Climate change mitigation - Why care? (Malta)
- Climate change
Climate Change is currently one of the principal threats facing nations worldwide, although the impacts of climate change will differ depending on relative vulnerabilities. Human activities, such as the combustion of fossil fuels and deforestation, have from the start of the industrial revolution led to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere than was previously the case. These gases trap heat within the atmosphere, resulting in a general increase in global temperatures, with associated changes in climatic conditions. Indeed, the Fourth Assessment Report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has indicated that 11 of the 12 years between 1995 and 2006 have been amongst the warmest since 1850. In Europe, the temperature is currently 1.4 °C warmer than pre-industrial levels.
For a small island state situated in the southern European area of the Mediterranean, Malta is considered to be very vulnerable to the predicted impacts of climate change. Whilst Malta is not considered to be a significant contributor to global GHG emissions, it has taken on the responsibility to curb such emissions, illustrating that everyone is capable of taking a degree of mitigating action comparable to the nation’s capacity and capability.
 EEA (European Environment Agency). 2007. Europe’s Environment: The fourth assessment, EEA, Copenhagen.