23 November, 2022

The Road To Decarbonisation


The event served as a forum to discuss the opportunities, possibilities and funding available to assist the decarbonisation efforts of the private sector

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry held its third and final event earlier this week, as part of Malta SME Week 2022, titled ‘The Road to Decarbonisation’. The conference, which was organised in collaboration with the Dublin Chamber as part of the Enterprise Europe Network, served as a forum to discuss the opportunities, possibilities and funding available to assist the decarbonisation efforts of the private sector.

Marisa Xuereb, President of The Malta Chamber, in her opening speech said “around one third of our energy requirement is associated with transportation. Most of the remaining energy required relates to demand from buildings, one-third of which is for residential buildings. Industry, which is a big energy consumer in many European countries, accounts for a relatively modest 22% of the demand. Commercial enterprises, hospitality and the public sector add up to 46%. So we can make significant gains by improving the energy efficiency of our buildings: our homes, offices, shops, catering establishments and hotels, where most of the energy demands relate to heating, cooling and lighting.”

Minister for Economy, European Funds and Lands Silvio Schembri, in his opening speech, said that, “If the demand for such conferences which discuss decarbonisation as well as any consequent actions and prospective strategies is anything to go by, then it is highly evident that both public authorities and industry stakeholders are placing the achievement of carbon neutrality at the top of their agenda. An increasing number of companies are choosing to take significant actions to reduce emissions, seeking a bolder direction to implement a greener approach to business.”

Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Chris Bonett said that the main idea is to ensure that the economy continues to grow in a green, sustainable manner, whilst giving the necessary incentives to businesses and individuals to invest in a more sustainable way by promoting the uptake of electric vehicles in the private sector including the commercial sector.

CEO Dr Marthese Portelli noted that The Malta Chamber walks the talk. “The Malta Chamber continuously drives towards Net Zero. Earlier this year, The Chamber invested in 53 PV panels with the aim of contributing towards a more sustainable and greener economy.” The Malta Chamber CEO also highlighted several policies which The Chamber is recommending in relation to 3 areas: Water, Transport and Sustainability & Planning.

Ing. Stefan De Marco, Policy Executive on Sustainability at The Malta Chamber, explained that due to the extensive use of fossil fuels, GHGs are the cause of Global Warming, the latter being one of the factors of Climate Change. Referring to the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), Ing. De Marco showed Malta’s current situation as regards to GHGs and what are the Governments targets are to reach the European Green Deal commitments. It is in this context that both Businesses and the public need to understand the urgency to take on the path to Decarbonise.

Two international speakers gave their insights on how businesses can implement efforts that can lead to decarbonisation. Aisling McCarthy, Higher Executive Officer within the Climate Action and Economic Infrastructure Unit at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, will be sharing a best practice from Ireland on how businesses can start their zero carbon journey through the Climate Toolkit for Business. George Kremlis, Principal Advisor to the Greek Prime Minister on Energy, Climate, Environment & Circular Economy, also addressed attendees by highlighting concrete examples of how Greece is implementing green practices.

The event included 3 panel discussions. The first panel, which was moderated by Rachel Attard (Head of Media and Communication Strategist at The Malta Chamber), discussed ‘Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Retrofits’ and included the following panelists:
• Ing Marthese Vella, Lead Consultant – Risk & Compliance at RSM Malta
• Ing Patrick Spiteri Staines, Managing Director at T4B Services Ltd
• Prof Ing Charles Yousif, Associate Professor Institute for Sustainable Energy
• Ing Joseph Restall, Senior Head – Engineering & Technical Services at Corinthia Hotels Ltd

The second panel discussed ‘Funding for Decarbonisation’ and was moderated by Dr Daniela Grech (Head of Projects and EU Funds at The Malta Chamber). The panel included:
• Alberto Follador, Mandate Officer at European Investment Fund
• Clint Flores, Head – ESG Department at BOV
• Daniela Burlo, Management Consulting Manager at PwC Malta
• Dr Georgina Scicluna, Chief Coordinator, Operational Programme I, Planning and Priorities Coordination Division

Moderated by Kevin Mizzi (Head of Policy at The Malta Chamber), the third panel discussed ‘Future Cities’ and included the following panelists:
• Ing Marco Cremona, Director at Sustech Consulting
• Perit Jacques Borg Barthet, Director of Practice at AP Valletta
• Paul Fenech, Engineering and Reliability Director at Crane Currency Malta Ltd
• Joseph Sullivan, Sales Executive at IQbloc

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