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  • ESG Radio Newsletter 16/07/15 – catch up with all Gibraltar environmental news!!

    ESG Radio Newsletter 16th July 2015-
    Key words: LNG Concerns – Power Stn impact – Development and energy needs – Town and Heritage Acts – Environmental Conference – Renewable energy in Gibraltar, Denmark and Australia

    The ESG noted the rather general comments made by Lloyds Brand and External Relations Manager to GBC yesterday in response to questions on safety reports and timeframes regarding the use of LNG in Gibraltar – quite honestly, he would have done better and been more credible to have refused the interview on the grounds that he had nothing to comment at this time.
    With the EIA for the new power station imminent for consideration and contracts for construction soon to follow, the predicted date of September for more details on the safety aspects of LNG is too late. The ESG will be meeting with Government shortly and will table a number of issues on this matter once again.
    With the ex MoD generating station now at full throttle at Rosia Road to help meet existing energy needs, the pressure for completing the new power station is as great as ever. Noise and air pollution in the South district has significantly increased once again and the thirst for energy will only grow with the number of new housing estates and other developments in the pipeline.
    Some of you may have read the ESG’s Janet Howitts’ opinion piece in the chronicle a few weeks back on the question of planning. If you missed it you can read it on our website – it essentially summarises our concerns about how planning should be conducted in Gibraltar and includes important measures such as the urgent publication of the revised Town Planning Bill and also The Heritage Act, to name a few. It was therefore genuinely welcomed to see these two drafts published some days later, and indeed, already available online at gibraltarlaws.gi under Command Papers.
    We all know how sensitive development and heritage issues can become in Gibraltar. The public is now invited to feedback on both drafts. Please note that the Heritage Act is open until the 27th July with the Town Planning Bill open until the end of September. You can write in directly to Government with details of where to do this also posted on their website – or you can let us know about planning concerns so that we can consider for inclusion in OUR submission – or you can also contact the Heritage Trust for any issues you may be interested in or concerned about regarding the new Heritage Act. We hope the community will make good use of this opportunity!
    There has been a well-attended Environmental Conference held in Gibraltar this week for all Overseas Territories, which we welcome. We were v disappointed however not to have been included, at least in good time, to participate on this occasion and we hope that we shall be invited to do so in any future, similar event.
    To end with and with the growing number of international expert reports being published on the impacts of a warming climate, it pays to direct ones attention on how different countries are responding to this biggest challenge facing humanity – For example Denmark boasted meeting 140% of its electrical needs these past few days, from wind farms alone! At the same time we hear that Australia’s prime minister has directed a ban on Government financial support for solar and wind powered projects causing a furore in his own party and the public at large – more on that story soon no doubt.
    In Gibraltar we have also been informed that the Gibraltar Government intends to proceed with the eco wave project it announced over a year ago, but was delayed for a number of reasons – we should see some significant progress in installation during the last quarter of 2015. Another memorandum of understanding was signed between our govt and another private company – this time in testing the viability of underwater current power off Gibraltar’s coast using marine turbines. This is technology that the ESG has long been advocating as appropriate for Gibraltar and therefore exciting news and we hope to see the first steps of this pilot study taken very soon.

    For more on these and other items of interest please visit our website at: www.esg-gib.net – you can also email us: esg@gibtelecom.net with feedback and any questions and/or comments on what you have heard today. Thank you for listening!