A nationalist party in government will set up an agency to implement climate change action because the environment will be the party’s top priority, MPs Robert Cutajar and David Thake told a news conference on Wednesday.
Cutajar described the environmental agency as a strong proposal, unlike those made by the Labor government over the past nine years.
The agency, he explained, would include multiple stakeholders, including government and local councils, who would coordinate the implementation of climate change measures in a single forum. Currently, there are many individual entities that often contradict each other, Cutajar noted, adding that such a practice is unproductive.
The nationalist MP presented several other proposals, including pedestrian zones in all localities, tree mapping, better waste management and more human resources in Natura 2000 areas.
He mentioned the private member’s bill introduced by the PN in April, which promised greater transparency in the Environment and Resources Authority and increased public participation. The bill was rejected by the government which, despite its promises, did not come up with its own bill, Cutajar said.
Asked about the measures that will be taken regarding the ongoing construction boom, Cutajar said that the PN aims to find a balance between industry and the environment, stressing that the party “has never claimed to be against the construction industry”.
Thake accused the government of lacking ideas and innovation, simply trying to “green”, giving the false impression of sustainable environmental progress.
He noted that the measures surrounding the electrification of the local car fleet are not well thought out, nor properly implemented, citing as an example the installation of a charging station in front of a private veranda in Marsalforn.
Thake added that the government’s proposal for free transport is far from enough to entice the public to use public transport. “The government is not addressing the reason why people avoid public transport, which is the lack of comfort, efficiency and punctuality,” he said.
“Blaming government policies 10 years ago is no excuse,” he argued.
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