meeting held under the Latvian Presidency in Brussels, Minister for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change Leo Brincat called for a Green ICT sector to boost Green Growth and create Green Jobs.
He stated that this can best be done by linking the principles of the circular economy to the digital single market in the context of the Annual Growth Survey 2015 as well as the Greening of the European Semester.
As a small island state with limited resources, promoting resource efficiency is critical for Malta and moving towards a digital platform within which resource efficiency is enshrined is pivotal.
When speaking on the global post 2015 agenda, Minister Brincat said that the success of the agenda requires policy coherence at all levels to ensure that government policies support poverty reduction and sustainable development. While Malta considers climate change as one of the important environmental elements that should be integrated as an element in the post-2015 agenda, the principle of mainstreaming biodiversity must contribute significantly to sustainable development goals. This can only be achieved through the development of an inclusive green economy that will help ensure the greening of all economic sectors and European society.
Even on a country specific basis, as an EU member state, we are committed to ensure financial and technical support to developing countries through the EU Budget and the mobilisation of the Green Climate Fund. As part of our climate finance commitment we will be offering technical support as capacity building to States that are most vulnerable to Climate Change together with a financial contribution towards international climate financing.
Malta strongly believes that not only should all Parties prepare their intended nationally determined contributions (INDC) to the climate process well in advance of the Paris Conference, but any agreement should not only focus on climate mitigation but should also address other essential aspects of the climate change challenge, including particularly - adaptation to the impacts of climate change.
On the environmental dimension of The Energy Union, Malta believes that such a Union should embrace a climate policy which supports multiple decarbonisation paths with renewable energy at its core, whilst also relying on other low carbon technologies along the roadmap towards 2050.
The establishment of a new flexibility instrument between the ETS and non ETS sectors will allow some member states to use a number of ETS allowances for the achievement of their non ETS targets.
Throughout the Environment Council Ministers tackled:
• The road to the Climate UNFCCC Conference of the Parties in Paris
• The first outreach activities in the framework of the Climate Diplomacy plan
• The Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a forward looking Climate Change Policy
Minister Brincat together with other Ministers also engaged in a lunch time discussion on the findings of the SOER – State Of The Environment Report following a presentation by the European Environment Agency. Minister Brincat identified air quality, as well as the transport, energy efficiency and Eco innovation sectors as the most sensitive areas that called for priority attention to ensure that the report's findings will not fall on deaf ears while ensuring that its long term goals are met in a timely manner.
Vice President Maros Sefcovic, together with Commissioners Canete, Vella and Mimica represented the Commission during the Council meeting.
Minister Brincat had a formal meeting with Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete in which he expressed Malta’s wish that notwithstanding being the most ambitious regional group of States, the EU must avoid a negative outcome in Paris particularly when the next meeting will be presided by an EU member state.