In a Nutshell

  • Malta’s climate neutrality objective for 2050 aims to bring down CO2 emissions by 80%, according to the country’s climate strategies.
  • Malta’s climate law lacks a legally binding climate target at the national level.
  • Malta is open to acting as a test bed for emerging technologies, such as carbon removal and capture and storage, in partnership with larger countries and private partners.
  • The Maltese draft updated NECP mentions the development of a new long-term climate strategy, but the timeline remains unclear.

Role for carbon removal in national climate policy

Malta mentions its climate neutrality objective for 2050 throughout all of its main strategies related to climate and environmental policy.

 

Malta’s long-term climate strategy sets indicative greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets of 60% for 2040 and 80% for 2050, resulting in remaining emissions of about 0.4MtCO2e in. Due to its small territory size and limited potential for economies of scale on new technologies, the strategy mentions that Malta is open to acting as a test bed for emerging technologies, such as carbon removal and capture and storage, in partnership with larger countries and private partners. The strategy does not present measures regarding the land-use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector due to the country’s limited forest area and close to non-existent potential to increase removals from the sector.

 

Malta’s draft updated National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) mentions that the country’s LULUCF target amounts to 2KtCO2e by 2030 and the maximum potential capacity would be 10KtCO2e per year. About 50% of Malta’s land surface is occupied by agricultural land, 30% by buildings and only about 20% by natural or semi-natural areas. However, Malta’s territory covers extensive marine areas, which could hold the key to increasing its removal capacity.

 

The climate neutrality target is referred to in two other national strategies. The Sustainable Development Strategy makes protecting and enhancing the nation’s natural capital one of its focuses, with soil protection and sustainable agriculture labelled as particularly important. The National Strategy for the Environment 2050 presents strategic goals: clean air, quality neighbourhoods, thriving biodiversity, zero waste, resilient land resources, flourishing marine ecosystems, sustainable water resources, and enabling change.

 

Support for R&D and Innovation

The Climate Action Act created the Climate Action Fund, which is funded by Malta’s allocated ETS revenues, revenues generated by national policies, and from private actors. This fund is intended to finance climate mitigation measures.

 

The draft updated NECP for Malta mentions “Project Green”, where EUR 700 million over the upcoming seven years have been dedicated to the creation, maintenance and invigoration of parks, gardens and other green infrastructures. However, these projects will not count towards the country’s LULUCF target as their expected impact will be marginal.

 

The University of Malta is undertaking research on the country’s subsea CO2 storage potential.

On the horizon

The draft updated NECP mentions the development of a new long-term climate strategy. However, the timeline is unclear.

Contributors

Targets

  1. Net zero target: 2050
  2. Net Negative Target:

    No

  3. First interim target: 2030
  4. Type of interim target: Emissions reduction target
  5. GHGs covered: Carbon dioxide and other GHGs
  6. Separate target for emission reduction and removals: No
  7. Comprehensive CDR Target: no
  8. CDR Target for Conventional Removals: no
  9. CDR Target for Novel Removals: no
  10. Historical emissions: No
  11. Annual reporting mechanism: Less than annual reporting

CDR Plans

  1. Plans for carbon removal (CDR): Yes (nature-based and CCS-based removals)
  2. Planning to use external carbon credits: Not Specified
  3. Conditions on use of carbon credits:

Key stakeholders

Research Institutions

Think Tanks and NGOs

  • Nature Trust Malta – The largest and oldest environmental organisation in Malta, working for habitat restoration, nature conservation and site management.