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  • ESG Radio Newsletter Thursday 9th December 2010

    Well, if you were to Google the word Cancun, a Mexican Resort where the latest round of high level talks on climate change are being held you could get depressed. Current reports suggest that the usual vague and inconclusive discussions continue, highlighting the need for accelerating action at a local, domestic level by countries able to do so.

    The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has warned delegates of 194 countries that to delay real decisions will cost lives, while Pacific leaders have pleaded for faster action. This does not appear to be materialising so far at Cancun and we hope to cover the outcome in a future newsletter once the talks have completed.

    One ray of light in Cancun is a visit by a solar powered boat currently on its round the world trip. The 31 metre boat, whose deck is covered with solar panels, is driven by solar-generated electricity alone and can cruise at max speeds of between 8 and 9 knots. Its German owner hopes to spread awareness of the viability of solar energy around the world and specifically in Cancun during the Climate Change Talks.

    Listeners may remember how the ESG helped organise Gibraltar’s hosting of Cop to Cap that saw an electric car also powered by solar energy making an epic journey to South Africa. It begs the question of when Gibraltar will begin to embrace green technology and actively reduce our own carbon emissions. As we continue to grow, prosper and thrive, this important factor must be addressed. The ESG shall launch a renewable energy campaign in 2011 to raise these stakes and press all parties vying for your vote at the next election to present a workable and costed plan to power Gibraltar with clean energy in the foreseeable future. Clearly the new power station must be built but can be phased out as cleaner systems are introduced and built up over time. Nothing less is acceptable.

    Moving on to other issues – you may have read our statement regarding flaring at the Refinery this week- it is an abomination that CEPSA continues to carry out such practices with visibly widespread impact especially given the fact that the company has already been instructed to rectify this problem in an audit carried out on its operational stds. At the very least a public explanation or statement at the time of the incident should be mandatory. If this chemical fallout was a seaborne incident, such as an oil spill, for example, the polluter and authority concerned would be forced to give public accountability – this is no different.

    The Sewage at Sea Campaign continues to earn support with more and more signatures being collected. A reminder that this evening’s vigil has been postponed for very good reasons and a new date will be announced soon.

    The ESG has also been approached by concerned residents opposed to the new block going up in a recreational area. This is of course, the Data Centre, planned for the site next to Euro Towers. The ESG believes that in its last Development Plan and stated objectives, Govt announced that where possible, open spaces and green areas would be incorporated into any new building proposal. The fact that the area designated for the Data Centre is already used by resident children indicates a conflict in Govt objectives. Where will these children play? It’s well known that the entire reclaimed land houses thousands of residents and does not have its equivalent balance of open spaces and green areas to provide good quality of life and dignity for residents of all ages. This lowering of stds and expectations is well known to bring about social problems which are all too obvious to many who live in these areas already.

    Therefore: a public appeal to those considering this application is being made here to give due regard to the many objections which have been lodged against this latest monstrosity. We hope to be able to talk to you again before Xmas but should this not be possible, just a word to please think about your purchases this Christmas- can your gift also benefit anyone less well off than yourself? There are numerous ways in which you can still fulfil your need to buy gifts with a good deed- just take a moment to think about it…many companies and organisations provide fantastic gifts with profits earmarked for the genuinely poor and suffering.. Of course, you should also take a bag with you and say no to plastic! this Xmas at a time when the volume of rubbish produced escalates- try and control yours.

    That’s it for now- take care and if in northern Europe this Xmas, as I will be, make sure you wrap up!!