The Interdiocesan Environment Commission appeals to the administration that will be in place by the end of the month to make all efforts, both at a national and international level so that Malta, Europe and the whole world move decisively away from the use of fossil fuels and nuclear sources of energy. This appeal is being made in the midst of the tragic and senseless invasion of Ukraine by Russia. This war has also brought to the fore the fundamental environmental issue relating to energy sources.
In relation to the urban and natural environment in Malta, the KA is of the opinion that the degradation of the local natural and urban environment is not necessarily due to the lack of funds but due to ill-advised plans and policies. What is required to save the environment are laws, plans and policies that require no investment but that are, crucially, based on conflict-free advice to the authorities and the latter’s sincere upholding of the common good.
The KA invites the new administration to:
- Revise the Strategic Plan for the Environment and Development (SPED) and the local plans. The local plans should be the final arbiter of the height limitations of every street in the Maltese Islands. It is totally unacceptable that a web of policies undermines what is shown and stated in the local plan.
- Publish the revision of the Rural Policy and Design Guidance 2014, the public consultation for which closed in August 2020. This revision has been gathering dust, thus allowing more buildings to be erected outside development zones even though, officially, development zones have not been extended.
- Revise the Development Control Design Policy, Guidance and Standards 2015 which is wreaking havoc on Gozo’s ridges.
- Be courageous enough to drop any electoral promise if such promise, after the necessary studies are carried out, would result in the erosion of the common good.
- Take action so that agricultural land in the Maltese Islands is granted a higher protection status than it currently enjoys.
- Ensure that when public consultation on plans and policies is carried out this is not a fake one which aims to address narrow interests.
- Present a Bill in Parliament that aims to partly finance political parties by the State and which ensures that members of parliament have a decent salary that reduces their reliance on businessmen and contractors for donations.
Appeal to voters
Parliament needs people who have integrity, can stand on their own two feet and are able to challenge their own party to uphold the common good. Such people need to be on both Government and Opposition sides of Parliament. The KA appeals to voters to vote wisely to ensure that the respect for the common good is upheld in the next legislature.