Emissions of greenhouse gases reached more than 2,190 kilotonnes net in 2018 according to the latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory data published by the National Statistics Office. CO2 emissions increased by 1.3 percent from 2017 and by 12.4 percent from 2016. Compared with 2008, however, 2018 registered a decrease in emissions of 28 percent.
The biggest contributors to CO2 were energy industries, creating just under 700 kilotonnes of emissions, and transportation, generating just over 660 kilotonnes. While emissions from energy industries fell by 2.7 percent from the previous year and achieved the second-lowest net CO2 for the sector in ten years, greenhouse gas emissions produced by transport jumped by 4.4 percent from 2017 and registered the highest total for a decade.
The rise in mobility-related emissions coincides with an increase in road, air, and sea transportation in the year under review. The number of licensed vehicles grew from 372,000 in 2017 to 385,500 in 2018, reflecting an increase in all vehicle types except garage-hire minibuses and self-drive motorcycles. Passenger cars increased by almost three percent to surpass 300,000 in 2018. Figures by Transport Malta show that the number went up to more than 307,000 in 2019.
More than 380,000 vehicles on the roads in 2018 were powered either by petrol of diesel engines, increasing from the previous year by 3.1 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively. Nevertheless, alternative powertrain technologies enjoyed a sharp rise as licenses for hybrid cars jumped by 66 percent and licenses for electric vehicles by 138 percent. Data for 2019 shows that there was a sustained increase across all four engine types: 237,000 petrol cars (+2.3%), 154,000 diesels (+3.0%), 2,200 hybrids (+52.7%), and 2,300 electrics (+147.6%).
Departing passenger flights in 2018 went up 14 percent from the year before to more 23,500. Data by Malta International Airport shows that the figure continued its upward trend in 2019, reaching over 25,000 outbound passenger flights.
Sea transport between Malta and Gozo also rose between 2017 and 2018, resulting in more than one thousand added trips year-on-year to reach 23,619. Ferry crossings, then, increased exponentially in 2019, exceeding 27,600.
The number of cruise liner calls decreased by 32 in 2018 compared with the previous year. In fact, at 310, there were fewer calls than even 2017. The dip was reversed in 2019, however, registering the highest figure of in five years, at 359 cruise liner calls.