Establishment politics and Climate Change – Luke Caruana

I am often left bewildered at the lack of initiative shown by the PN and the PL throughout the years on environmental matters. Malta is, to say it lightly, a slow mover. One very clear particular example of this is on climate change. Malta is the only country to consistently miss its effort sharing targets. Labour’s solution is to incentivise cars and expand roads, which obviously will not work as emissions need to be reduced drastically.

As the only sound opposition, Alternattiva Demokratika Żgħażagħ along with a number of environmental activists, took action and set up a protest with a number of pledges for the government to follow. This was no lone effort for AD, as the party has long proposed feasible measures to adequately reduce Malta’s emissions. Two years ago the party even set up a Zero Carbon Policy document, containing measures aimed at achieving a zero carbon future by 2050 that are in line with the European Union’s long-term vision.

Unfortunately, as usually happens, such protests against the government are seen as political opportunities for those who have little interest in Climate Change, or the environment for that matter. Up step the Nationalist Party, with its members carrying slogans and taking selfies, possibly with the hashtag #attivisti or what not. These ‘activists’ always seem to be ready to protest, as long as it’s against Labour of course.

Just so that nobody forgets, let’s recap some of the PN’s recent blunders on climate change. This party spent 25 years in government pushing for cars as the only mode of transportation, they chose Heavy Fuel Oil instead of LNG, they underfunded the transport system, and then bashed labour as they had to increase subsidies. To make matters worse, both PN and PL are in favour of having a tunnel for cars between Malta and Gozo (I cannot tell what Marlene’s position is on this since her discourse is never clear!) This tunnel will of course create more traffic congestion and pollution in Northern Malta and Gozo. While there are those who envision a zero carbon Malta, PNPL promote more pollution, diseases and destruction.

It doesn’t quite end there of course. Their dismal record on introducing renewable energy speaks for itself, and their insistence on keeping the cost of fuel as low as possible, means that people have no incentive to reduce their consumption, and subsequently their pollution. Now before anyone calls me out on people’s diminishing spending power, don’t worry I understand and I agree with you. However, we can increase people’s spending power by tackling other costs, as opposed to incentivising people to pollute the air they breathe.

Alternattiva Demokratika has long been the pioneer, and only consistent voice on climate change. If you care about your future, and your children’s future, then place your trust in AD, and not in those who are only interested in getting back into power for power’s sake. Remember, as the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words, and in this case, actions speak louder than selfies! Vote for the real deal, not opportunistic posers.

Luke Caruana
Published on the Maltatoday – Wednesday 9 January 2019