Times of Malta, 27th June 2008, by Claudia Calleja – The recently appointed committee for climate change will within 20 weeks present the Resources Minister with a set of recommendations on how to address climate change and fulfil Malta’s EU obligations.

Malta must cut carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent and ensure that at least 10 per cent of the country’s energy needs are generated from alternative sources by 2020.

Speaking to the media before the committee’s first meeting, chairman David Spiteri Gingell said the committee had an important assignment to carry out. It would consult industry and the public to draw up a report of recommendations based on four pillars: Education and communication, policies, infrastructure, and research and innovation.

Resources Minister George Pullicino added that the committee would also be listing priorities and giving time plans for the implementation of these proposals. The committee would explore ways of exploiting solar and wind energy to produce clean sources of power and maximise energy produced from waste, among other things. It would also address transport generated emissions that make up about 16 per cent of CO2 emissions.

Mr Pullicino said one of the challenges was to change people’s attitudes towards energy and conservation.

He said that between 1990 and 2005, Malta’s energy demands had doubled and the CO2 emission generated by the two main power stations had risen to two million tonnes in 2006.

Once the committee’s recommendations are submitted, the minister said, a public consultation process will begin. The government is earmarking €33 million (Lm14 million) in EU funds to promote technologies aimed at generating clean energy on a commercial and domestic scale.