© Getty
  • 72% of Maltese people believe that the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its consequences should accelerate the green transition.
  • 90% say that, if we do not drastically reduce our consumption of energy and goods in the coming years, we will be heading for a global catastrophe.
  • 73% are in favour of indexing energy prices to the level of consumption per household.
  • 69% are in favour of heavily taxing highly polluting goods and services, such as sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and air transport.

These are some of the results from the latest yearly climate survey, conducted in August 2022 and published today by the European Investment Bank (EIB). The EIB is the lending arm of the European Union and the world’s largest multilateral lender for climate action projects.

After a challenging year in which Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparked an ongoing energy crisis and accelerated inflation all over Europe, and a summer marked by record heatwaves and droughts, Maltese people have become even more acutely aware of the impact of climate change and the need for urgent action.

Climate change awareness and urgency

While COVID-19 was considered the number one challenge facing Maltese people last year, concerns about inflation now dominate. 86% cite it as their top concern, compared with 36% across the rest of the European Union.

Environmental degradation and climate change are the next biggest concerns after inflation (65% consider these to be among the biggest challenges the country is facing). Meanwhile, 88% of Maltese people now say they are feeling the effects of climate change on their daily lives (4 percentage points more than in 2021).

90% think that, if we do not drastically reduce our consumption of energy and goods in the coming years, we will be heading for a global catastrophe. At the same time, 91% feel that government is reacting too slowly, and only 34% think that Malta will succeed in substantially reducing its carbon emissions by 2030.

War in Ukraine and green transition

Most Maltese people (72%) believe that the war in Ukraine and its consequences for the price of oil and gas should accelerate the green transition (6 percentage points more than the European average of 66%).

>@Graphic workshop/EIB

When asked to rank their energy priorities, Maltese people expect their government to prioritise the development of renewable energies (50%), before focusing on energy supply diversification to avoid being overly reliant on a single energy provider (34%).

Energy saving is ranked lower among the government’s priorities. 16% of Maltese people (compared with the European average of 19%) believe that citizens and companies must do more to reduce their consumption. This is especially the case among the younger generation (21% among 15- to 29-year-olds).

Tackling climate change and addressing high energy prices

To reduce energy consumption, Maltese people are in favour of indexing energy prices to the level of consumption per household (73%). They also support heavily taxing highly polluting goods and services, such as SUVs and air transport (69%).

If Maltese people were to lower the temperature in their homes this winter, 11% of them would accept capping it at 19° C, which is the official recommendation (21 percentage points lower than in Italy, where 32% would accept doing so). Meanwhile, 25% of Maltese people say that they already cannot afford to heat their homes properly.

>@Graphic workshop/EIB

Finally, on addressing high energy prices, Maltese people think that in the short term the government should reduce energy-related taxes (38%; 43% among far-right sympathisers). Other measures are less popular, such as capping or regulating the price of gas, oil and coal (28%), or giving out energy vouchers (11%).

The EIB’s Vice-President Gelsomina Vigliotti stated: “The EIB’s 2022 climate survey results clearly show that the Maltese are aware that only by accelerating the development of renewable energy production can the country reduce its dependency on imports and ensure its strategic autonomy while fighting the climate crisis. As the EU climate bank, the EIB stands ready to use our full range of advisory and financial instruments to support Malta in a just green energy transition that leaves no one behind.”

Background information

About the EIB Climate Survey

The EIB has launched the fifth edition of the EIB Climate Survey, a thorough assessment of how people feel about climate change. Conducted in partnership with the market research firm BVA, the fifth edition of the EIB Climate Survey aims to inform the broader debate on attitudes and expectations in terms of climate action. More than 28 000 respondents participated in the survey in August 2022, with a representative panel of people aged 15 and above for each of the 30 countries polled.

About the European Investment Bank

Since 2019, the EIB has accelerated its transformation into a climate bank by committing to devoting at least 50% of its funding from 2025 to investments that contribute to the fight against climate change and the mitigation of its effects.

About BVA

BVA is an opinion research and consulting firm recognised as one of the most innovative market research firms in its sector. Specialised in behavioural marketing, BVA combines data science and social science to make data inspiring and bring the data to life. BVA is also a member of the Worldwide Independent Network of Market Research, a global network of some of the world’s leading market research and survey players, with over 40 members.