Robert Abela has sounded the alarm on the “grave danger” being faced by small island states in the wake of the devastating impacts of climate change.

The prime minister raised the concerns during a speech at the COP26 climate change conference.

World leaders have assembled in Glasgow to discuss urgent measures to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The prime minister told the UN-led summit that small island states are increasingly "being battered by climatic extremes" and are "in grave danger".

“This is why Malta is committed to offering its assistance to small island developing states. We share similar risks. We live common circumstances”, Abela said.

Abela said Malta wished to share the country’s experiences and lessons to help other small island developing states achieve a fair and successful decarbonised economy.

Carbon neutral by 2050

The prime minister said Malta is committed to implementing a low carbon development strategy with ambitious 2030 targets that will lead the country to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

But he raised concerns about how achievable they are for a country like Malta.

"For a small country of just over 300 square kilometres, with limited natural resources and very limited capacity for emission reductions, these targets are very challenging."

Abela said Malta was the country that brought climate change to the attention of the UN general assembly in 1988, and the governments wants to live up this legacy.

He said the world needs to work quickly and effectively to mitigate the devastating impacts of climate change.

“As world leaders, we are here because we recognise that it’s our responsibility to find and implement solutions. 

“Ones that give our children hope for a better future and the serenity of mind that we are committed to walk the talk with real global collaboration”, Abela said.

He said the starting point must be making the Paris agreement work.

The 2015 agreement is an international treaty on climate change that aims to limit global warming.

“We must all be committed to play our part … for climate change knows no borders. 

“Its implications are universal but its impacts are local… and its consequences have a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable”, he said.

The prime minister told delegates that collaboration and solidarity are key.

He said the prosperity of one country should not translate into the isolation of another, as the planet’s new future should be based on the alignment of nations in their right for a better world.

Abela said transforming infrastructure and adapting capabilities needs financing.

Developing countries, he added, are facing major challenges, and, to this end, Malta will be doubling its contribution to the green climate fund.

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