Maltese residents are officially the most concerned Europeans about the issue of climate change, with 92 per cent of the population finding the topic to be a “very serious” problem.
The results were published as part of a special Eurobarometer survey on climate change, published last Wednesday.
Moreover, Maltese residents also appear to have had their environmental conscience strengthened after the survey found that concern related to climate change compared with other issues rose by 13 percentage points.
In addition to this, the impression that climate change is the most serious issue gripping the world also grew, by 10 percentage points, from 13 per cent to 23 per cent. It was recorded that the number of people who declared to be taking personal action to fight climate change also jumped drastically, by 13 percentage points, reaching 88 per cent.
The special Eurobarometer survey was conducted in April 2019 and published this week. It stands to reason that a small island nation would be more concerned than bigger countries about the effects of climate change, having fewer resources or room to escape its effects.
Despite the positive results for the environment, which could be supported by the growing interest within civil society on environmental issues such as the chopping down of trees and take-up of agricultural land for infrastructure projects, Malta continues to come bottom of the EU class for recycling rates and air quality.
In 2019 it was found that Malta’s recycling rate was just seven per cent, with a remarkable 83 per cent going straight to landfills. With regards to Malta’s air quality, according to Parliamentary data the country registers five new cases of chronic respiratory illness per day. The Government has taken steps to build new roads in order to decrease congestion and therefore increase air quality, however environmentalists, civil society and protestors say that building more roads further encourages car usage, which will only continue to diminish Malta’s air quality.