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  • Emissions trading

    The ESG has now had an opportunity to study the Gibraltar National Application Plan relating to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (Phase II).The document is long and complex and while phase II has allowed almost 2 weeks of public consultation, a great improvement on the 4 days allowed for Phase I, it nevertheless is not long enough for public response and reaction to be properly assessed by Government.

    The ESG is worried that our CO2 emissions are planned to double over the next 6 years. The group is already concerned that our current pollution levels are offensive, avoidable and affect the health of our community. That’s at a local level; at a global level and as a part of the emissions scheme, the “spirit” of which is to reduce emissions, our 100% increase is clearly not reflecting this goal.

    The Ministry for the Environment recently made numerous pledges to improve Gibraltar’s environment; the ESG asks how these green measures are being respected with regard to Gibraltar’s projected CO2 emissions. If Gibraltar is to develop sustainably, then we need to commit to this in concrete terms by taking tangible actions in any long-term schemes, such as the emissions trading.
    The ESG would like to see:-

    • Financial commitment and deadlines for introducing supplementary alternative energy systems on the Rock – these to be small to start with and developed in a well-thought out plan for eventual 100% reliance. The ESG considers that an interim option to full solar, tidal or any other green energy system, is biodiesel which can be used in existing conventional power station technology in Gibraltar and would virtually eliminate our CO2 emissions altogether. The problem is sourcing the biodiesel in reliable quantities. This could be investigated and established without too much delay

    • Better use of studies and research provided to Government on renewable energy to enable a faster transition towards these important goals

    • Recycling – Gibraltar must set up recycling and adopt in earnest the Reuse, Reduce, Recycle approach and catch up with other leading European members. The group urges Government to do what it can to pull out the stops and for recycling to begin in 2006

    • With numerous and major development projects going up all over Gibraltar without our having adopted the promised but not current green building legislative measures, the ESG also asks Government to think long and hard about the long term consequences of these short term money earners, which will bear heavily on our infrastructure and general environment. The group considers that development and expansion could and should be done without increasing or even worse, doubling our CO2 emissions

    The Emissions Trading Scheme was created to reduce negative impacts on our environment and prevent the worst outcome that global warming could bring. The ESG considers that tangible goals need to be set for Gibraltar in an environmental action plan or policy which the public must participate in fully (Aarhus Convention, Freedom of Access to Environmental Information).

    The group renews its call for debates on issues such as renewable energy systems and global warming in order to generate more public awareness of the importance of these issues to the future of each and every individual.