The main objective of this policy paper is to speculate the way forward while using existing tools and instruments to work sustainably in a environmentally responsible manner. The continuous development has brought with it many positive things and yet it has also created unprecedented challenges, which could be overcome with the effort of the academia, the politicians and the legislation drafters to anticipate, prevent and reduce negative social and environmental impacts. There needs to be a co-operative effort on an International, regional and national level and this can also been seen through the various International Instruments which have been envisaged.
This research was conducted not to stay on shelves, but to read and scrutinised in order to be criticised where weak and applied where there are strengths. It is divided in a way that provides the reader with a holistic overview of several areas, including climate change, energy and water consumption, urbanisation, pollution and human health, poverty and the overall education of the subject. The main focus being that terrestrial area and suggesting some very interesting recommendations which can inspire change on a national level. That is what makes this piece of research interesting, that is embarks on a journey of challenging that which have been suggested. One must there fore take into consideration the fact that the compilation of this report has be done from an object point of view, whilst taking into account the various reasonable recommendations that have been reviewed in the writing of this report.
Climate Change, Energy and Water Consumption
Climate change in Malta has already been recorded by scientists and policy-makers, with results providing evidence of changes in the pattern of rainfall, an increase in the number of days with thunderstorms per year, decreasing mean annual cloud cover and variations in the amounts of bright sunshine were observed in Malta. Table 1 (Source: Malta Resources Authority) below, summarises the expected effects of climate change as estimated to the year 2100:
“Fundamentally”, poverty is a denial of choices and opportunities, a violation of human dignity. It means lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society. It means not having enough to feed and clothe a family, not having a school or clinic to go t, not having the land on which to grow one’s food or a job earn one’s living. not gaving access to credit. It means insecurity, powerlessness and exclusion of individuals, households and communities. It means susceptibility to violence, and it often implies living on marginal or fragile environments, without access to lean water or sanitation.
There is a difference between absolute and relative poverty. Absolute poverty has been defined as a condition characterised by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information. It depends not only on income but also on access to services. Relative poverty can occur in different forms including lack of income and productive resources to ensure sustainable livelihoods; hunger and malnutrition; ill health; limited or lack of access to education and other basic services; increased morbidity and mortality from illness; homelessness and inadequate housing; unsafe environments and social discrimination and exclusion. It is also characterised by lack of participation in decision making and in civil, social and cultural life.
The rental sector has operated in an unregulated free market since 1995 when rent laws were first changed to do away with archaic laws introduced just after World War 2 intended to give tenants long-term security at the expense of landlords.