Climate change also affects health, agriculture and water harvesting, says ADPD

ADPD - The Green Party insists climate change does not just affect global warming, but also impacts health, agriculture and water harvesting

ADPD said climate change was not just about global warming
ADPD said climate change was not just about global warming

ADPD - The Green Party said climate change discourse was solely focused on carbon emissions and global warming, arguing that it also had widespread impacts on health, agriculture and water harvesting.

During a press conference in Valletta on Saturday, ADPD candidate Ralph Cassar explained how during the electoral campaign, climate change mitigation and the laying out of plans for carbon neutrality through a gradual shift to renewable energy were discussed.

He added that climate was already changing and that it would take time for adaptation measures to have an impact. “As a result there are a number of sectors which will be gradually impacted by the tropicalisation of our climate. The Mediterranean region is warming 20% faster that the global average this has a considerable impact on our quality of life,” Cassar said.

ADPD chairperson and candidate Carmel Cacopardo said that climate change was already affecting health in a number of ways, including deaths and illnesses due to extreme weather conditions - such as heatwaves, frequent storms and floods.

“This would inevitably disrupt food production through an impact on agriculture as a result of both a temperature rise, as well as a reduced availability of water. Warmer temperatures will also result in an increased exposure to disease.”

Cacopardo said this would lead to additional strains on the health services, with the elderly and vulnerable persons among the hardest hit. He stated ADPD is confident the National Health Service was up to the challenges, but said it required more resources and a clear strategy.

“We have just read the Meteorological report that this February was one of the driest on record. Since 1 September we have had less than half of the expected rainfall: just 115.8 mm of rain,”Cacopardo said.

He emphasised on the importance of rainwater harvesting, arguing the Water Services Corporation and the Planning Authority needed to ensure that water cisterns were provided in all new developments in line with development permits.“With rainfall on the decrease, it is imperative that we address the lack of adequate water harvesting without further delay.”

Cacopardo argued the agriculture utilised the largest amount of water in the Mediterranean and said water scarcity could have a substantial impact on the sector. He also said that a temperature increase could have an impact on the crops produced.

He stressed that there was a need for further coastal protection, highlighting that the mean Mediterranean sea level had risen by 60mm over 20 years.

“As an island it is crucial to address coastal protection, even in view of the fact that most of our tourism infrastructure lies along the coast,” Cacopardo concluded.