Almost 70 per cent of Maltese believe that local authorities are not prepared to deal with a natural disaster caused by climate change, according to a Eurobarometer Survey on EU civil protection.

The 510 Maltese participants were asked: “Climate change has resulted in a dramatic increase in natural hazards in Europe such as wildfires, floods or droughts, often resulting in many victims and economic damage. In your view, how well prepared to respond or not are the following public authorities?”

When it came to local authorities, 68% of Maltese participants believed they are “not very well prepared” (35%) or “not at all prepared” (33%) compared to an EU average of 48%.

Confidence levels were higher when assessing the preparedness of EU authorities with 44% of Maltese believing they were “very well” or “fairly well” prepared and 42% "not very well prepared" or "not at all prepared".

The Eurobarometer survey on EU Civil Protection involved 26,523 interviews across 27 EU countries between September and October 2023. The country report for Malta showed that 84% of Maltese are aware that the EU helps coordinate response to disaster in the region and outside which was high compared to the EU average of 63%.

Results showed that 78% of Maltese thought it was "very important" that the EU helped with this coordination compared to a 45% EU average.

80% "totally agreed" that when a disaster strikes in an EU country that is too big to deal with on its own, other EU countries should provide help. This was also high compared to the EU average of 64%.

Similarly, 77% "totally agreed" (EU 53%) that, to deal more effectively with disasters and crises in the future, coordinated EU action should be increased.

Meanwhile, the Maltese followed the EU trends when it came to ranking the priority areas. Maltese think EU preparedness and response should prioritise disasters related to climate change such as flooding and fires (Malta 61%, EU 53%); followed by medical emergencies like pandemics (Malta 47%, EU 44%).

The least priority was given to consequences of conflicts by neighbouring countries (Malta 18%, EU 21%).

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