PL's statement on climate change aimed at hindering government's plan to provide cleaner air - ministry
The Labour Party’s statement that the Climate Change Committee had changed its position about gas from its draft to the final strategy was aimed at hindering and misinterpreting the government’s plan for Maltese and Gozitan families to benefit from a cleaner air and improved health, the Resources Ministry said.
The PL’s spokesman for the environment, Leo Brincat, said that the government had abandoned a decision that the country should opt for natural gas within the next six years.
He said that this was done at the same time that the BWSC contract was signed. He claimed that this had set the tone for the use of a plant operated by other sources of energy, including heavy fuel oil.
But the Resources Ministry denied that there had been a change in strategy about the use of gas.
It said in a statement that the committee was set up to propose measures to reduce green house gases. Both in its draft and in its final strategy, the committee made it clear that the measures should be implemented by the government only if their implementation led to a bigger reduction of greenhouse gases for each euro invested.
While Mr Brincat claimed that the reference to gas was removed in the final strategy because the number of recommendations had changed, what had actually happened was that the recommendation, which was originally numbered 21, was now numbered 35.
This clearly showed that Mr Brincat was wrong. The document also showed that the biggest amount of greenhouses emissions which had to be reduced would effectively be reached if the electricity generated was not generated from gas. This could also be seen by the first draft, which had also been debated in Parliament.
The committee, the ministry said, had drawn up 96 proposals the government could implement to reduce greenhouse gases. The opposition opted not to say anything during the public consultation period and rather than participate actively by moving solid proposals, Mr Brincat chose to instead move a 150-word motion in Parliament without making any suggestions. Such a complex subject merited much more seriousness than this.
Mr Brincat, the ministry said, had even been given a personal presentation of the strategy by the committee.