November - Malta: Developing a Green Economy Action Plan

Minister Leo Brincat at the the 2014 PAGE Conference

Malta, October 2015 - Malta will soon be launching its green economy strategy and action plan. The Minister for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change, Leo Brincat, recently opened a public consultation process to engage a wide variety of stakeholders including Government ministries and the private sector. The strategy and action plan will provide the overarching framework for a green economy transition and will build on on-going green economy activities in Malta, including a resource-based waste management plan and a strategy and waste minimization plan for 2014-2020.

Island states like Malta face a unique set of challenges due to their limited natural resources, vulnerability to disasters and to the impacts of climate change, and high dependence on international trade. Malta’s approach to addressing these challenges through strategic national development planning and stakeholder engagement can yield important lessons for other island states engaging in a green economy transition.

In a video interview at the PAGE conference in Dubai in 2014, Minister Brincat explained the impetus to embark on this green economy transformation: “I think the worst thing we can do at this particular delicate moment, when the global economy is going through difficult times and measures of austerity, is to try to apply yesterday’s solutions to today’s problems and tomorrow’s challenges.”

Recognizing this need for new solutions, Malta is joining the ranks of countries across the globe that incorporate sustainability into the core of national development planning with a green economy strategy and action plan. According to Minister Brincat, “by stimulating and encouraging initiatives linked to the green economy…we will be carrying out this [economic] model shift and moving in the right direction”.

The green economy strategy includes 53 proposals in 9 pivotal sectors.  Cross sectoral issues, including resource efficiency, waste management, green procurement, and changes in consumption and behavior patterns require inter-ministerial coordination: “you cannot have a national environment policy being implemented in isolation by the Ministry of the Environment. It needs to engage all the stakeholders, including also all the government ministries, bodies and entities.” This insight from Minister Brincat has proven applicable not only to Malta but to all nations pursuing a holistic approach to sustainable development.

The draft green economy document currently under consultation articulates clear goals in line with EU directives and national greening priorities. Action areas for consideration include, for example, modernizing laws and policies on landholding and leasing of public land, creating incentives for sustainable production and consumption, promoting energy efficient technologies and increasing know-how for retrofitting among both companies and households, and incorporating sustainable development in vocational training. 

The final online consultation process runs until 3 November, at which point the document will be subject to a final economic evaluation.  For more information on the consultation process, please contact: consultations.msdec@gov.mt