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  • Radio Newsletter 210515

    ESG Radio Newsletter

    Good day! In our last newsletter we stated that the UK elections were very clearly avoiding environmental issues, and focusing almost exclusively on the economy and National Health matters. The Green Party was obviously raising issues of longterm sustainability and climate change, but even they had to portray this through a traditional political platform or prism.

    We were heartened therefore to hear discussions in our own “local House of Parliament” yesterday spending a few hours on local and regional environmental issues, at an informed level. This is important and welcomed by our group.

    As an NGO we continue to report problems, lobby on key issues and raise awareness as much as we can.

    With the summer almost upon us, here in Gibraltar, we become more sensitive to the environment we live in and the warmer weather worsens existing pollution problems which tend to hang around as well as become more acute in higher temperatures. This week we have rec’d reports via facebook as well as phone calls and emails from different corners of the Rock signalling that, while politicians, are at last talking about these issues together, on both sides of the house, action is still required to eliminate the known sources of pollution.

    For example, the Dockyard has been incredibly busy these past few weeks with vessels lined up, but what has been an additional problem is that ships at quayside or in dry dock have had and continue to have their engines running. These smoky emissions are harmful to our health and similar to what is produced by power stations, burning, as they do, the same type of fuel. Ships obviously have to power their way in and out of the harbour but surely they must be ordered to switch off their engines and connect to the local electric grid when stationary?

    We know the authorities are trying to deal with this problem but we shall continue to monitor and report this, as the situation is ongoing.

    Talking about Western Beach– number of points here. Very pleased that the European Commission is publicly and formally acknowledging La Linea dumping sewage right into our coastline – but action is needed. Politics as usual is in the way of speedy solutions, but how much longer do we have to wait before something is done about this? Perhaps now the acknowledgment has been made, legal action is a real option for Gibraltar to force Spain, via the EU, to spend the money and make the infrastructural changes necessary. If you look at the environmental agency website you will see that a moderate but steady amount of sewage continues to appear at this beach. Also that data is at best 48 hours old, or 4 days old over weekends, meaning that should there be a spike at the time you are swimming, you will not know about it.

    Check out other beaches water quality and make up your own mind. This is at environmentalagency.gi.

    Interesting and welcome to hear senior political figures in Spain, from Podemos, concerned about Bay pollution. While not mentioning industrial pollution the shipping activity mentioned occurs from all major ports surrounding the Strait, which are clearly contributing towards a blanket of pollution in the area. This is a big problem, which must be acknowledged, …but can it be addressed?? We shall be issuing a separate press release on this soon.

    Only this morning the Algeciras authorities are raising concerns with their Port about the heavy fumes affecting their town and community. Clearly port activity and economy is important to all communities in this region but health and safety of people and the environment is as important and one should not grow at the expense of the other.

    Finally, yesterday’s DPC carried a number of interesting items. Some have been briefly commented in the main media but not all and we shall be writing further comments on this on our website which you can find at: esg-gib.net

    Please get in touch if you want to become a member, make any enquiries or need information. We are grateful for donations and support for our work that is done entirely by volunteers. Our email is: esg@gibtelecom.net tel: 200-48996 or mobile 54960000. Thanks for listening!