Exclusion of liability

This translation is generated by eTranslation, a machine translation tool provided by the European Commission.

Website experience degraded
We are currently facing a technical issue with the website which affects the display of data. The full functionality will be restored as soon as possible. We appreciate your understanding. If you have any questions or issues, please contact EEA Helpdesk (helpdesk@eea.europa.eu).
Scegli un paese:
Malta
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey

Information on national adaptation actions reported under the Governance Regulation

Reporting updated until: 2023-07-11

Item Status Links
National Adaptation Strategy (NAS)
  • actual adaptation policy (adopted)
  • Malta's Low Carbon Development Strategy
Meteorological observations
Climate projections and services
Adaptation portals and platforms
Monitoring, reporting and evaluation (MRE) indicators and methodologies
Key reports and publications
National communication to the UNFCCC
Governance regulation adaptation reporting
Malta is an archipelago situated in the center of the Mediterranean Sea (approximately 90 kilometers from Sicily, Italy, 290 kilometers from Tunisia and 300 kilometers from Libya). The Straits of Gibraltar are approximately 1,850 kilometers West and the Suez Canal is about 1,500 kilometers towards the East Southeast.

The country consists of three main inhabited islands, namely, Malta, Gozo, Comino, together with a number of other small uninhabited islands (e.g. Cominotto, Filfla, St Paul’s Islands) and islets situated close to the coastline of the main islands. The total area of the Maltese islands is of 316 square kilometers, with a total shoreline of slightly more than 271 kilometers.

Topographically, the southern coastline facing the African mainland is dominated by cliffs, with the land sloping down to a low-lying shoreline on the northern coast. The northern areas are marked by low hills, with plains towards the southern parts. The Maltese Islands do not have mountains and there are no lakes and no rivers. Climate is typically Mediterranean, with hot and dry summers and relatively mild winters.

The country lacks natural resources, with limestone being one of the few natural mineral resources and it is primarily used for the local construction industry. Because of the absence of permanent surface water bodies and the limited rainfall, water resources in Malta are very limited. Most of the naturally occurring freshwater is found in groundwater bodies which continues to provide water to from springs and pumped from wells and galleries. Today, more than half of Malta’s municipal water supply is produced through the desalination of seawater by reverse osmosis membrane technology at three desalination plants located strategically around Malta’s coastline. A fourth seawater desalination plant is currently being completed on the island of Gozo which will produce potable water at a very low specific energy consumption. The reduction of losses in the municipal water distribution network has been a success with the municipal water demand being reduced by about 40 % from the 1990’s despite of the increasing population and standard of living which has increased the per-capita demand. Diffuse pollution by nutrients, together with the over abstraction of the Mean Sea Level Aquifers leading to seawater intrusion impact the qualitative status of Malta’s groundwater bodies. Households account for the bulk of the water demand, accounting for almost 70% of total billed consumption.

Being an island, the harvesting of sea salt also deserves a mention in any discussion of local mineral resources. Sea salt continues to be harvested using the age-old technique of evaporation of sea water in salt pans, of which a number may be found in coastal areas in various parts of Malta and Gozo.
The total population of Malta stood at 514,564 in 2019 (NSO, 2020), more than double the amount a hundred years earlier. Considering the limited perimeter of the country, population density is among the highest in the world (with about 1,375 persons per km2).

The most densely populated areas are the neighborhoods around the harbours flanking the capital city of Valletta. The Northern Harbour district (the area to the west of Valletta) and the Southern Harbour district (the area lying to the east and south-east of Valletta, including also the capital city) together form a population agglomeration that accounts for almost half of the total population of the country. At the other end of the scale, the islands of Gozo and Comino account for just 7.3% of the total population.

Population density differences between Malta and Gozo are highly contrasting, with the former showing a density of 1,630 persons per km2 while the latter has a density of 459 persons per km2. This also correlates with the extent of built-up area on the two islands.
Historically, agriculture was a very important economic activity in Malta, though one can also note an important element of services-oriented activities, not least due to the presence of the established British forces on the Islands until the late 1970s, which necessitated several ancillary services. The manufacturing, tourism, maritime and services sectors now both serve as mainstays of the country’s economy. The manufacturing industry has developed into areas such as microelectronics, light engineering, currency printing and pharmaceuticals. Apart from traditional activities in i-Gaming tourism, education, health, retail and financing services, the services industry has in recent decades expanded towards higher value-added activities such as, more specialised forms of tourism, including language tourism and dive tourism, maritime and aviation activity, information technology and gaming. Carbon intensive industry is absent and large scale industrial establishments are limited, however they are still relevant from a greenhouse gas emissions perspective.

Malta’s economy has strong trade ties within the European Union. The trend in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) since 1990 has been relatively consistent in showing continued growth, except for 2009, where the trend was negative, recuperating again in 2010. Overall, Malta’s GDP has grown from €1.899 billion in 1990 to €12.8 billion in 2020 (NSO, 2021). Per capita GDP stood at around € 24,872 in 2020 (NSO, 2021), this indicator also showing a steady increase over time.

Access to the Maltese Islands from other countries, and vice versa, is limited to sea and air transport. This has important implications for Malta’s economy, dependent as it is on these modes for the importation and export of materials and goods. Tourism, an important contributor to Malta’s economy is similarly dependent on arrival and departure of travellers to and from the Maltese Islands either by air or sea. Aviation activities are centered around the sole international airport of Luqa, while two main harbours, the Grand Harbour and Marsaxlokk, provide the main entry points by sea.

Internal transport is mainly road-based on road, with rail systems being non-existent. An extensive bus system services the two main islands; however, private vehicle ownership and use remains high. The total number of licensed motor vehicles in 2020 was 397,391 (NSO, 2020). Out of this total, 77.1 per cent were passenger cars, 13.8 per cent were commercial motor vehicles, 8.0 per cent were motorcycles/quadricycles and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), while buses and minibuses amounted to less than one per cent. 236,274 motor vehicles (59.5 per cent of the total) had petrol-powered engines. Diesel-powered motor vehicles reached 154,634 (38.9 per cent of the total). Electric and hybrid motor vehicles accounted for 1.2 per cent of the entire stock, with a total of 4,803 motor vehicles (NSO, 2020)A scheduled ferry service provides the only year-round link between the islands of Malta and Gozo. Domestic aviation is limited mainly to intermittent trans-island services provided either by helicopter or light aircraft
Earth/Climate observations by University of Malta:

Atmospheric Pollution Research Group, Department of Geosciences - Faculty of Science

The Giordan Lighthouse was designated a Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Station in 2001. The GAW programme is a partnership involving 80 countries and its mission is to make reliable observations of the chemical composition and physical characteristics of the atmosphere, both on a global and regional scale. Its aim is to provide reliable long-term observations that are relevant for understanding atmospheric chemistry and climate change.

All data from this station is made available to the WMO community which then contributes to the annual publication of results. This constitutes a detailed record of climate variability with details of greenhouse and aerosol trace gas pollutants contributing to this climate change.

In 2010, the Giordan Lighthouse station, together with the premises at the University of Malta Gozo Campus, have been upgraded and refurbished using ERDF. The ERDF project included instruments to measure trace gases and GHGs as well as aerosols. Moreover, further instruments were added through the VAMOS SEGURO project as part of the Italia-Malta 2007-2013 Cross-Border Cooperation Programme. The new monitoring equipment acquired through these projects is extremely sensitive and is housed in a temperature-controlled laboratory.

Nowadays, trace gases, aerosols, volcanic ash and Aerosol Optical Depth are measured together with the meteorological parameters. Studies conducted by researchers of the Atmospheric Pollution Research Group further reveal the increasing temperature trend being experienced by the Maltese Islands.

Giordan Lighthouse is located in the Malta – Sicily channel and is ideally situated to study the primary sources of atmospheric pollution. A total of 12 years data has been accumulated from the reactive gas and greenhouse gas detectors as well as the aerosol analyzers found at this station. The data has been evaluated with trends in shipping emissions coming to the fore. The other source of emissions originates from Mount Etna located on Sicily and represents the highest active volcano in Europe.

Met Office

Since 1922 the Met Office has been compiling and monitoring temperatures, precipitation, and winds. At a later date, the solar radiance, and various other aspects of meteorological importance were also included. The Met Office has its own Data & Quality unit to ensure more complete and comprehensive data gathered for different specific needs other than those available for daily reports. As the National Meteorological Office for the Maltese Islands, the Met Office forms part of the WMO global observing system. Monthly coded messages are produced and normally broadcast in the first week of the month. These are based on the monthly climate extremes and means.

The Met Office participates in the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) through the GCOS Surface Network (GSN), under station 16597 - LUQA, as the observations are primarily related to the surface. Here, CLIMAT messages (round-ups of every month prepared and coded by the Met Office) are collected and forwarded through a fixed network. They also contribute with SYNOP messages (encoded communications sent every 3 hours with detailed weather variables that are inputted manually and checked thoroughly). This data also interjects in enhancing numerical weather prediction models used for forecasting, where super computers can identify patterns and localized weather phenomena, and improve itself by automatic verification.

The Met Office also compiles a number of statistical data for internal research and also shares this research with various local and international entities. The Met Office is also participating with EUMETNET in the storm naming for central Mediterranean.

From a statistical point of view, trend lines are not showing any change with regard to the precipitation over the last 95 years, as the anomalies remained rather comparable over these years. Nonetheless, there is an overall inclination, where the precipitation is increasing during summer and autumn, and decreasing during winter and spring. Moreover, the mean air temperatures showed a slight increase of 0.96°C over 95 years of records. Meanwhile, over the past 71 years the mean wind speed has gradually decreased, however it has been slowly increasing again in these last 5 years.

Earth/Climate observations by MCAST:

Furthermore, the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) are involved in the development and support of research activities related to Climate Change.

Further development of tools and generation of data by MEEE

Malta is currently undertaking the ‘Climate Vulnerability Risk Assessment of the Maltese Economy’ (VRA), with the aim of improving the understanding on the degree of vulnerability and risks to which society, the economic sectors, and the natural environment are exposed to. The data produced through the VRA will thus feed into the policy cycle by serving as a tool for the prioritization of action in subsequent updates of adaptation policy.
Included in section ‘Main activities on climate monitoring, modelling, projections and scenarios’
The assessment described refers to expert understanding of the state of the art of Malta. Work is underway to improve this understanding. As indicated in the section “Climate monitoring and modelling framework, Main activities on climate monitoring, modelling, projections and scenarios”, Malta is currently undertaking the ‘Climate Vulnerability Risk Assessment of the Maltese Economy’ (VRA), with the aim of improving the understanding on the degree of vulnerability and risks to which society, the economic sectors, and the natural environment are exposed to, in a more quantitative approach.

The information presented across this reporting submission is based on the other two major vulnerability studies on Malta until the VRA is brought to completion. These are the study ‘The economic vulnerability and potential for adaptation of the Maltese Islands to climate change’ carried out by Briguglio and Cordina in 2003 , and the Low Carbon Development Strategy internal report based on adaptation carried out in 2019.
Hazard type Acute/Chronic Observed climate hazards
WaterAcuteDrought
Flood
Heavy precipitation
ChronicOcean acidification
Precipitation hydrological variability
Saline intrusion
Sea level rise
Water scarcity
Solid massAcute
ChronicCoastal_erosion
Soil erosion
Sol degradation
TemperatureAcuteHeat wave
ChronicChanging temperature
WindAcuteStorm
ChronicChanging wind patterns
Hazard type Acute/Chronic Future climate hazards Qualitative trend
WaterAcuteDroughtsignificantly increasing
Floodsignificantly increasing
Heavy precipitationsignificantly increasing
ChronicOcean acidificationsignificantly increasing
Precipitation hydrological variabilitysignificantly increasing
Saline intrusionsignificantly increasing
Sea level risesignificantly increasing
Water scarcitysignificantly increasing
Solid massAcute
ChronicCoastal erosionsignificantly increasing
Soil erosionsignificantly increasing
Sol degradationevolution uncertain or unknown
TemperatureAcuteCold wave frostevolution uncertain or unknown
Heat wavesignificantly increasing
ChronicChanging temperaturesignificantly increasing
Temperature variabilitysignificantly increasing
WindAcuteCycloneevolution uncertain or unknown
Stormsignificantly increasing
Tornadoevolution uncertain or unknown
ChronicChanging wind patternsevolution uncertain or unknown
Various interlinked factors contribute to pre-existing pressures in Malta, including urbanisation, rainfall variability, coastal and soil erosion, heatwaves, decline in crop productivity, ocean acidification, and saltwater intrusion. Urbanisation has led to an increase in rainwater runoff that flows downstream and causes uncontrolled surface water runoff, increasing the risk of urban flooding. Rainfall is highly variable, with some years being excessively wet while others are extremely dry. Malta has around 270 km of coastline. Although erosion is in first instance a natural phenomenon, coastal erosion is accelerated by human intervention, such as construction of coastal roads and other developments that alter the natural sediment supply process. Soil erosion is also a major threat due to poor rubble wall maintenance and flood events, with around 20% of Malta's land area at risk of soil erosion. Severe heatwaves during summer months with limited precipitation and long drought periods are becoming more frequent, leading to a decline in crop productivity and the need for more resources. From the maritime perspective, ocean acidification (OA) is a growing concern globally. This is mainly caused by carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere dissolving into the ocean, leading to a lowering of the water's pH, thereby making the ocean more acidic. Globally, there has been an increase of 26% (compared to pre-industrial levels) in acidity of oceans which impacts fish and the marine ecology. Fishermen worldwide are experiencing a decline in fish catch cause by ocean acidification, leading to negative impacts on the economy and human health.

Saltwater intrusion is also a concern, with the potential for saline intrusion in freshwater aquifers due to the lack of water resources and the threats of sea-level rise.
It is expected, on the basis of best available science including IPCC publications and reference to the Mediterranean region, that the hazards outlined above will continue to be present and even worsen.

Hence the main future climate hazards are expected to be an increase in the incidence of drought, and the increase of extreme weather.

Some secondary effects could include the following:
• Storms, high winds and choppier waters
• Salinization of soil and the loss of soil
• Deterioration/loss of biodiversity, native species, ecosystems and habitats

Key affected sectors

Key affected sector(s)water management
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudehigh
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazards
AssessmentClimate Change can impact the hydrological cycle through the following instances: i) Lower annual precipitation and increase in heavy precipitation events contributing to decreased recharge of freshwater resources. The intensity and frequency of extreme rainfall events and reduction in average annual rainfalls, make flood risk hazards a main concern and also exacerbate the situation and viability for rain water conservation especially from urbanised areas. This is due to limited land resources and the ever-increasing magnitude of flash floods, requiring high levels of investment to capture the last drop; ii) the amount of water available and demand for such resource as well as variability in precipitation events; and iii) water quality in terms of both its temperature and nutrient content and increased freshwater demands due to increased evapotranspiration. As extreme storm events increase, and flash floods become more common, changes in soil moisture will happen and the ground will become saturated more quickly, reducing the time for water to percolate to the water table. This lack of absorption will also inevitably lead to greater run-off, leading to floods (and damage to infrastructure and property), unless properly managed.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatehigh
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climate
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitymedium
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacity
AssessmentIn view of past developments in the sector were dependence was moved away to groundwater to desalinated water the adaptive capacity of the system was increased, nonetheless sectors dependent on groundwater still exist and are being and will need to be addressed.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactsmedium
Different rating of the risk of potential future impacts
AssessmentThe main sector that is at risk of bigger impacts from vulnerability in water management is the agricultural sector, which albeit rather small is vital to ensure food security.
Key affected sector(s)transport
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudehigh
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentOne of the risks lies in disruption affecting air and sea transport activities because more intense and frequent extreme weather events, such as storms, high winds and choppier waters are likely to occur. These effects are likely to lead to: increased maintenance for damage to aircraft, airport systems and air navigation systems, as well as tyre wear and deformation, and landslide areas; greater downtime for cargo ships and operations, port operations, cruise liners, and smaller vessels; and increased energy cooling costs for aircraft and airport transfer vehicles. With respect to the various maritime infrastructure in place (quays, breakwater, fenders, bollards), there must be an increase in the periodical maintenance, and consequently an increase in costs, to minimise the disruption of port operations, downtime for cargo ships which may lead to demurrage, and above all, to ensure the safe berthing of vessels. Such periodical maintenance will help decrease the probability of extraordinary repairs to or rebuilding of the infrastructure, which would have a greater negative impact on ship calls and maritime industry. Another issue that would need to be tackled would be the decrease of the water depth because of the underwater movement of material, like sand and silt; or the dumping of material through land-based sources, for example rainwater outlets, stormwater culverts, quays etc. This will have to be addressed through capital and maintenance dredging within ports, especially the port approaches, fairways and alongside the various quays and wharves, to ensure that the appropriate water depth is maintained for the safe navigation and berthing of vessels.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatehigh
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacityhigh
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent key hazards
Assessmentcurrent adaptive infrastructure might be insufficient or inadequate as intense storms become more frequent.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactshigh
Different rating of the risk of potential future impacts
AssessmentIncluded in "Observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitude"
Key affected sector(s)buildings
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudehigh
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentOne of the major risks in this sector is that of coastal erosion leading to more hazardous rocky coastal zones. These natural processes will be quickened, making the coastal zones more dangerous as rocks will loosen (with the risk of falling and injuring the public). This is already being witnessed in areas such as Ghar Lapsi. Another risk is that of the loss of sandy beaches. Mean sea level rise, other adverse weather conditions and the fact that the island is tilted to the east, all contribute to the fact that low-lying zones will be adversely hit and that sandy beaches might end up being (partly) lost (e.g. San Blas in Gozo). A third risk is that low-lying coastal areas will be affected by sea level rise and storm surges impacting man-made structures (e.g. recreational establishments, tourist attractions, domestic residences, promenades etc.) found close to the shores. Increase in temperatures, drought, salinization of soil and the loss of soil (due to increased run-offs due to flash floods or blown away by the wind) will all lead to inevitable changes in land use patterns. Fields could become smaller and fertile land could decrease, reducing its ability to absorb rainwater. Finally, the possibility of increased discomfort in homes due to climatic conditions will increase. Such discomforts could include excessive heat; easier and more frequent flooding of underground and ground floor levels; risk of damp walls and increased mould; and humidity, amongst others. Resilience to more extreme temperature in terms of liveability of internal and outdoor spaces, especially important again land resource limited countries where urbanisation cover is very high
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatehigh
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacityhigh
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent key hazards
AssessmentIncluded in "Observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitude"
Rating for the risk of potential future impactshigh
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different key hazards
AssessmentIncluded in "Observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitude"
Key affected sector(s)agriculture and food
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudehigh
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentClimate Change will lead to a number of risks related to agriculture and ecosystems. Climate Change can cause significant damage to production resources and livelihoods of workers in the industry as well as endanger food security. As sea levels rise, low-lying coastal areas are increasingly being inundated with saltwater, gradually increasing soil salinisation and impacting negatively most parameters of soil. This affects production in crops, pastures and trees, interfering with nitrogen uptake, reducing growth and stopping plant reproduction. Climate Change can lead to soil erosion leading to reduced carbon stocks or carbon sequestration in soil. Malta already has inherent limitations in this aspect, and Climate Change further exasperates this situation. The already occurring deterioration/loss of biodiversity, native species, ecosystem and habitats will also be magnified by the lack of rainfall, increased temperature and drought, increased wind and extreme weather events. Extreme heat could also lead to thermal stress of livestock, leading to decreased animal welfare standards, illnesses and/or death. This will decrease yields for farmers or lead to higher financial costs needed to maintain acceptable animal welfare. Such changes in weather could also impact the post-production and post-harvest processes such as drying, storing, and transporting of produce. Farming will also be made more difficult due to difficulties in pollination, due to early germination/budding and a longer growing period. Decreased pollination will also lead to decreased flora. Higher temperatures and longer periods of drought will inevitably lead to greater demand for water and hence will lead to increased competition for water use and greater pressures on the water supply. Harsher weather conditions might lead to more farmers abandoning their land. The above-mentioned complications to the farming industry might not make it worthwhile for farmers to continue to work their land.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatehigh
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climate
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacityhigh
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent key hazards
AssessmentIncluded in "Observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitude"
Rating for the risk of potential future impactshigh
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different key hazards
AssessmentIncluded in "Observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitude"
Key affected sector(s)health
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudehigh
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazards
AssessmentClimate Change is also bound to have an impact on the health sector. Illnesses are bound to increase. These could be both mental health illnesses (e.g. trauma from extreme weather events) as well as infectious and vector-borne diseases (increasing due to warmer climates). According to the WHO, Climate Change is expected to cause around 250,000 additional deaths per year worldwide between the period 2030-2050 with an estimate health expenditure of about USD 2-4 billion per year. As temperatures rise and the frequency of heatwaves increase, the risk of dehydration, especially in the elderly, infants and young children is likely to rise. The increase in water demand and greater stressors on water resources might lead to higher water prices and families unable to afford tap water. Climate Change might lead to increased morbidities and mortalities, more hospital admissions, and greater pressure on emergency services, especially amongst vulnerable individuals, increasing pressures both on patients and their families. Financial and human resource pressures will also increase in terms of health public services (e.g. hospitals) and emergency operators (e.g. Civil Protection Department -CPD). Climate Change will also lead to worsened air quality due to increased air pollution from less rain/ increased humidity and longer pollen seasons will materialise. This will impact people suffering from allergies and respiratory diseases, whilst also decreasing productivity.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatehigh
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitymedium
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent key hazards
AssessmentIncluded in "Observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitude"
Rating for the risk of potential future impactsmedium
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different key hazards
AssessmentIncluded in "Observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitude"
Key affected sector(s)tourism
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudehigh
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentTourism is one of the main economic sectors of the Maltese economy contributing to around 13% of the Gross Domestic Product at a direct and indirect level. During 2019, tourist expenditure reached EUR 202 billion. The hotels and catering establishments employ around 14,800 persons on a full-time basis and an additional 8,700 persons on a part time passes. In 2019, 2.75 million tourists visited Maltese Islands, the majority of which (81%) for holiday purposes, 7% for business, 8% to visit friends and relatives and 4% for other reasons including educational. The increased temperatures, increased probability of heat waves and the possible accompanying drought during the summer months (June-August), could lead to a shift of tourists northbound during the summer months and the lengthening of shoulder months. Additionally, hardship for individuals working in the industry will increase due to greater exposure to higher temperatures. Individuals working outdoors such as drivers, tour guides and ferry operators will be faced with harsher weather conditions, impinging on their productivity and health. Climate Change will also change tourists’ behaviour during their stay. They might start to demand more indoor and/or night-time activities, leading to businesses to have to adapt their products and services accordingly.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatehigh
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacityhigh
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent key hazards
AssessmentIncluded in "Observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitude"
Rating for the risk of potential future impactshigh
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios
AssessmentIncluded in "Observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitude"

Overview of institutional arrangements and governance at the national level

Currently, Malta is in the process of finalising a national Vulnerability Risk Assessment. Additionally, there are various other institutional arrangements related to climate adaptation that are relevant, including the Strategic Plan for Environment and Development (SPED), the National Transport Strategy 2050, the National Policy Framework for Alternative Fuels Infrastructure for Transport in Malta 2018-2030, the Malta National Electromobility Action Plan (MNEAP), the ongoing Coastal-Climate Overall Vulnerability and Exposure Risk (Coastal-COVER) Project, Malta's Storm Water Master Plan (SWMP) implemented in 2008, the 2nd Water Catchment Management Plan, and Malta's Prioritised Action Framework for Natura 2000 (2021-2027) with respect to nature and biodiversity. Moreover, Malta's National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, which extends to 2030, aims to promote synergies between climate change and biodiversity conservation measures and policies, such as those relating to ecosystem restoration, afforestation, and nature-based solutions.
With regard to institutional arrangement related to climate change adaptation, Malta adopted the Climate Action Act (Chapter 543) in 2015 to streamline Malta’s commitments on climate change on both main fronts of climate action, namely mitigation and adaption, in a legally binding way. This act aims to instill ownership across the board to finetune effective climate action and governance. Specifically, on adaptation, the Act dictates the process to conduct periodic reviews and update of the National Adaptation Strategy (NAS). It also foresees to include information on climate change actual and projected impacts.

Malta has already has a long term strategy in place, in the form of the national Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), in accordance with requirements under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), European Union legislation and the Climate Action Act, 2015 (CAP543).
On the integration of Climate Change impacts and resilience into environmental assessment procedures, to note that as per requirements of the EIA Directive, and as transposed in the local Regulation, impacts related to climate change and climate change adaptation are particularly taken into account during both the screening and scoping stages of the environmental assessment process, as relevant.
Climate change (impacts and adaptation) are integrated in all its disaster risk reduction policies and strategy. The responsible entity for this is the Civil Protection Department (CPD). This has been done to ensure that CPD can provide a more resilient response and thus reduce the losses brought forward by disasters.
Data related to adaptation is in general scarce and fragmented. Effort through the VRA to collect data with regards to vulnerabilities hazards and risks and other EU funded projects. Nonetheless, there is still a lack of reliable data and data knowledge. This is because the European and South Mediterranean forecasts available are too high-level to be able to extrapolate relevant data for such a small island state. Furthermore, this area remains still understudied locally, exposing a lacuna in data and information required for effective policy making. This may cause difficulties in implementing certain measures within the country.
Based on a vulnerability assessment undertaken as part of the national communication of Malta under the UNFCC (i.e. the Seventh National Communication of Malta prepared in 2017), and the development of the LCDS, a number of sectors were identified as being of priority in terms of the current status of resources and activities. These sectors, shown below, were deemed as requiring the most attention when devising adaptation measures due to their current vulnerability and likely disposition to suffer from the effects from Climate Change:

A. Cross sectoral

B. Water Resources

C. Infrastructure and Transport

D. Land Use and Buildings

E. Natural Ecosystems, Agriculture and Fisheries

F. Health issues, Civil Protection and Immigration

G. Tourism
There are a number of challenges and barriers which act as limitations when designing and implementing adaptation strategies. Some of these limitations are common globally, whilst others are more specific to Malta.

One of the major challenges when it comes to designing adaptation strategies is the uncertainty and insufficient knowledge in terms of the spatial (where) and temporal (when) patterns of Climate Change impacts. Not knowing where and when the impacts will materialise often limits the accurate design of effective adaptation measures.

The lack of reliable forecasts is exacerbated in the case of Malta. This is because the European and South Mediterranean forecasts available are too high level to be able to extrapolate relevant data for such a small island state. Moreover, this research area remains highly understudied locally, exposing a lacuna in data and information required for effective policymaking.

In order to partially bridge this knowledge gap, other international adaptation strategies could be investigated. However, this still poses the problem of regionality, whereby an adaptation measure in a region or country might not have the same effect when applied to Malta.

Adaptation measures are not to be implemented in a vacuum, but rather in a dynamic and ever- changing community. Hence, uncertainties with regard to future socio-economic trends as well as policy responses will inevitably lead to a difficulty in drawing up effective adaptation measures. Thus, constant monitoring and updating must be carried out in line with the changes in the socio-economic state of the country.

Moreover, the benefits of measures are dependent on their actual implementation and uptake. Not knowing the policy response one will get makes it very difficult to outline future benefits vis-à-vis the costs of a measure, metrics which are usually indispensable when proposing a policy.

Adaptation measures are often characterised by immediate costs of implementation but benefits which only materialize in the long run. This means that adaptation measures cannot be approached through a short-term view or a legislative period. Rather, a long-term value-adding approach should be considered. This can be enabled by making sure that policies are assessed and put forward by both scientists as well as policymakers, thus taking into account issues which might be ‘too far off’ into the future to be taken into account under normal circumstances of policymaking.

Measures will also have to be implemented across various sectors, since Climate Change will impact a variety of industries in the economy. However, different sectors might have conflicting agendas in terms of which policies should be implemented and in which priority. One solution for this is to mainstream Climate Change adaptation measures across all governmental policies, in order to benefit from synergies, rather than suffer from conflicts.
The LCDS encompasses strategies for both mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change. For adaptation, a sector-specific approach is taken, identifying key hazards for each sector and proposing a list of measures for each affected area. Since climate change affects all sectors in the local environment, collaboration from all parties, including the private sector, is necessary to ensure that both mitigation and adaptation measures are effectively implemented. The LCDS strategy covers several sectors, including cross-sectoral, water resources, infrastructure and transport, land use and buildings, natural ecosystems, agriculture and fisheries, health issues, civil protection, immigration, and tourism.

To determine the impact of climate change on the Maltese economy, a vulnerability risk assessment is currently underway and expected to be completed in 2023.
Considerable efforts have been made to integrate climate action into sectoral policies, plans, and programs, as evidenced by several examples, including but not limited to:

The Strategic Plan for the Environment and Development

The Sustainable Development vision for the future

Local governance initiatives

The Biodiversity strategy

The Water policy framework regulations

The National Tourism Policy

The Common Fisheries Policy

The National Agricultural Policy for the Maltese Islands 2018-2028

The National Curriculum Framework for All (2012)

Guidance on Rural Policy Design, with reference to Climate Action Act Article 5(3)

Malta's 2nd River Basin Management Plan
All pertinent stakeholders, both public and private, were involved in the development of the adaptation policy. The strategy took into account their participation as a key factor in selecting the measures to be implemented. Specifically, the following actions were taken:
• Establishing an "online community" to facilitate the sharing of knowledge on climate change, including potential adaptation measures.
• Conducting awareness campaigns to educate people about climate change and the changing risk landscape.
• Conducting a feasibility study to evaluate the implementation of financial and economic incentives for climate change adaptation measures.
• Carrying out a study to assess the feasibility and implementation of financial and economic incentives for climate change adaptation measures.
Included in ‘Overview of measures in adaptation policy at the national level to engage with stakeholders particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts’

Selection of actions and (programmes of) measures

Not reported
The Ministry for the Environment, Environment and Enterprise (MEEE) is responsible for climate action policy. As the lead Ministry for Climate Action, the Ministry preserved the setup of an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change (IMC) to ensure synergies, where and when appropriate, especially to monitor progress, within the energy, transport, finance, and economic investment policies sectors. This set up has been in place since 2009 (as per Malta’s Mitigation Strategy). The IMC continues to be the main forum through which more overarching policies are discussed and formulated as needs and requirements develop even within climate change adaptation context.

Monitoring of the strategy implementation is carried out through discussion with the sectoral focal persons on the IMC-CC and up to present the status of some actions is as indicated hereunder. Given that the strategy has been published in 2012 and implementation has been taking place since then, some of the actions mentioned have been implemented; others are in progression, whereas some measures have been superseded by other actions which are being absorbed within other policies because of structural, administrative and legal changes.

While implementing measures, priority was directed towards adaptation policy and implementation of measures that secure sustainability of the environment irrespective whether projected climate impacts materialise. On the other hand, there are certain measures in which Malta is facing difficulties in implementing, due to limited budgets, lack of data to sustain certain decisions, and capacity- building issues
Monitoring of the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (May 2012) was also conducted through the screening of the Malta’s National Environment Policy (NEP) under the sections related to climate change. This policy document identifies climate change as a long-term sustainability issue for Malta and underlines the synergies that can be exploited between the various related sectors. The review of the National Environmental Policy has been carried through consultations with all the line Ministries with a view to pave the way to the Strategy for the Environment in accordance to the Environment Protection Act – Chapter 549. Moreover, as already outlined, the Climate Action Act (Chapter 543) foresees periodic reviews and update of the National Adaptation Strategy.
One of the main measures being implemented from the plans and strategies described is the implementation of a vulnerability and risk assessment currently being finalized. this will serve to guide further update and implementation of adaptation measures on the ground addressing resilience needs and vulnerabilities. In parallel other measures including measures focused on the coordination of government action, and ensuring that Climate vulnerabilities are taken into consideration across the sectors are also being implemented.
Included under "State of play of the implementation of measures planned under 'Strategies and Plans', including an overview of the subnational level and the disbursement of funding to increase climate resilience"
Included under "State of play of the implementation of measures planned under 'Strategies and Plans', including an overview of the subnational level and the disbursement of funding to increase climate resilience"
A vulnerability and risk assessment for the Maltese islands is planned to start in 2021 with aim of identifying the priority areas within economic sectors in the Maltese Islands, in terms of vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.

Monitoring of the current National Adaptation strategy has also taken place and the LCDS strategy is in place. The strategy contains a number of adaptation measures identified per sector (as previously explained in subheading 1.3), namely:
• Cross-sectoral;
• Water Resources;
• Infrastructure and Transport;
• Land Use and Buildings;
• Natural Ecosystems, Agriculture and Fisheries;
• Health issues,
• Civil Protection and Immigration;
• Tourism.

Implementation of climate specific actions on adaptation is undertaken by the relevant Ministries or departments depending on the different sectors in which action is being taken. Relevant Ministries and departments responsible for specific implementation include, inter alia, Ministry for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning (MECP), Ministry for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development (MECD), Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs (MFEA), Ministry for Finance and Employment (MFE), Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects (MTIP), Transport Malta (TM), the Malta Resources Authority (MRA) and Environment Resources Authority (ERA) amongst others.
Included under "Progress towards reducing climate impacts, vulnerabilities and risks"
Included under "Progress towards reducing climate impacts, vulnerabilities and risks"
Included under "Progress towards reducing climate impacts, vulnerabilities and risks"
Included under "Progress towards reducing climate impacts, vulnerabilities and risks"
Included under "Progress towards reducing climate impacts, vulnerabilities and risks"

Good practices and lessons learnt

Not reported

Cooperation and experience

Adaptation Measures adopted in Malta are in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

With regard to SDGs, Malta’s commitment towards climate change adaptation fits with:
• SDG 11 (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable);
• SDG 13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts);
• SDG 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development); and
• SDG 15 (Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss).

However, climate change is also an important factor in achieving all SDGs, due to their cross-cutting nature. Climate change and climate related disasters could also trigger social and political unrests and tensions, which apart from the above listed SDGs would also have an impact on achieving SDGs 5, 9, 10, and 16. Furthermore, climate change can also exacerbate food insecurity, water scarcity etc. Therefore, it would also have an impact on SDGs 1 and 6.

Malta’s Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment (September 20202013) and the Vulnerability Risk Assessment which will be carried out between 2021 and 2022 and will comply with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
The following is a list of projects Malta is participating in and collaborating with regional and international partners:
• CASTWATER - Energy and Water Agency (EWA)
• Malta Regional Development and Dialogue Foundation (MRDDF)
• AMAre University of Malta (UoM)
• WETNET - Gozo Regional Committee (GRC)
• BLUEISLANDS - WasteServ Malta Ltd
• EnerNETMob - Transport Malta
• COASTING - Gozo Regional Committee (GRC)
• INCIRCLE - Energy and Water Agency (EWA) and Ministry for Gozo
• MPA Engage - DAN Europe Foundation
• ConsumeLess Plus - Energy and Water Agency (EWA)
• SIMASEED PLUS University of Malta and the Ministry for Gozo
• SeaMarvel - University of Malta - Department of Biology/Conservation Biology Research Group
• i-WaveNET - University of Malta - Department of Geosciences, Faculty of Science
The following is a list of projects Malta is participating in and collaborating with regional and international partners:

• SIMASEED PLUS - University of Malta and the Ministry for Gozo
• GIFLUID - Energy and Water Agency (EWA) / Rabat Local Council
• BESS - University of Malta - Euro-Med Centre ICD, Ministry of GOZO EcoGozo Regional Development Directorate
• CALYPSO SOUTH - University of Malta, Faculty of Science Department of Geosciences Physical Oceanography Research Group / Transport Malta - Port and Yachting Directorate
• NEWS University of Malta Faculty of Science/ Department of Geosciences
• SIMIT -THARSY - Civil Protection Department / University of Malta Faculty of Science/ Department of Geosciences

Overview of institutional arrangements and governance at the sub-national level (where “sub-national” refers to local and regional)

Due to Malta’s size and limited resources adaption actions are implemented at a national level and are dependent on the central administration, thus subnational execution does not apply.
Due to Malta’s size and limited resources adaption actions are implemented at a national level and are dependent on the central administration, thus subnational execution does not apply.
Due to Malta’s size and limited resources adaption actions are implemented at a national level and are dependent on the central administration, thus subnational execution does not apply.
Due to Malta’s size and limited resources adaption actions are implemented at a national level and are dependent on the central administration, thus subnational execution does not apply.
Due to Malta’s size and limited resources adaption actions are implemented at a national level and are dependent on the central administration, thus subnational execution does not apply.
Due to Malta’s size and limited resources adaption actions are implemented at a national level and are dependent on the central administration, thus subnational execution does not apply.
Due to Malta’s size and limited resources adaption actions are implemented at a national level and are dependent on the central administration, thus subnational execution does not apply.
Due to Malta’s size and limited resources adaption actions are implemented at a national level and are dependent on the central administration, thus subnational execution does not apply.

Ministry for The Environment, Energy and Enterprise

Directorate for the Environment and Climate Change
Policy Development and Analysis
David Muscat
Director

Relevant websites and social media source

[Disclaimer]
The source of information presented in these pages is the reporting of EU Member States under 'Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action' and the voluntary reporting of EEA Member Countries.'