By the year 2050, scientists believe that due to rapid climate change, the southern European country of Malta will be unbearably hot for tourists. Not only will climate change pose great threat on Malta’s climate and tourism sector, but also to the whole republic itself which is in great danger of massive change. Malta’s vulnerability to climate change was first recognized by the government in 2004. The assessment from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change stated that the most important impacts on Malta include: deterioration of portable water supply and quality, coastal erosion, jelly fish expansion, more frequent extreme weather events, threats to public health, incoming immigration from Africa, and rises in sea level.
Malta’s water supply is in a complete crisis and shortage, and the largest supply of water actually floats on the sea level. Due to rising salinity, the shortage has become a major issue, and the country will be forced to depend on desalination to make the sea water drinkable. Desalination relies on the usage of fossil fuels, making this process very inefficient and negative to climate change and global warming. This will also likely affect the price of water in the future, seeing as fossil fuels are becoming a scarce resource and constantly increasing in worth.
Climate change experts have warned the disappearance of important beaches such as Ghadira in less than 50 years if vital measures are not taken. These low-lying beaches are crucial for the counties premier tourist attractions. With Malta’s increasing climate causing for lower tourism, these beaches are crucial for the survival of the tourism industry within the country. The combination of disappearing beaches and increasing climate temperature, the republic will permanently be turbulent.
Droughts and desertification will be a significant cause to the migration of African habitants to Malta, forcing the country to become a lead state. Dwindling resources from climate predication will force many people out of their homes to unstable regions such as Malta. This puts the country in danger of its own resource deficiency as well as national border concerns.
Finally, a reported 60 million jellyfish occupied these important beaches, and more than 70,000 reported being stung. With the warmer waters, the species are expanding their range and migrating early than normal. With the climate change occurring, and our seas increasing in temperature, this problem could become very severe and unbearable in the future.
With Malta being recognized by the government as a severe concern for climate change, it is apparent that steps must be taken to contribute to a healthier environment. A statement to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’ (UNFCCC) stated that “The most important impacts include the deterioration of potable water supplies and quality.” Although the concern is evident, the most devastating part of this issue is the attitudes of the residence living in Malta. As many as 26% Maltese believe the risks of climate change are being exaggerated; but with the European Union taking correct measures by doing things such as a hike utility bills, forcing citizens to use less energy, a healthier environment is in progress.
Friends of the Earth is a Maltese organization striving to make the life of people better by inspiring creative solutions to environmental problems. Unfortunately, I could not find the video in English.