• Search
    Latest News

    Kindly note that the number to call for bunkering fumes is as follows:-

    56001652  this is the number for the new Bunkering Superintendent called Mr John Ghio


    Please contact the ESG if you continue to have problems once you have attempted to report a problem to the Port via the above  number.

    ESG Radio Broadcast 280411


    In today’s broadcast we would like to draw attention to various environmental topics of interest.

    Sewage at Western Beach – resolved?

    Firstly, and, important to note that this is, you will forgive my saying so, a rather fluid situation….. ! On the day we received confirmation from our Spanish colleagues, AGADEN, that La Linea Ayuntamiento had confirmed it was actively dealing with the main source of Western Beach pollution, an ESG member also confirmed seeing road works in the area supporting this latest bit of news.

    We obviously welcome this positive step but should add that even La Linea Ayuntamiento still claims that at times of heavy rainfall, sewage overflow will continue to discharge into the area. This leaves us in a bit of a conundrum. It means that until such time as the diversion is completely sealed off and piped to the treatment plant we risk recurring, haphazard, sewage matter entering Western Beach waters making this environment a difficult one to assess in terms of use and health and safety. We continue to monitor the situation and liaise with the Gibraltar Government and our MEPs in Brussels

    World Earth Day 2011:

    Yesterday saw a group of local environmental activists from the ESG and FoE Gibraltar hold an information and awareness stall at the Piazza. It proved to be of interest attracting a steady stream of visitors, new members signing up, and discussion of local environmental issues. It was encouraging to see young Gibraltarians concerned about the need to change local mentality with regards to environment, and how we ought to be giving these issues far more prominence than they currently receive; particularly in terms of harnessing renewable energy and controlling pollution levels.

    Of course, the stall was held to mark the recent passing of World Earth Day which sees a lot of action throughout the globe. This year this exciting campaign is highlighting an ongoing objective of reaching a Billion Acts of Green, number so far is over 100 million and is made up of individuals pledging simple or complex acts to help our environment: whether by biking or bussing instead of driving, supporting environmental campaigns, or recycling more of your rubbish? We can all, together, make a difference. Why not visit Earthday.org and make that pledge today? Also visit our web site at esg-gib.net for current information on local campaigns. Get involved!


    The ESG will, of course, maintain our efforts to improve Gibraltar’s environment by continuing to highlight the areas which concern us. In this election year, we hope to have further opportunities of realising more of these goals which we shall share with you in detail in our next broadcast in two weeks time.

    Public Health Conference:

    To end, we know that many of you will be interested to hear that Professor Benach, whose research exposed the alarming clusters of cancers and higher mortality in the provinces of Seville, Huelva and Cadiz, will soon be addressing a special conference in the Bay alongside his colleagues from the University of Seville and Toronto. The ESG has been invited to attend and we shall of course publish any useful information on what transpires at what is likely to be a very interesting conference.

    Thanks for listening


    The ESG would like announce that it is launching this years CUTW effort and will be promoting the campaign next Wednesday at its stall in aid of World Earth Day. This year our efforts will be more focused due to the fact that the Gibraltar Government has taken on the cleaning of most of the  green areas and coastal sites which our volunteers usually target each year (since 2005).

    Instead we shall work on 3, possibly 4 areas, and will start planning logistics in early May. Any donations and or help in kind which we usually enjoy from our local community will be gratefully appreciated. Please contact us on: tel: 200-48996 and leave  a message if no one in, or call mobile 54960000.

    Thanks to the Gibraltar Community for your  outstanding support for the Clean Up the World Campaign.

    We look forward to working with you in September and helping protect and clean Gibraltar’s natural environment.

    You can pick up more information on the above at our stall in Main Street on Wednesday 27th April between 12.30 and 2.30pm where we together with other NGO’s will be marking World Earth Day 2011.

    350 Climate Change Speech


    Background:  Two years ago Gibraltar participated in the global 350 Campaign (350 denotes the safe level of CO2 emissions to be present in our atmosphere to preserve life on the planet). Around fifty of us took part in creating a great image at Eastern Beach with our iconic Rock as a backdrop and 3 giant numbers 350 in the foreground.
    We sent the organisers this image and if you take time to watch the link you will see Gibraltar displayed on a giant screen  after 15mins into his speech  (near the end) – its fantastic to see us involved in such an important message/mission.
    This issue is of critical importance and we hope you will find a moment to listen to the campaign leader giving a rousing speech. Please pass on link to your friends and contacts.
    http://action.350.org/content_item/powershift-speech  if link doesn’t work simply google Bill McKibben 350 speech and you should find this easily…

    ESG Western Beach Update 190411


    The ESG has received additional information from Algeciras colleagues, AGADEN, regarding the ongoing sewage pollution at Western Beach.  


    A few months ago, and after the issue had been highlighted to the Spanish group by the ESG, a number of letters were sent by AGADEN to various Spanish authorities calling for action to clean up this waste.

     The response from La Junta explains how it has ordered La Linea Ayuntamiento to take all necessary steps to urgently eliminate further waste from being discharged into the sea and find an immediate solution to this problem. Current water sampling indicates this has not yet happened.

     The ESG hopes that this additional pressure from La Junta will produce results from the Ayuntamiento who recently said it would resolve the sewage problem by mid June. However, the ESG has not yet witnessed any activity to confirm that works have even begun. Both the ESG and beach users have received news from MEP Graham Watson’s office in Brussels that the Petition and Complaint are firmly in place and will remain so until such time as this issue is resolved.

     We shall continue to monitor the situation and invite members of the public to send in any information or photographs which may be helpful in resolving this problem.

     Please contact ESG 200-48996 or email: esg@gibtelecom.net  for further information

    Big Oil Firms and New Buyers

    ESG : Recent news that a Sovereign Wealth Fund from Abu Dhabi had taken over CEPSA Oil Company came as a surprise to the ESG and other Bay campaigners. An article in April’s Economist discusses how this type of “buy-out” is not the exception but a growing trend in the oil industry today- For more, read on:

    FROM BUCKET BRIGADE USA : Here’s some interesting news about the oil refinery sector.
    If this article has it right, the output from the proposed tar sands crude oil refinery in South Dakota (Hyperion) is likely destined for overseas markets. It’s also interesting forecasting the potential marketplace prospects for Hyperion. Refineries are suffering “chronic overcapacity” and  “weak margins”, and the domestic thirst for oil has flat-lined. The future is uncertain, at best.  Why invest $10 + billion in a tar sands refinery built from scratch in South Dakota? 
    The oil industry…
    Refined tastes
    The big oil firms are offloading their refineries to different kinds of buyer 
    The Economist/Apr 7th 2011 
    THE twinkling lights of an oil refinery at dusk show the potential for beauty in industrial landscapes. But the dramatic silhouettes, part ocean liner, part funfair, disguise the difficulties within. Decades of poor returns from turning crude oil into petrol, diesel and other fuels have convinced the Western oil giants to get out of the business. In their place come mainly state-run oil firms from Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, and private equity.
    Essar, an Indian conglomerate, this week paid Shell $1.3 billion for the Stanlow refinery in north-west England. In February, state-owned PetroChina paid $1 billion for a half-share in Scotland’s Grangemouth refinery and in another at Lavéra in the south of France. Many more refineries are for sale in Europe and America. Britain’s BP, which is raising cash to pay the bill for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, wants to sell two huge ones in America. Valero, an American refinery, may show interest, though it has just bought a plant in Wales from Chevron for $1.75 billion.
    American private-equity firms may also be taking a look at BP’s plants. According to FACTS Global Energy, a consultancy, over the past two years private-equity buyers have snapped up refining capacity of around 1m barrels of crude a day (b/d). State-backed oil companies, such as PetroChina and Russia’s Rosneft, have bought nearly the same amount.
    The refining business has suffered from chronic overcapacity, and thus weak margins, since the 1970s oil shocks, which led to a slump in the use of oil-based fuels for generating electricity and heating homes. A respite came in 2005-07, as a buoyant rich world and increasingly thirsty emerging economies boosted demand. But that was a high point that the rich world may not hit again. Demand for petrol in America has fallen, and may never regain its previous peak. Refining margins, having touched $4.50 a barrel, are down to one-tenth of that and still falling.
    It makes sense for big Western oil companies to get out of such an unprofitable business and put the capital into exploration and drilling. But refineries’ weak margins are not deterring oil firms from emerging economies from buying them. One reason is that they are going cheap. This gives the buyers access to declining but still sizeable rich-world markets. Such access is especially useful for those with ambitions to become global oil traders.
    As they buy refineries abroad, emerging-market firms continue to build them back home, where demand is still booming. For those firms owned or backed by their home governments, there are other considerations besides commercial ones. China, although it is set to remain a big importer of crude, is desperate to become at least self–sufficient in refining. By 2015 it will boost its domestic capacity by 20%, taking the total to 12m b/d. Middle Eastern oil producers are also building refining capacity to add value to the crude that they pump out of the ground.
    So why buy? All this extra capacity will keep global refining margins under pressure for at least another five or six years, believes Francis Osborne of Wood Mackenzie, a consultancy. That may not bother state oil companies much, but it ought to worry private-equity firms. So why are they buying? First, because prices are so low. Second, because they are looking optimistically to the long term. Martin Brand of Blackstone, a private-equity giant that has bought three refineries in America in recent years, thinks margins will have recovered in ten years’ time, and in the interim there will be plenty of efficiency gains to be made. 
    Others are sceptical. The European and American refineries’ new owners will be far less likely to close them than their old ones. In the absence of such a rationalisation of capacity, thinks Gemma Gouldby of FACTS Global Energy, margins will stay poor indefinitely. If so, the Western oil majors will be glad they got rid of them. 

    “Climate is an angry beast, and we are poking it with sticks.” Wally Broeker

    ESG Radio Broadcast – Newsletter 14th April 2011


    Because the ESG has been around for over 10 years now, (yep, you heard right!), it may be helpful to remind the community why our group was created in the first place. Our mission statement which appears on our website home page, says: “The ESG works to promote environmental issues within the community. Concerns of: air and water quality, pollution, preservation of our green areas, traffic, need for renewable energy, litter/recycling and climate change are the focus of many ESG campaigns.” Bearing all this in mind our totally apolitical charity is very pleased to update you with news on some of these issues

     In our last broadcast, for example, we advised we were invited to meet with Conservative MEP Julie Girling for the first time. We found the exchange of views productive and worthwhile and were encouraged by Ms Girlings’ expressed willingness to lend support to MEP Graham Watson already engaged in various battles on our behalf in Brussels

     CUTW 2011 is beginning to stir and the ESG has recently held a high level meeting with the Minister for the Environment and Heads of various key Departments to address the progress or otherwise of the issues flagged under this Campaign. Of course there is positive change with last year; our sixth clean up, forecasting definite change with Government and Master Services assuming responsibility for the care of green and coastal areas previously targeted each year by our incredible teams of volunteers. As with any project though, overnight miracles are not realistic and so we plan for the best course of action for our voluntary effort for 2011 which will likely include 3 or 4 target areas with a greater degree of interaction with the authorities. A first CUTW planning meeting will be held on the 10th May and the logistics team will be notified directly.

     The ESG has been invited to participate in a Mediterranean-wide exhibition to be held in Malta in June to mark World Environment Day. The idea is for materials to be exhibited in a week long awareness programme from local and external NGO’s from the region. We will gladly take up this opportunity of spreading the word of our work, particularly our efforts to protect the regional environment using cross border co-operation to achieve our objectives. The Mediterranean Ecosystems are under great pressure from the ever increasing coastal developments and all efforts to increase awareness of the damages we are incurring and the potential solutions for sustainable alternatives have to be supported.

     Closer to home, the ESG is co-ordinating an awareness day in Gibraltar on the 27th April to mark World Earth Day. The official date is the 22nd April which is Good Friday and so we have opted to delay our activity to the 27th. While local environmental progress is becoming more discernible, there continues to be a time lag in recognising our responsibilities towards – safe environmental practise – and – action – and there will be a number of local examples under the spotlight at the stall. Please come along between 12.30 and 2.30pm to the Piazza on Wednesday the 27th April where members of the GONHS, FoEGib and the ESG will be on hand to discuss these issues with you. 


    Thanks for listening-



    ESG concerned about “Healthy Play Park” in La Bateria, Rosia Road

    8th April 2011

    The ESG would like to caution users of the exercise park in La Bateria, Rosia Road,  to use the new equipment mindfully and to be aware of wind conditions which could direct high pollution emissions from the power stations to the park area.

    Harmful pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter known to cause respiratory ailments and other illnesses are contained in emissions from the diesel engines combustion process from power stations as well as traffic fumes.  ESG urge park users to watch out for south westerlies in particular when air quality could worsen at the park. 

    (See http://www.gibraltarairquality.gi/moreinfo.php?n_action=pollutants&t=3 )



    • Today marks the end of March 2011– Time certainly doesn’t hang about and in this frenetic pre-election year we seem to be pushing forward at breakneck speed in every direction!


    • The ESG welcomes the fact that this week’s newsletter contains positive news as well as our usual gripes, so let’s start with some good news!


    • Many of you will already be aware of the sudden announcement by the La Linea Mayor of the planned reparations to their collapsed sewage system aiming to have works completed by the middle of June!! This is brilliant news for the thousands of beach users who hope to be able to use Western Beach this year but only time and monitoring of the area will tell if it will be clean and safe enough to use. On this occasion the combined efforts of beach users, NGO’s, agencies, Govt, cross border NGO co-operation and MEP support appears to have delivered a solution!! I mention all these because this is what it has taken to finally see appropriate action by the La Linea Ayuntamiento.  Just shows what can be achieved when communities pull together. Perhaps this heralds a change in our environmental fortunes? Let’s hope so!


    • Not even a few days had elapsed when we read in the local media that the European Commission had finally conceded shortcomings at the CEPSA Oil Refinery– well, our first official complaint was laid before the Commission in 2002! – Three Commissioners later, numerous petitions, trips to Brussels, and investment in time and energy and finally we get their agreement about the problems present at the plant. We are extremely happy about this result and are planning to celebrate this achievement as well as the next steps with increasing confidence.


    • We have also seen in practice the benefits of having a voice in Brussels via our MEPs and today the ESG will be meeting another of our representatives, Conservative MEP Julie Girling. We shall take the opportunity to also brief her in full on regional environmental issues and hope in future we will also be able to count on her support in Brussels.


    • On other matters the ESG has welcomed the announcement by Government of the contract for the new Power Station. It is desperately overdue and if the three aging power stations are shut down immediately the new station is operational, we should see wide spread improvements in our air and noise quality which will bring great benefits to all.


    • Sadly, we are nowhere near there yet and the ESG was shocked to see a “healthy” playground, (a pavement work-out ensemble), set up immediately in front of the spewing chimneys of the MoD and OESCO power stations- an area known to be an environmental hotspot with pollutants measured at levels considered harmful to health. We therefore call upon Govt to rectify this slip-up without delay and mothball this so-called healthy play park. We shall also be raising awareness in the nearby residential areas for people not to use this equipment until such time as the stations are removed.


    • This week saw a lengthy article in the Chronicle by Breast Cancer Support Group giving their views on breast cancer rates and the recently published Epidemiological Study carried out in Gibraltar. Please also look out in the media for the ESG article titled “Epidemiological Study – What now?” which you can also find on our website: www.esg-gib.net


    Thanks for listening-