The environment can be saved through laws, plans and policies that require no investment, but crucially based on conflict-free advice, the Church’s environment commission said on Thursday.

The commission appealed to voters to cast their vote wisely to ensure that the respect for the common good is upheld in the next legislature.

The church environment organ issued a statement nine days before the Malta general election which is being held amid the backdrop of the “senseless invasion” of Ukraine. 

Malta, Europe and the whole world move should decisively away from the use of fossil fuels and nuclear sources of energy, especially with a war that has also brought to the fore the fundamental environmental issue relating to energy sources. 

The commission (KA) invited the new administration to: 

  • Revise the Strategic Plan for the Environment and Development (SPED) and the local plans. The local plans should be the final arbiter of the height limitations of every street in Malta. It is totally unacceptable that a web of policies undermines what is shown and stated in the local plan.
  • Publish the revision of the Rural Policy and Design Guidance 2014, the public consultation for which closed in August 2020. This revision has been gathering dust, thus allowing more buildings to be erected outside development zones even though, officially, development zones have not been extended.
  • Revise the Development Control Design Policy, Guidance and Standards 2015 which is wreaking havoc on Gozo’s ridges.
  • Be courageous enough to drop any electoral promise if such promise, after the necessary studies are carried out, would result in the erosion of the common good.
  • Take action so that agricultural land in the Maltese Islands is granted a higher protection status than it currently enjoys.
  • Ensure that when public consultation on plans and policies is carried out this is not a fake one, which aims to address narrow interests.
  • Present a Bill in Parliament that aims to partly finance political parties by the State and which ensures that members of parliament have a decent salary that reduces their reliance on businessmen and contractors for donations. 

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