KNŻ is proud to have launched an ‘Environmental Task Force’ which was made up of five subcommittees: Conservation of Species, The Built Environment, Waste Management, Clean Energy and Transport, and Sustainable Agriculture, Consumables and Ecotourism.
The aim of this project was to bring more awareness to the subject matter and create policy proposals which consider the various aspects of the environment. This has also inspired the call for a State of Climate Emergency to be declared in Malta.
Through Youth Dialogue, youths met every month to discuss these issues, research and consult as to come up with proposals that would benefit our environment. During the final ceremony the finalised policy paper was launched to the relevant authorities and stakeholder. The policy paper was later presented to other stakeholders such as ERA, Ministry for Environment and Climate Action Board.
Check the full document here.
The duty to safeguard the environment is enshrined in our constitution. It is indeed one of the core principles that constitute the Maltese republic. As young citizens, it is our civic responsibility to inform ourselves and discuss the matter both with other youth, as well as other stakeholders.
The topics discussed in this document are not only representatives of the most prominent aspects of the enviroment but are also reflective of what youth are mostly concerned with. Starting from our complex and fragile ecosystems, and the conundrum that are our transport and waste management systems, to our controversial overdevelopment issues and linear economy.
3.3.3 Reducing The Number Of Cars
Malta was one of the very few countries in the EU, to record an increase in carbon emissions last year. As a country, we registered an increase of 6.7%, while the average of the EU was a decrease of 2.5%. In 2018, the NSO estimated that on average 45 cars were added to the Maltese road every day. Although a metro system or a tram could be great alternatives to our public transport system and wold be potentially decrease the number of cars significantly, these are long term projects and unfortunately, some issues need to be fixed as soon as possible.
To determine whether such an implementation is viable, a survey was conducted aimed at people who are employed in one of the following industries; Restaurants and Hotels, Office Buildings, STEM Sector, and Shops and Supermarkets. Figure 2 shows that the most commonly used mode of transport is, as expected, by car, at 60.5% followed by Public Transport at 27.9%. Even though the majority use their car, figure 3 shows that 53.5% claim that they never carpool to work, when offered with the possibility of being provided free transport by their workplace, 74.4%, say that they would be willing to make use of this initiative
4.1.4 Private Companies
When it comes to businesses, we need to question the responsibilities that businesses have with regards to waste separation, and what level of enforcements is put in place to create a sense of accountability and consequence. It is no secret that big businesses are some of the biggest polluters and should share as much responsibility. While it is easier to have conversation about what the public should be doing to reduce waste, we must not forget that big businesses, play a big role in this discussion. More policies should be put in place that these businesses need to uphold if we ever want to be sustainable. From a survey conducted by this subcommittee on social media aimed at people who work at private businesses, 69.8% said that they word at companies who hire more then 100 people. Figure 1 shows that 18.6% of these companies practice full waste separation and 16.3% do not separate waste at all.
Earlier this year, during a National Youth Parliament session KNŻ demanded in Parliament that a state of ‘Climate Emergency’ be declared in Malta. This was just the start of the process. KNŻ and 30 other organisations signed a letter asking Parliament to pass this motion, not because we believed this would solve all of Malta’s environmental problems, but because we knew that the state of crisis we find ourselves in now cannot be solved unless the highest institute in our country acknowledges the need to prioritise this situation.