L-ekonomija l-ħadra

green new deal

Qed nirreferi għal dik il-ħidma ekonomika li titfassal jew titwettaq b’mod li tagħti każ tal-impatti ambjentali. Il-karatteristiċi ewlenin li jiddistingwu attivita’ meqjusa bħala li tappartjeni lill-ekonomija l-ħadra minn attivita oħra huma: tnaqqis fl-emmissjonijiet, tnaqqis fit-tniġġis, effiċjenza fl-użu tal-enerġija w ir-riżorsi, li tkun evitata t-telfa tal-bodiversita’ u l-ħarsien tas-servizzi li kontinwament tagħtina (b’xejn) l-ekosistema.

L-ekonomija l-ħadra taħdem flimkien man-natura, mhux kontra tagħha. Allura tfittex li tnaqqas l-impatti ambjentali tal-ħidma ekonomika f’kull qasam. Hi u tagħmel hekk toħloq ix-xogħol.

Toħloq ix-xogħol fil-ġenerazzjoni ta’ enerġija nadifa u alternattiva kif ukoll fil-ħidma biex tiżdied l-effiċjenza fl-użu tal-enerġija.

Ix-xogħol jinħoloq ukoll fil-proċess li jrid iwassalna sal-punt li ma niġġenerawx iktar skart. Dan ifisser li mhux biss irridu narmu inqas imma bħala pajjiż hu meħtieġ li nkunu kapaċi nirriċiklaw iktar dak li ma jkollniex iktar użu għalih. Ir-rimi tal-iskart hu rimi ta’ riżorsi prezzjużi li fil-parti l-kbira tal-każi nistgħu nsibu użu ieħor għalhom.

L-ekonomija l-ħadra toħloq ix-xogħol ukoll fil-qasam tat-trasport pubbliku. Nafu li trasport pubbliku effiċjenti (meta xi darba jkollna) jnaqqas b’mod sostanzjali t-tniġġis tal-arja fl-ibliet u l-irħula tagħna. Jnaqqas ukoll l-istorbju iġġenerat minn traffiku kontinwu. Dan iseħħ billi (meta jkun effiċjenti) t-trasport pubbliku jħajjar iktar persuni minna biex nagħmlu użu minnu flok ma nagħmlu użu mill-karozzi privati tagħna. Fuq perjodu ta’ żmien trasport pubbliku effiċjenti jista’ jikkonvinċina li wara kollox nistgħu ngħaddu mingħajr karozza privat. Ta’ l-inqas nitħajjru nnaqsu l-karozzi fil-familji. Dan nistgħu nagħmluh meta nkunu konvinti li jkun jaqbel li nagħmlu dan.

Din tkun sitwazzjoni li minnha jirbaħ kulħadd. Jirbaħ il-pajjiż kollu għax ikollna kwalita’ ta’ arja aħjar. Nirbħu aħna lkoll mhux biss għax ninqdew aħjar imma ukoll għax innaqqsu l-ispejjes biex ikollna l-karozzi privati.

Tirbaħ ukoll l-ekonomija tal-pajjiż għax bil-ħidma tal-ekonomija l–ħadra jkunu ġġenerati l-impiegi. Impiegi b’differenza. Impiegi ħodor (green jobs) li permezz tagħhom jinħoloq il-ġid mingħajr ma issir ħsara ambjentali.

ippubblikata fuq iNews it-Tnejn 16 ta’ Diċembru 2013

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Tackling the green skills gap

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Launching the public consultation on the Green Economy last month, Ministers Leo Brincat and Evarist Bartolo emphasised the need to address the green skills gap in the process leading to a Green Economy strategy and action plan.

It is estimated that 20 million jobs will be created in the Green Economy between now and 2020 within the European Union. Capacity building is the greatest challenge: ensuring that more working men and women are adequately equipped with green skills.

The Green Economy includes activities in different sectors. It is possible to go about activity in these sectors in a manner which reduces their environmental impacts, is socially inclusive and economically rewarding.

Various sectors have been identified as being of key importance in the transition to a Green Economy. The basic characteristics which distinguish the Green Economy are a reduction of carbon emissions, the reduction of all forms of pollution, energy and resource efficiency, prevention of biodiversity loss  and the protection of eco-system services.

The United Nations Environment Programme  has repeatedly emphasised that the transition to a Green Economy enables economic growth and investment while increasing environmental quality and social inclusiveness. A Green Economy is one which respects the eco-system and recognises that there are natural limits  which, if exceeded, endanger the earth’s ecological balance. In effect it means that the transition to a Green Economy signifies addressing all of our environmental impacts in all areas of activity. Addressing impacts in one area would still signify progress although this would be of limited benefit.

An agriculture which forms part of the Green Economy is one which works with nature, not against it. It uses water sustainably and does not contaminate it. Green agriculture does not seek to genetically modify any form of life nor to patent it.

Energy efficient buildings, clean and renewable energy together with the sustainable use of land are also basic building blocks of the Green Economy. We cannot speak of the Green Economy whilst simultaneously tolerating  large scale building construction. Having a stock of 72,000 vacant dwellings, (irrespective of the reasons for their being vacant) signifies that as a nation we have not yet understood that the limited size of the Maltese islands ought to lead to a different attitude. The green skills of politicians and their political appointees on MEPA is what’s lacking in this regard.

Maritime issues are of paramount economic importance to Malta’s economy. The depleted fish stock and the quality of sea water are obvious issues. But the impacts of organised crime through the dumping of toxic, hazardous and nuclear waste in the Mediterranean Sea is not to be underestimated as has been evidenced time and again in the exploits of the eco-mafia reign to our north.

Heavy industry is fortunately absent in Malta. New industries like the pharmaceutical industry are more eco-conscious. However we still require more inputs on resource efficiency and eco-design.

Greening tourism is essential in order to ensure that more of tourism’s environmental impacts are addressed.  The consumption of tourism is 50% more per capita than that registered for a resident, indicating that there is room for considerable improvements.

Public transport is still in shambles. The effects of this state of affairs is evident in the ever increasing number of passenger cars on our roads which have a major impact on air and noise pollution in our communities. Greening transport policies signifies that the mobility of all is ensured with the least possible impacts.  Still a long way to go.

Waste management has made substantial improvement over the years even though it is still way  behind EU targets. It is positive that the draft waste management strategy has established the attaining of a Zero Waste target by 2050. However we still await the specifics of how this is to be achieved. It is achievable but the commitment of all is essential.

Our water resources have been mismanaged, year in, year our. Discharging millions of litres of treated sewage effluent into the sea is just the cherry on the cake. The contaminated and depleted water table which still contributes around 40% to Malta’s potable water supply is in danger of being  completely lost for future generations if we do not act fast.

All the above have been dealt with in various policy documents. One such document is the National Sustainable Development Strategy which establishes the parameters for the action required. Implementing the National Sustainable Development Strategy is the obvious first step in establishing a Green Economy.  It is here where the real green skill gap exists. Decision makers lack green skills. This skill gap exists at the level of Cabinet, Parliament, the top echelons of the civil service and in the ranks of the political appointees to Boards and Authorities where decisions are taken and strategies implemented.

When this skill gap is addressed, the rest will follow and we will be on the way to establishing  a green economy.

published in The Times of Malta, Saturday 14 December 2013

WEEE Responsibility

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published on 23 May 2009

by Carmel Cacopardo

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The Nationalist Party’s and Alternattiva Demokratika’s 2008 electoral manifestos proposed the free distribution of energy-saving light bulbs in order to encourage energy conservation but with a difference!

Prior to that, in London, the then Labour mayor Ken Livingstone had, as part of the London Climate Change Action Plan in January 2008, launched a “light bulb amnesty” as a result of which each London household could exchange a traditional incandescent light bulb for an energy-e fficient one.

The public in Malta should be informed not only of the benefits but also as to the advisable precautions relative to the use of these energy-saving light bulbs or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).

The use of CFLs, notwithstanding their price, saves about 75 per cent of electrical energy used for lighting purposes by traditional bulbs.

An educational campaign relative to breakages and disposal of CFLs is essential.

Damage to the CFL can release mercury dust to air. In other countries users have been advised that they are to vacate and ventilate rooms for about 15 minutes when CFL breakages occur. This is essential to avoid inhaling mercury dust. It is imperative that in homes and, in particular, in areas where children and the elderly and/or sick people gather, those in charge are aware as to the measures they should take. Advice is also called for as to the cleaning of the resulting breakages and the manner in which the damaged CFL is to be disposed of.

It is to be borne in mind that, due to their containing about four milligrams of mercury dust per light bulb, CFLs are subject to the provisions of the EU WEEE Directive (Waste from Electric and Electronic Equipment). This directive has been transposed into Maltese legislation through Legal Notice 63 of 2007 but it is not yet being implemented.

The EU established the framework for dealing with hazardous waste resulting from electric and electronic equipment and applied thereto the principle of producer responsibility. This means that producers and distributors (irrespective of the selling technique used) are directly responsible for the handling of this type of waste.

The government has the role of a regulator, ensuring that EU legislation is adhered to within Maltese territory. Being an EU member in my view, at least, signifies this much in addition to harping on the availability of EU funds, which assist us in attaining objectives of a better quality of life. The WEEE Directive had to be implemented in various stages between 2004 and 2006 and the Maltese government was in breach of its provisions, so much so that the EU Commission had already initiated infringement procedures against Malta due to the delay in transposing it into Maltese law.

The recently-published update to the Maltese Waste Management Strategy for public consultation postponed once more consideration of the plans for the implementation of the WEEE Directive in Malta.

Within this context, the placing of over one million CFLs in one go on the market without having in place a waste management strategy for hazardous waste is surely not environmentally responsible. While addressing the issue of energy consumption, the government is creating an equally serious problem by encouraging the use of hazardous materials without having first ensured that the required waste management infrastructure is in place and functioning.

The responsibility is not just the government’s. It has to be equally shouldered by producers and distributors who, unless they act fast, may eventually have to carry the can and pay the fines due for not assuming their producer responsibilities. Taxpayers’ monies should not be used to bail out those who have failed to shoulder their responsibilities.

Those who have advised local distributors that the management of hazardous waste is a government responsibility would do well to reconsider their position. This is an area the EU has assigned to the private sector, which must ensure that the impacts of all products it places on the market are addressed. In fact, the WEEE Directive, in addition to responsibility for today’s hazardous waste, also assigns to producers and distributors responsibility for historical waste, that is responsibility for WEEE waste generated prior to the implementation of the directive.

The point at issue is clearly the eco contribution payable on a number of electric and electronic products. Maltese business is correct in complaining that it has been shouldered with a double responsibility: responsibility for WEEE waste and simultaneous payment of eco contribution. This, however, does not exonerate businesses from putting in place a collection system for WEEE waste (including CFLs).

By failing to revisit the eco contribution regime, the government is obstructing business from moving on to shoulder its producer responsibilities. Further procrastination will not make matters any easier. It is in everybody’s interest that business conforms to its WEEE responsibilities and for that to happen the government must get out of the way.

Il-5 Bozoz ta’ Lawrence Gonzi

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Kif tħabbar fil-budget f’data mhux il-bogħod ser nirċievu voucher li jintitolana nġibu 5 bozoz energy savers mill-ħanut tal-għażla tagħna.

Dawn il-bozoz jużaw bejn 66% u 80% inqas enerġija mill-bozoz li aħna mdorrijin nużaw u jibqgħu tajbin għall-użu għall-perjodu ferm itwal.

 

 Issa li l-Gvern beda il-kampanja favur dawn il-bozoz li jaħlu anqas hemm ħtieġa ukoll ta’ kampanja edukattiva dwar :

a)       kemm hu utli li nagħmlu użu minn dawn il-bozoz biex ma naħlux elettriku,

b)       kif niddisponu mill-bozoz li jkunu spiċċaw,

c)       x’għandna nagħmlu meta tinkiser bozza.

 

L-utilita’ tal-użu ta’ dawn il-bozoz m’għandix dubju li jifhimha kważi kulħadd. Mhux ċajta li tifranka sa 80% tal-elettriku li normalment tuża’ biex iddawwal id-dar.

Xi ħaga importanti li s’issa għadu ma ntqal xejn dwarha f’Malta hu kif niddisponu minn dawn il-bozoz energy savers meta jintemm l-użu tagħhom. Dawn il-bozoz fihom ammont żgħir ħafna ta’ merkurju, sustanza perikoluża li insibuha ukoll f’ammont ferm ikbar fit-termometri u l-barometri li għandna minnhom fi djarna. Meta bozza energy saver tispiċċa allura ma tistax tintrema mal-iskart normali u dan biex jiġi kkontrollat it-tixrid tal-merkurju li hu meqjus bħala hazardous waste. Jiena naħseb li l-WasteServe, l-aġenzija tal-Gvern li tieħu ħsieb l-immaniġjar tal-iskart għandha teduka u tinforma lill-pubbliku ta’ x’għandu jsir f’dan ir-rigward.

 

Meta tinkiser bozza m’għandniex nallarmaw ruħna. Kif jgħidu l-esperti f’pajjiżi oħra huwa importanti li meta tinkiser bozza nagħtu ċans lit-trab tal-merkurju joqgħod, jiġifieri li ma jkunx għadu fl-arja u b’hekk ma nassorbuhx man-nifs. Id-Dipartiment tal-Ambjent Ingliż fil-fatt jirrakkomanda li l-kamra li fiha tinkiser bozza energy saver għandha tkun evakwata għal 15-il minuta. Nistenna li l-awtoritajiet f’Malta jispjegaw b’mod iżjed ċar x’għandu jsir

Issa li l-Gvern iddeċieda nittama li jibda kampanja pubbliċitarja ta’ tagħrif biex b’hekk kulħadd ikun infurmat u kulħadd ikun jaf kemm jaqbel nużaw il-bozoz energy savers, kif niddisponu minnhom u x’għandu jsir jekk tinkiser bozza.

 

Ara ukoll dawn il-links :  BBC        u      DEFRA     

 

 

Surcharge

Stqarrija ta’ Alternattiva  Demokratika

 

 

In vista taż-żieda imminenti fis-surcharge applikat għall-ħlas tal-kontijiet tad-dawl u l-ilma, Alternattiva Demokratika emfasizzat għal darba oħra li surcharge applikabbli b’rata waħda huwa inġust. Huwa każ ċar ta’ politika tal-calculator.

 

Ralph Cassar, il-kelliemi tal-AD għall-Enerġija, Innovazzjoni u l-Industrija qal li “Alternattiva dejjem irrikonoxxiet li huwa essenzjali li jkun hemm x’jagħmel tajjeb għall-prezz dejem jiżdied taż-żejt. L-ebda politiku ma jista’ jiċħad dan. Imma Alternativa temmen li l-implimentazzjoni ta’ rata waħda u uniformi  a’ surcharge hi ineffettiva kemm soċjalement kif ukoll ambjentalment. Alternattyiva tirrepeti l-proposta illi iktra minn rata waħda hemm ħtieġa li jkunu introdotti rati differenti  applikali skond l-użu li effettivament isir ras għal ras fir-residenzi tagħna. B’dan il-mod familji li ma jaħlux iħallsu rata baxxa filwaqt li dawk li jaħlu jħallsu rata għolja. B’hekk dawk li għandhom konsm għoli jikkontribwixxu u jagħmlu tajjeb għall-ħlas tas-surcharge ta’ dawk li huma effiċjenti. Dan ma jinvolvix spejjes addizzjonali għall-kaxxa ta’ Malta. Il-proposta ta’ Alternattiva tagħmilha possibli għall-Gvern illi jraħħas is-surcharge għal dawk li jimmerithom għax effiċjenti fil-waqt li jirkupra ammont ekwivalenti mingħand dawk li jaħlu.”

Il-kelliem tal-AD għall-Iżvilupp Sostenibbli Carmel Cacopardo qal li ma nistgħux nibqgħu inżidu s-surcharge biex inlaħħqu maż-żieda fil-prezz taż-żejt. Jekk Malta trid tilħaq it-targets tal-Unjoni Ewropea billi tipproduci 10% tal-enerġija minn sorsi rinovibbli sal-2020 hemm bżonn li jidħol fis-seħħ pjan serju b’miri u skadenzi ċari. Il-proposti tal-Alternattiva jiffukaw fuq l-effiċjenza, eliminazzjoni tal-ħela kif ukoll proposti varji immirati biex il-familji jiġu mgħejjuna jnaqqsu d-dipendenza tagħhom fuq enerġija minn sorsi li jniġġsu u dan simultanjament ma għajnuna biex jitnaqqsulhom il-kontijiet. Carmel Cacopardo żied jgħid li “Il-Gvern qiegħed jindirizza biss l-impatti ekonomiċi. Il-proposti ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika tħares lejn il-problema b’mod olistiku billi tintegra l-konsiderazzjonijiet ekonomiċi, ambjentali u soċjali.”  Ralph Cassar żied jgħid “Il-proposti tagħna jinkludu minn 4 sa 5 turbini tar-riħ li jiġġeneraw l-elettriku bi spiża ta’ madwar 5 euro-ċenteżmi għal kull unit, filwaqt li l-elettriku ġġenerat mill-Enemalta jiswa madwar 11-il euro-ċenteżmu għal kull unit; programm nazzjonali ta’ inċentivi biex jinbidlu fid-djar il-bozoz bil-filament b’dawk energy saving; investiment fuq medda ta’ 5 snin f’solar water heaters għal 50,000 residenza kif ukoll investiment biex ikunu istallati 5,000 sistema fotovoltajka. Dak li jiffranka l-Gvern bl-użu ridott taż-żejt importat ikun iktar minn biżżejjed biex jagħmel tajjeb għal dan l-investiment. Huwa meħtieġ li Malta  issib il-mod kif tilħaq il-miri tal-Unjoni Ewropea. Il-proposti tagħna għall-ħames snin li ġejjin huwa bidu tajjeb biex dawn jintlaħqu.”


 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 

Il-Gvern għandu jispjega għaliex neħħa l-eko-inċentivi

 

Fi stqarrija illum, kelliema ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika -The Green Party esprimew it-tħassib tagħhom għat-tneħħija ħabta u sabta ta’ l-eko-inċentivi għall-konsumaturi li jagħżlu li jakkwistaw appliances li jużaw l-elettriku b’mod aktar efficjenti. Il-Kelliem ta’ l-AD dwar l-iżvilupp sostenibbli, l-Perit Carmel Cacopardo qal: L-eko-inċentivi jippremjaw lil dawk il-konsumaturi li jagħmlu għażliet bil-għaqal. Min jixtri appliances li jaħlu anqas elettriku, minbarra li jkun qiegħed jonfoq anqas f’kontijiet ikun qed jgħin lis-soċjeta’ kollha kemm hi billi jgħin biex jonqos it-tniggis u anke l-użu ta’ enerġija elettrika, li kif nafu tiswa lill-pajjiż miljuni ta’  Ewro fis-sena. L-eko-incentivi fuq appliances aktar effiċjenti huwa strument tajjeb u l-gvern għandu jagħti spjegazzjoni ċara għaliex mar lura kuq kelmtu u neħħa dawn l-inċentivi f’daqqa waħda.

 

Il-Kelliem ta’ AD dwar l-industrija, l-enerġija u l-innovazzjoni, Ralph Cassar qal: Malta għandha obbligi internazzjonali li tnaqqas it-tniggis. AD temmen ukoll li l-gvern għandu obbligu lejn il-Maltin u l-Għawdxin, obbligu li jippromwovi politika li tħares il-kwalita’ tal-ħajja tan-nies. Eko-inċentivi li jħajjru lill-konsumatur u anke lill-imprenditur jixtri u joffri prodotti b’teknoloġija moderna li tnaqqas l-konsum ta’ l-elettriku huwa mod wieħed kif il-gvern jista’ jersaq aktar viċin li jilħaq l-miri ta’ l-UE dwar t-tniggis u l-tibdil fil-klima u kif inaqqas l-effetti tat-tniggis fuq is-saħħa tal-pubbliku.

 

Il-fatt li tneħħa l-eko-inċentiv fuq l-appliances jixhed kemm il-wegħdi ta’ qabel l-elezzjoni fuq dan il-punt kienu fiergħa. L-AD issa tistenna biex tara  kif il-PN ser jimxi fuq il-wegħdiet ambjentali l-oħra tiegħu.”

 

 

 

Dik il-bozza

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Fil-kampanja elettorali li għada kif intemmet, kemm il-manifest elettorali tal-Alternattiva Demokratika kif ukoll dak tal-Partit Nazzjonalista jitkellmu dwar l-għoti ta’ bozoz energy saving b’xejn.

Issa dawn il-proposti huma frott ta’ pika tajba. Huma motivati mill-idea li n-nies jiġu mħajra ma jaħlux. Għax il-bozza li ma taħlix tiswa iktar, għall-bidu biex jitħajru jew biex ma jitgerrxux nies saret il-proposta tal-għotja ta’ bozoz b’xejn. Hi proposta li saret ukoll u ġiet attwata f’pajjiżi oħra. Miżura żgħira li ftit tinvolvi spejjes imma kien hemm ukoll min ipprova jirredikolha.

Tfisser li taħli inqas elettriku (inqas surcharge) u allura tnaqqas l-impatti ambjentali li jeffettwaw lil kulħadd. Teffettwa lil butek, lill-kaxxa ta’ Malta u lis-saħħa ta’ kulħadd minħabba inqas emissjonijiet !

Imma hemm affarijiet oħra li m’huwiex ċar jekk humiex qed jiġu meqjusa bir-reqqa neċessarja. Il-bozoz energy savers fihom ammont żgħir ta’ merkurju. X’passi qed jittieħdu biex dawn il-bozoz, meta jagħmlu żmienhom ma jispiċċawx mal-bqija tal-iskart ? Jekk bozza tinkiser nafu li t-trab tal-merkurju li fihom jista’ jkun ta’ periklu ? Tajjeb li jkun hemm min jispjega ftit.

Għal iktar informazzjoni ara ftit dan l-artiklu ‘Shining a light on hazards of fluorescent bulbs