ME supports European Commission climate action

Malta Enterprise is supporting the European Commission’s pan-European campaign to increase awareness about the importance of using clean energy sources and reducing emissions as a means of addressing climate change.

European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard launched the campaign, which is being spearheaded by the European Commission with the support of around 70 organisations across Europe including government organisations, businesses, environment groups and educational institutions.

Besides Malta Enterprise, other organisations in Malta supporting the initiative include the Malta Resources Authority, the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry,  the Malta Business Bureau and the General Retailers and Traders Union.

Running until the end of 2013 under the slogan "A world you like. With a climate you like", the campaign aims to showcase existing cost-efficient solutions for achieving the EU's objective of an 80-95% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It seeks to put practical solutions at the centre of the climate change debate and demonstrate how climate action can increase welfare and bring economic benefits to European citizens.

Across Europe there are abundant examples of intelligent, innovative climate solutions that reduce CO2 pollution while also improving people's quality of life. WasteServ Malta was among the success stories highlighted by the Commission for its great job in utilising the energy produced by the Saint'Antnin Waste Treatment Plant to heat the pool at the nearby Inspire complex.

The Commission also referred to other examples, such as Stockholm's central rail station, which converts the body heat of commuters into heat for a nearby office building, reducing not only emissions but also the building's energy bill by 20-25%, as well as the Gedved school in Horsens, Denmark, which saves €30,000 a year on energy thanks to solar power and spends the savings on improving education.

Such "win-win" solutions – where saving money, time and greenhouse gas emissions go hand in hand – are at the centre of the campaign.

"We have a choice: We can ACT on our knowledge about climate change. Or we can sit idly by and watch as things get worse. Both options come with a price tag. So why not create a world we like, with a climate we like - while we still have time? With this campaign we want to focus the debate on the solutions and find out what is holding us back from applying them," said European Commissioner Connie Hedegaard.

The campaign is a follow-up to the Commission's "Roadmap for moving to a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050" from March 2011, which sets out pathways for deep but cost-effective emission reductions by the main economic sectors. The Roadmap shows that building a low-carbon economy will increase investments in clean technologies and infrastructure such as smart electricity grids, and will drastically lower import bills for oil and gas.

In the medium-term, by 2020, the EU aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, improve energy efficiency by 20% and boost the share of renewables in the energy mix to 20%. Currently, EU emissions are more than 17% below 1990 levels.

Over the past years, Malta Enterprise has implemented various measures aimed at supporting businesses in Malta to implement green measures. Amongst others, €15 million have been allocated to around 250 enterprises through the Energy Scheme co-financed through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), while the Corporation has also launched other incentives specifically targeted at the hospitality industry and micro enterprises which encourage them to embark on implementing green solutions.