Malta’s Climate Diplomacy

Produced By M Micallef, Date: May 18, 2020
 
Many people associate climate action with national policy. While governance plays a vital role, an equally important part is played by foreign policy, through climate diplomacy. The networks that we, as diplomats, cultivate through our missions on the ground and through our participation in meetings at the regional and international level allow us to formulate targeted climate strategies towards different countries and regions of the world; strategies that also form the basis for effective partnerships arou​nd the world.  Sound knowledge of what Malta is doing to meet its climate change targets is of course essential. For this reason, Malta adopted a unique model by having a dedicated Ambassador for Climate Action, Professor Simone Borg, who is also the chair of the national Climate Action Board. This ensures that our action on the international level fully matches our country’s priorities at the national level.


globu.jpg

Image shows Monument at the University of Malta commemorating Malta’s Climate Change Initiative

Credit: Oleg M.,University of Malta​



Malta has a historic international reputation on climate action. Since its climate change proposal at the UN in 1988, Malta continues to be active through its climate diplomacy on a regional level within the EU and the Mediterranean, and on the international level with the UN and through the Commonwealth. The Executive Session of CHOGM held in Malta in 2015 was instrumental in sustaining the momentum towards a successful adoption of the Paris Agreement. This agreement remains the indispensable multilateral framework for climate action.  This is supported by a policy of universal engagement involving civil society, youth and private enterprise. This is necessary because  climate action is no longer a self-contained policy, it transcends essential aspects of our lives, enough to require a transformation of our societies. International cooperation is essential for a successful transformation.

International cooperation presents different scenarios. Particularly relevant for us are evolving situations in our neighbouring regions (Africa, Mediterranean), in the Arctic, and developments affecting small island states. It is here that we encouter issues like the rights of states and peoples at risk from the effects of climate change, the possible recognition of climate change as grounds for asylum, the effects of rising sea levels on coastal economies, the effects of climate change on peace and security, the increasing emphasis on sustainable water management and others. Although small, Malta also has a lot to offer through capacity building and the sharing of experiences with successful models with developing countries, especially small island states.

 

M. Micallef

Officer in Scale 4