Energy and transport together accounted for nearly two-thirds of all Malta’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2017, according to National Statistics Office figures.

Statistics on air pollution levels and sources in Malta, issued to mark World Environment Day, show that emissions increased 14% in 2017 compared to the previous year - a total of more than 2,155 kilotonnes.

A separate report published by the European Environment Agency last week showed Malta was one of just six EU countries to register an increase in emissions compared to 1990. By 2017, Malta’s total emissions had grown by 2.3% while the EU as a whole saw a drop of 23%.

Energy down, transport up

According to the NSO, over a 10-year period emissions the energy industries fell by more than half, but those from transport were on the rise.

The decrease in energy emissions was attributed to the use of imported electricity by means of the interconnector from 2015 and the shift to a natural gas-fired power station in 2017.

At the same time, however, emissions from transport continued to increase. The stock of motor vehicles increased by 15% since 2014, reaching 385,236 in 2018, with passenger cars the fastest-growing type of vehicle.

The average age of passenger cars and motorcycles was 14 years.

Sea and air transport contribute to emissions

Between 2014 and 2018 there were an average of 316 cruise liner calls per year, the NSO said. During the same period, sea transport between Malta and Gozo increased by 19 per cent, rising to 23,600 trips in 2018.

Gas oil and diesel oil were the main types of fuel, amounting to 13 kilotonnes in 2017.

Data from the Malta International Airport, meanwhile, shows that between 2014 and 2018 the total number of charter and scheduled flights increased by 46%.
The transport sector also increased its use of kerosene-type jet fuel purchased in Malta by both national and international airlines by 32%.

World Environment Day is celebrated by the United Nations every year on June 5 to promoting awareness of the environment and its protection. This year has a chosen theme of Beat Air Pollution.

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