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  • Port, Transport and more-Newsletter 26/01/22

    In todays newsletter we shall take a look at our port, transport and the expected availability of real-time emission data for the new Power Station.

     PORT – It was positive to see the new Captain of the Port finally confirmed. The ESG wishes the Captain well in his new position and hopes that his office will strive to push for the highest possible environmental standards to be applied at the port and by all users and visitors alike. The port is Gibraltar’s main industrial activity, and carries several environmental impacts. From direct threats to marine life and ecosystems to air and noise pollution from the offshore 24hour bunkering activity, which impacts our local community. Government and port have said the use of LNG will make shipping more sustainable. Indeed Europe is embracing LNG also towards the same objective. In reality LNG reduces GHG emissions by only 25% and is a fossil fuel – not a long-term solution.  The IMO (International Maritime Organisation) has embarked on a climate action plan to eliminate pollution from shipping and work towards reducing GHG emissions over the short, medium to long-term. Gibraltar as member of the IMO should support this plan, which aims to promote investment in cleaner fuels and efficiency, in mitigation and new technologies. It is crucial that as the 3rd largest bunkering port in the Med and 7th largest in the World in terms of bunker volume– according to the Capt. Of the Port’s interview with GBC – Gibraltar must act responsibly and embrace and promote the IMO Climate Change measures.

    In our next newsletter we shall explore how a local company, servicing private yachts, has began establishing provision of more sustainable fuels.

    TRANSPORT – Transport continues to be an important issue for our community. There isn’t a day that goes by that we aren’t affected negatively by it. The ESG promotes and recommends ideas to help resolve some of these problems and you can find these on our website at esg-gib.net. Of course not everyone’s idea of an ideal transport situation is the same. But we can agree that quiet and calm roads would be a welcome environment for us all. The recent news on new zoning has unleashed public discussion. We support moves to discourage unnecessary car use and expansion of a clean public transport, more walking, cycling etc. The pandemic has served to delay moves to clean up our buses as other cities have started doing but we sincerely hope this plan is still on the table. Noise pollution, from some road users must be addressed, and the occasional heavily polluting vehicle taken off the road, whatever its registration! We are confused about Governments objectives in limiting the ever-growing number of vehicles in Gibraltar and hope to see further dedicated efforts towards electric and hybrid cars. We are also concerned to see how the new airport tunnel will finally settle in terms of pedestrians crossing the runway and the overall tidying up of public serving vehicles in that area. We are seeking a meeting with the Minister to follow up on these matters.

    POWER STATION – the ESG has campaigned for real-time emission data for the new Power Station at Waterport to be publicly available from the very start of this project. We sincerely hope that 2022 will be the year that we see this data published – a long-term commitment by Government – as well as see the back of the many diesel skid generators that have been used to support the transition to the New Power Station. We shall continue to monitor this as well as the promised onshore power connection programme.

    Covid permitting we hope to be able to organise public debates on the important issue of Climate Change and all it encompasses and will provide more info on this soon. Meanwhile please visit our website for more information and press releases on the environment.

    That’s at: www.esg-gib.net.

    Thanks for listening! January 2