ESG remains at the top of our agenda

Collectively, we conjured this mess for one clear reason. Behind this wave of environmental destruction lies a web of politicians and developers who have created a system that serves the profit of the few instead of the common good. Only Dubai and Marshall Island banks brim with secret accounts


Last week, Moviment Graffitti activists carried three caskets representing "nature", "health" and "quality of life" in a short procession to the headquarters of the Malta Developers Association (MDA).

This is a unique type of activism protesting against the deterioration in the environment resulting from rampant overbuilding based on lax regulation by the authorities. There is no justice in losing our country to the rule of greed. In this particular protest, the media reported six activists dressed as grim reapers carried placards representing the MDA and five government authorities: the Planning Authority, Lands Authority, Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, Environment and Resource Authority and Environment and Planning Tribunal.

Moviment Graffitti said the islands are facing an environmental situation that is rapidly getting worse and requires genuine action, not empty words and cosmetic changes.

Future generations are in danger of inheriting an island ravaged by environmental damage. While today’s youth may be particularly motivated to find solutions that can benefit their own future, being effective stewards of Malta, is a responsibility for people of all ages.  Professionals in positions of public leadership can use their skills and knowledge to engage people in environmental advocacy and help create a better planet for everyone.

On the positive side, one is relieved to read that after months of discussions principally lead by MEP David Casa, there will be created a social climate fund. The EU regulation establishing the social climate fund - an €86.7 billion social assistance package is intended to help businesses and households from the effects of climate transition. This may eventually also benefit households and small businesses.

Naturally, it is a bit too little and somewhat late. There is no comparison with the mighty US version of the Inflation reduction act. The latter is a mammoth fund to help assist companies and organizations to fight climate change and reach net zero by 2050.

One regularly meets the term “environmental activism”.  Simply defined, it is the actions of individuals or groups that protect or aid the environment. Those involved in the movement identify issues that threaten the planet’s viability, from community to global concerns, and then develop strategies to promote awareness or produce solutions that directly address the problem. In Malta, there is a mild version of environmental activism because awareness of residents about the consequences of climate change has not sunk in. Definitely, the political direction is focused on other matters such as cost of living, state subsidies and maintaining a feel-good factor (by occasionally issuing free cheques).

However, other European nations are more vocal on the visible consequences of doing little to fight climate change.  What can be done to light the fire of environmental activism in Malta. There are several ways to undertake this, from local grassroots strategies to nationwide campaigns.

In some cases, advocating for the environment can also include other important activism, such as civic and social justice.  Regardless of how it’s performed, the goal of environmental activism is clear: to create a harmonious living environment that can be handed down from generation to generation without succumbing to poor human stewardship.

Environmental responsibility is the pillar of corporate social responsibility rooted in preserving mother nature.  Environmental activism can also lead individuals to become involved with other critical forms of civic engagement, particularly in relation to social and racial justice issues.

Through optimal operations and support of related causes, a company observing the rules of ESG, can ensure it leaves natural resources better than before its operations.  Readers are invited to attend a PKF business breakfast on 27 June at the Hilton Portomaso suite St Julians, to discuss such issues.

Discussions by experts will delve into how companies can pursue environmental stewardship through: reducing pollution, waste, natural resource consumption, and emissions through its manufacturing process.

  • Recycling goods and materials throughout its processes including promoting re-use practices with its customers.
  • Distributing goods consciously by choosing methods that have the least impact on emissions and pollution.
  • More use of EVs, advocating the production of green energy from floating offshore plants.
  • Maintaining a healthy work /life balance for both private and state employees.

The first step toward environmental advocacy can be small and simple, such as undertaking a volunteer project cleaning up beach pollution and switching from running ICE cars to electrics. Environmental activism in Malta can grow by coming together of various groups of individuals and organizations that work in collaboration in social, scientific, political, and conservational fields with the main purpose of addressing net zero.

A slow appreciation of the merits of ESG reporting by companies and government entities needs to be buttressed by effective regulation. Such initiatives will slowly pave the way for more citizens to join a larger movement or be inspired to build awareness themselves. Environmental activism in education colleges and universities in Malta is low.

Ideally, undergraduates and students lead critical dialogues in their communities to discuss findings and brainstorm strategies for change, backed by training in civic engagement, legislative advocacy and shaping public policy. This is like taking horses to water, yet they do not drink.

Environmental activism can bring important attention to serious issues, mobilizing others to use their voices — and their votes — to influence political leaders. Activists can also help shape environmental legislation. It seems that locally, students are quickly activated, if the university increases parking fees or change stipends but they are not spurned by their obligation towards the nation which funds their life-long free education programme.

This lack of environmental activism can also have an impact at the corporate level.  Increased awareness of environmental concerns may cause companies to develop more sustainable practices, adopt green strategies and proactively engage in corporate social responsibility.

In conclusion, the people of Malta, are bearing the grave consequences of unbridled environmental devastation. Widespread environmental destruction is resulting in physical and mental health problems, in frustrated children who have nowhere to roam and a growing desire among young people to leave the country.

Collectively, we conjured this mess for one clear reason. Behind this wave of environmental destruction lies a web of politicians and developers who have created a system that serves the profit of the few instead of the common good. Only Dubai and Marshall Island banks brim with secret accounts.

Exploitation of the open spaces in Malta take us to mention many instances.

A glaring example is the exploitation of building Manoel island by a developer, which had first over-built Tigne point, later it was given the green sign to erect multiple concrete structures on pristine land at a historical fortress island.

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