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  • ESG Radio Newsletter 131011

    ESG Radio Newsletter 13th October 2011

    Weeks rush past and it seems that everything these days starts and finishes with elections, gossip and comment. More debate is clearly needed on sound policies on all matters, but of course, for the ESG, we welcome as many opportunities as possible to hear all parties courting for votes to explain their environmental policy for Gibraltar. Lets hope these are spelt out soon as while the environment may poll low in order of people’s priority, there is no getting away form the fact that our physical environment is critical to all in dictating the quality of life we enjoy, and on a wider scale, how sustainable our current practices and economies actually are. These are determined ultimately by having the resources and a stable environment in which to live.
    Remove these and you quickly see modern societies crumble, ours would be no different.

    It’s vital, therefore, that all politicians today have this understanding in mind when standing for election as the pressure for reaction to challenges presented by our environment will only grow with time as raw materials, food sources, and fossil fuels come under ever increasing pressure.

    Let’s hope that, as a minimum, all parties have a tangible plan for bringing Gibraltar onto the renewable energy ladder, with a long term vision for eventually making us totally self-reliant with clean energy. Wouldn’t that be good news?

    Coming back to our physical environment and issues very local to Gibraltar, we would like to briefly discuss some of those which have concerned us in the last few weeks.

    The first relates to the absence of a Captain of the Port. This critical position is still being advertised in the local press and Gibraltar continues operating one of the largest bunkering services in the med without this stewardship. It’s clear to us that the work carried out by Captain Hall in bringing our port into 21st century operational standards was not easy and absolutely necessary and is far from over. This effort also ensured that we saw some progress in terms of environmental safety measures. There are still major issues outstanding such as cross border port co-operation at a personnel and technical level and psychological and practical recovery within the port after the major port fire which took place a few months ago. The ESG therefore believes the replacement with an equally qualified and experienced Captain is urgent and a top priority.

    Another matter we shall be commenting on via a more detailed press release is that of a current application with the Development and Planning Commission of a lubricant oil tank farm, to be located quite close to residential areas. Given the fact that the land demarcated for this, while port land, is nevertheless now very close to a number of residential areas the ESG wishes to bring the matter to the attention of the public and will be lodging a formal letter of objection. We know how the existing operations at the port already impact residential areas. Therefore no further industry should in our view, be permitted and an EIA on this current application be carried out and published.

    The Gibraltar Government published its Waste Management Plan. While we clearly welcome all forms of analysis and planning necessary for a better environment, we disagree with Govt’s intention of building energy from waste plant, or incinerator as they used to be called. We are also writing to Govt with our detailed objections which fall mainly on the fact that having an incinerator means we shall always need to produce high levels of waste to guarantee efficiency at the plant which will have a detrimental impact on Gibraltar’s ability to meet future EU targets of responsible reduction of waste levels. While Govt is selling this as a green programme, because of the opportunity of producing energy for desalination, for instance) Govt knows this is not a guarantee, just a possibility –another main concern for the ESG is that an incinerator today would produce new air pollution for Gibraltar, something that many would resist.

    Please contact us with any questions on local and regional environmental issues. We shall be only too happy to help share any information we have. Visit our website and call us: details as follows:

    www.esg-gib.net, tel: 200-48996, or mobile 54960000 and email: esg@gibtelecom.net