Updated - adds reaction by Environment Ministry - Malta has registered the highest increase in greenhouse gas emissions across the EU since 1990 as the majority of member states reported reductions over the past 22 years. 

According to the EU's recently-published energy, transport and environment statistical book, emissions in Malta rose by 57.3 per cent between 1990 and 2012. 

The main culprit was transport.

Malta is followed by Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Greece with the six EU members accounting for 13.1 per cent of the total EU greenhouse gas emissions reported in 2012.

The island also recorded the second highest motorisation rate in the EU after Italy, with 592 passenger cars per 1,000 inhabitants. This equates to having one car for every two inhabitants on the island. 

Malta followed Cyprus in having the highest motorisation rate of trucks and road tractors across the EU, with 102 trucks for every 1,000 inhabitants. 

On freshwater extraction, from 2001 to 2013, Malta reported the second highest increase in the total extraction of freshwater (25 per cent), preceded by Cyprus. 

Turning to electricity prices, the report shows that the lowest rates in the EU for households were found in Bulgaria, Hungary and Malta. In the case of industrial consumers, however, tariffs in the second semester of 2014 were the highest in Cyprus, Malta and Italy

In a reaction, the Environment Ministry said the increase in emissions between 1995 and 2012 mostly reflected the use of fossil fuels at the power stations. 

However, thanks to the closure of Marsa power station and the conversion of Delimara power station to use gas, Malta had started the road to reducing such emissions, with a substantial reduction in 2013 onwards from various sectors including the power stations, industry, and waste management.

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