The floods seen in Europe last week caused havoc, death and destruction. It was a worrying situation, one that shocked European nations.
International news report that climate scientists say the link between extreme weather and global warming is unmistakable and the urgency to do something about climate change undeniable.
“Scientists can’t yet say for sure whether climate change caused the flooding, but they insist that it certainly exacerbates the extreme weather that has been on show from the western U.S. and Canada to Siberia to Europe’s Rhine region,” a report by the Associated Press read.
While floods hit part of Europe, heat records were recently broken in the US and Canada.
The European Union has been working to protect the environment, reduce emissions and tackle climate change.
Diederik Samsom, the European Commission’s Cabinet chief behind the massive proposals to spend billions and force industry into drastic reforms to help cut the bloc’s emissions of the gases that cause global warming by 55% this decade, said, according to the Associated Press, that this week’s disaster was a cautionary tale.
“People are washed away in Germany … and Belgium and the Netherlands, too. We are experiencing climate change,” he said. “A few years ago, you had to point to a point in the future or far away on the planet to talk about climate change. It’s happening now — here.”
Malta’s Environment Minister, Aaron Farrugia, wrote in an opinion article that appeared on Monday’s edition of The Malta Independent, that “the European Green Deal is Europe’s roadmap to champion the transition of the EU towards a climate-neutral economy by reducing carbon emissions to 55% by 2030 and achieving climate neutrality by 2050. It is Europe’s new growth strategy and an opportunity for us to respond to biodiversity loss and the climate breakdown.”
Malta has thus far been lucky not to feel the effects of extreme weather, however we must not ignore what we can do to help. It is also good to hear Malta’s environment minister explaining the importance of following the EU’s strategy and the importance of looking out for our environment.
Malta, as with all other EU countries, must work to reduce emissions. We are moving to, eventually, an electric vehicle society, which should help, but there is more we can do.
The Maltese minister said that Malta recently launched a Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) which identifies the most cost-effective way to decarbonize the economy by 2050. This was under public consultation until 13 July. “The purpose of this strategy is crucial in ensuring the necessary transformation pathways towards the national objective of carbon neutrality by 2050. It provides a strategic direction for the next 30 years with various measures to decouple economic growth from natural resource use and environmental pressures.”
Indeed we must all do what we can to protect our environment, and alleviating any pressure we place on it will be of benefit for our current and future generations.