AD appeals for importation of cleaner fuel
| Alternattiva Demokratika in a statement has appealed to the Government
to authorise the importation Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) fuel for use
in Malta. LPG is so far the only proven safe, abundant and publicly
affordable green fuel alternative to petrol available today.
Michael Briguglio, Public Relations Officer of the Green Party said
in Malta and Gozo many cases of respiratory disease, asthma and cancer
are being directly caused or aggravated by the excessive amounts of
automotive exhaust and pollution in the islands.
Mr Briguglio explains, "The government is therefore morally responsible
to confront this precarious situation. One way of doing this is to authorise
the use of more environmentally-friendly fuel in the islands. Malta
should immediately follow the example of other countries with regards
to the use of such fuel and introduce LPG.
"The use of LPG would make economic and environmental sense in
the medium term", adds Mr Briguglio, "as it is cheaper and
cleaner than other types of fuel. Besides, on average, initial LPG conversion
costs are recovered within 2 years through fuel cost savings made in
The Green Party spokesperson mentioned the fact that petrol in Malta
is currently cheaper than in Europe, due the fact that it is being sold
at a social price. However, calculations have shown that
LPG would be even cheaper than the Maltese price for petrol. Therefore,
"it does not make sense that while LPG is illegal in Malta, Maltese
tax payers are forking out money for various inefficiencies within the
Enemalta monopoly. If Enemalta does not want to import LPG, other companies
should be allowed to do so."
He went on to explain to mention the fact that various European countries
are offering grants such as lower taxation and lower road tax as incentives
for conversion to LPG. "Malta should catch up with its European
counterparts and do the same, for the benefit of peoples health
and the environment".
The AD spokesperson also stated that it is being estimated that within
10 years time hydrogen fuel cells will be used to generate power in
cars. "Hydrogen fuel cells are even cleaner than LPG, and should
eventually be utilised. Malta should also update itself on the advances
in this field". In this regard, Briguglio mentioned the fact that
DaimlerChrysler, which is expected to produce the first fuel cell car
in 2004, will produce fuel cell buses in 2002 which shall be subsidised
by the European Union.
Alternattiva Demokratika has also appealed to the government to introduce
long-awaited reforms in Public Transport in order to reduce pollution
and traffic. In Malta new car registrations exceeds yearly increase
in population and the country has the second highest car population
per capita in the world. An improvement in public transport can lead
to a reduction in use of cars and thus to a reduction in traffic and