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PM should be responsible for sustainable development - church commission

Sustainable development should form part of the prime minister’s portfolio, as various ministries are too focused on their own remit to respond to sustainability issues, the Church's environment commission said.

It stressed that having the issue within the Ministry for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change reinforced that this was only to do with ‘environment stuff’ whereas issues such as the excessive number of private cars populating our roads and the negative impacts on sustainability of the construction industry are “the root cause of problems”.

The Church’s Interdiocesan Environment Commission (KA) on Friday issued its submission in the consultation exercise related to Malta’s Sustainable Development Vision for 2050 which was carried out last November.

KA suggested the setting up of a parliamentary committee made up of both sides of the House to decide on a national sustainable development strategy with its accompanying policy actions, stressing that it might require positive discrimination of policies to safeguard the environment and promote social wellbeing over short-term economic gains.

It said that the consultation paper had also not sufficiently explored concepts of ‘carrying capacity’ and ‘limits to growth’.

“One needs to examine whether what goes into increasing our Gross Domestic Product is in fact contributing to the sustained wellbeing of current and particularly future generations,” it stressed.