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  • ESG Radio Broadcast January 31st 2013

    ESG Radio Broadcast January 31st 2013

    In today’s broadcast we re-visit our wish list presented to all political parties at the last election. The core issues contained on our list have been in our sights since we first began campaigning for environmental change. We look v briefly at what progress and change has taken place so far. The full Wish list, published on our website, contains twelve core issues. Today we look at the first six: climate change, energy, pollution, traffic, recycling and bunkering.

    • Climate Change: It’s vital that we have regular public debate on this critical issue which affects every single citizen of the planet. We would like to see Government hold open meetings when presenting its reports on climate change and invite public input and participation. Businesses, NGOs, all political parties and the public at large should be encouraged to participate. In our view the debate should look at Gibraltar’s long term sustainability, and consider alternative strategies to move us away from our fossil fuel reliance and economic stability.

    • Next is Energy – though Government is looking at alternative energy options for Gibraltar, and inclusion of green technology is now compulsory in new housing developments, we still await the announcement of the new energy plan by Government which has been mentioned publicly several times. Many local citizens would also like to install solar equipment and facilities for this should be set up without further delay.

    • Pollution – this has always been one of our strongest issues; we have invested a lot of time and energy as a group in trying to reduce pollution both locally and in the Bay area. Because of our size, population spread and lack of buffer zones to any industrial activity, we have campaigned vociferously for higher than EU stds to be applied to protect public health and quality of life. We advocate the Precautionary Principle be used when assessing environmental impact from any industrial activity because, no matter how important economically an activity may be, our health and that of our families, is priceless. The ESG notes that although some progress is being slowly achieved to reduce excessive pollution locally there is still a long way to go and we shall continue to campaign for a cleaner Gibraltar.

    • Next is Traffic: we have seen various traffic consultation plans over the years looking at ways to address the problems caused by the high numbers of cars and motorbikes on our roads. Apart from improving traffic flow and better equipment to support this, cycling must be made safer, and a pavement study Gibraltar-wide should also be carried out to ensure that walking is provided for, even if this means some loss of parking spaces. Plans to rule out two stroke motorbikes and incentivising low emission vehicles are seen as welcome measures.

    • For our fifth issue we look at Recycling- The recently expanded recycling service now provided by govt brings us more up to date with the rest of Europe and is long overdue! Recent complaints on the street now refer to bins being too full –clearly services have to be stepped up but this is at least positive compared to years of virtually little recycling activity on the Rock. There continues to be an urgent need for netting to be installed at the City Dump to prevent airborne waste, and for a dedicated Eco park, a one-stop shop, to be created to encourage the public to dispose of all waste responsibly. This is also long overdue. On littering also there is a growing problem with cigarette smuggling related waste, visible in almost every corner of our town. Perhaps the ubiquitous black plastic bag could be banned as its impossible to trace the retailer who could be brought on board with guidelines on what their customers should do with their rubbish!!

    • Finally, we look at Bunkering. ESG concerns of fumes from bunkering have been taken seriously and measures implemented to reduce these within industry. Not all fumes or risks to the environment are eliminated however, and so we hear plans by current administration to move fuel storage to land based installation. While not supporting the oil industry per se, our group presses for best available technology and the precautionary principle to be applied in any planned installation to ensure minimal impact and maximum public safety.

    OK – that’s all for today! If you have found anything you have heard of interest and would like more information please contact us on : esg@gibtelecom.net or call us on 200-48996.Join us in a fortnights time when we shall be looking at: Sewage Treatment, Conservation, Planning, the Environmental Action Management Plan, Cross Border issues and Epidemiological Studies.
    Thanks for listening!