Ladies and gentlemen, I have five grandchildren. Four of them are in primary school. The youngest is only one year old. Perhaps that’s why the following story struck such a particular chord. I was reading a BBC article about the recent climate demonstrations here in Belgium. Groups of primary schoolchildren were marching with their grandparents. One child held up a hand-written sign. It said: “2080: what are polar bears?” -- Karmenu Vella, High-level conference on climate change and oceans preservation, 19 February 2019.
Karmenu Vella
Posted by Isabelle le 2019-02-24
Climate change is the most important challenge of this century. And time is quickly running out. All of us here in this room know it. So do the 100,000 people who marched for climate action in Brussels on a chilly winter’s day last month. And the tens of thousands of Belgian schoolchildren who continue to take to the streets week after week. And the thousands of German and Dutch teenagers and students who are organising themselves under the hashtag “Fridays for Climate”. And the 80,000 French citizens who joined climate demonstrations on the last Sunday of January. And perhaps most impressively, at their head, Greta Thunberg. Greta is the 16 year old girl from Sweden who became an online sensation and a real world actor. She told world leaders at Davos last month to start taking action - now. -- Karmenu Vella, High-level conference on climate change and oceans preservation, 19 February 2019.
Karmenu Vella
Posted by Isabelle le 2019-02-24
Whenever I think of the footprint, I am taken back to my childhood. I grew up by the sea, in Zurrieq in Malta, and every day I saw the same miracle. I'd go home in the evening from a beach where the traces of the day were plain to see, and I would return the next morning to find the beach wiped clean, all footprints erased. The same miracle every day. The beach is still clean by the way, and if you are in the area, I recommend it. But as we all know, life isn’t so simple. Our footprint on this planet cannot be magically erased. It's our reality, it's our responsibility, and our society needs to take ownership of its consequences. -- Karmenu Vella, Environmental footprint conference: From vision to action, 23 April 2018
Karmenu Vella
Posted by Isabelle le 2018-05-05
500 kilograms per second. This is the amount of waste that is thrown into the seas and oceans. Since I started talking, 7000 kilos of litter have made their way to the sea. By the time I finish it will be 450 tons. Commissioner Vella, Plastic Recyclers Europe, 19 June 2015
Karmenu Vella
Posted by Isabelle le 2016-03-09
Elephants and rhinos are being similarly depleted. Some 30,000 elephants are still being killed illegally every year. At this rate, children born today will see the last of the wild elephants and rhinos die before their 25th birthday. Commissioner K Vella, The EU Action plan against wildlife trafficking, 26 February 2016
Karmenu Vella
Posted by Isabelle le 2016-03-09