Welcome to the Earth.Org Global Sustainability Index, where Earth.Org examines the policies and actions regarding the environment of every nation on earth. Combining the most respected global indexes on pollution, climate change, policy, energy, oceans, biodiversity we have produced an overall Global Index, which will be updated annually. This is the Global Sustainability Index scorecard for Malta.
Malta is a small island with few natural resources, cut off from mainland Europe’s infrastructure. The nation depends heavily on imported fossil fuels, as its rising population density poses challenges to introducing cleaner energy alternatives due to land scarcity and increasing demand.
The island has no rivers or lakes, making it difficult to provide its growing population and demand exceeds natural stocks stored in groundwater and aquifers. Malta is therefore at the forefront of water management, having invested in desalination technologies and developing high efficiency protocols to offset the lack of natural water supplies. Despite low domestic stocks, 100% of Malta’s population have affordable access to clean water.
Malta is transitioning toward a circular economy which is premised upon recycling and reusing materials to increase efficiency, reduce waste, and avoid environmental degradation. The circular economy is conducive to sustainable development by providing positive social, economic, and environmental impacts through job growth and investment in green sectors.
- In 2012 Malta passed the Sustainable Development Act which mandates the Maltese government to incorporate sustainable development into its political framework.
- Malta is ranked lowest in the EU for renewable energy usage, with just 7.7% of energy derived from renewable sources.
* Our Energy ranking considers emission intensity (units of energy per unit of GDP). When one or both are low enough to make their influence negligible on a global scale, the country is left out of the ranking.
Biodiversity, Policy: Sachs, J., Schmidt-Traub, G., Kroll, C., Lafortune, G., Fuller, G. (2019): Sustainable Development Report 2019. New York: Bertelsmann Stiftung and Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).
Oceans: Halpern, Benjamin S., et al. “An index to assess the health and benefits of the global ocean.” Nature 488.7413 (2012): 615-620.
Pollution: Wendling, Z. A., Emerson, J. W., Esty, D. C., Levy, M. A., de Sherbinin, A., et al. (2018). 2018 Environmental Performance Index. New Haven, CT: Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy. https://epi.yale.edu/
Climate Change: Climate Change Performance Index; Jan Burck, Ursula Hagen, Niklas Höhne, Leonardo Nascimento, Christoph Bals, ISBN 978-3-943704-75-4, 2019
Energy: Enerdata –World Energy Statistics – Yearbook.