ESG Radio Newsletter 30th March 2017
So many major news stories making headlines these days it is hard to keep up with everything. We have been busy issuing our own statements on sewage issues and the new plant so needed for Gibraltar. We have also come out strongly in response to claims by La Junta that they intend to rein in emissions from the large chemical plants located in the Campo area. The one main point we would like to highlight here is that emission levels can only be accurately measured if carried out independently of industry, and ideally via real-time stack monitoring managed by external operators. So we are sure that NGOs from both sides of the border will regard this tightening of controls by La Junta somewhat sceptically until such time as the data gathering is run transparently and free from industry control.
With the exit from European membership all but sealed we focus on ensuring that our environmental standards will continue. We hope to meet with the GONHS and Ministry for the Environment as soon as possible to continue discussions on the way forward in this respect and in our different areas of work. It was interesting to meet the UK Under Secretary of State for exiting the European Union, Mr Robin Walker, recently in Gibraltar on a fact finding mission to hear concerns from different sectors of the community. The ESG made clear that our cross border health and environmental problems can only be addressed directly with the EC given the issues are transboundary and cannot be tackled by any single member state. Mr Walker suggested there could be other tools available to us in Europe post Brexit and we agreed to follow this up.
The ESG has finalised its updated “2017 List of Objectives”. A very comprehensive document covering 15 key areas from Climate Change to Recycling, Pollution to Planning and much more. The document studies environmental issues and makes recommendations for their resolution. We shall be submitting copies directly to Government and opposition political parties and will also be placing a copy on our website alongside previous and earlier versions. Naturally many of these issues are dynamic and we shall strive to keep our document as up to date as possible.
Finishing on a global note, it can’t have escaped many of you that the USA is set to enter a very dark period on the environment if current threats and promises are followed through. This relates to the revoking of controls on coal extraction, radically reducing the powers of the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as weakening the US position and support for collective action on climate change. We recall the Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth moment when urging the world to take action on this crucial issue, also then his own country’s harshest critic in terms of being one of the worst offenders. Things changed under Obama and it helped achieve universal solidarity with other global leaders finally getting to a point where we could start believing that real action was possible. Could Trump really reverse this major milestone for humanity?
There is much dissent and outrage in the US itself on this – lets hope that, along with other Trump recent pledges that have failed, that this backward and chillingly frightening reversing of environmental gains will also fail. For more information on issues we follow more locally please visit our news page on esg-gib.net or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening.