1 Aug, 2012 @ 09:00
1 min read

Gibraltar rejects ranking as worst environmental offender

gibraltar carbon emissions e

By James Bryce

GIBRALTAR has dismissed ‘misleading’ claims that it has the highest per capita carbon emissions in the world.

The Rock topped a survey by the US Energy Information Administration, which measured petroleum consumption by each country relative to its population.

But Gibraltar’s health minister Dr John Cortes claimed the figures were ‘a misrepresentation of the reality’.

He said the survey failed to consider the Rock’s role as a major bunkering location for fuel used by the shipping industry.

“The majority of (bunker) fuel sales in Gibraltar are not consumed nationally but form part of the international shipping industry,” he said.

“When this figure is divided by the small population (approximately 28,000), we naturally appear to be the worst in the world.”

He added: “The world carbon emissions league table is misleading, reducing its value as a tool for climate change mitigation.”


  1. Hi Albert. We are sorry you found Gary’s comment offensive. We do moderate comments but on this occasion we decided to leave it as we thought it was simply a joke (albeit a pretty bad one – sorry Gary!) … Just to clarify, it is not the view of the Olive Press and we apologise if anybody has been offended.

  2. The figures are misleading in the sense that the fuel is not consumed by the Gibraltarians. Unfortunately that is the way carbon emissions seem to be calculated, exported fuels are counted as consumed. Countries such as Australia suffer similarly with their high coal exports.
    But in theory surely countries in the middle east should be the highest with their huge fossil fuel exports?
    The survey needs to explain how they arrive at their calculations.

  3. Statistically, if in addition to their present Gibralterian population, they had 3 more COWS and 2 more GOATS on GIB, their FARTS OF CARBON DIOXIDE and METHANE GAS would make them #1/Resident Polluter in this dumb statistic. !!!
    Get REAL – THAT’S why USA did NOT sign the Kyoto Agreement.
    look to China and India for the major problem and don’t waste time … before Al Gore wakes up again.

  4. You know Gary, some people smell their own breath while speaking to somebody else, and believe its the other person that has the halitiosis. Especially so if you talk to every person you meet and you continue to pick up the smell, then its time to visit the dentist. A good way to find out whether its you or the other person is to cup your hands around your own mouth and nose and breath into the hollow it makes and then take a sniff, it sort of reflects back at you.

  5. If we really were tops in polluting, we would all be going around with face masks, like happens in some Asian countries. How do they measure the precise footprint Gibraltar has anyway in such a vastly populated area as is Gibraltar and La Linea and with the refinery and CEPSA right next to it?

    The refinery and its servicing station, although on the seafront next to La Linea belongs to San Roque hence the smell which does sometimes permeate the area. You will notice that smell reminiscent of rotten eggs which makes you gag in Gibraltar only happens when there is a westerly wind which brings the noxious fumes from this industrial area, specially at night. Thankfully we have mostly easterly winds, when you can see the bonnet atop the Rock, the famous Levanter cloud, that keeps the area free from these fumes. You should see the pall of brown muck over the other side when its blowing easterly, or when there is no wind, makes for some interesting sunsets.

    Dont get me wrong I am making no excuses, I hate bunkering whether its done by Gibraltar or Algeciras, which is just as culprit, but since we have the Spanish Refinery right next door, placed there by Mr. Franco when he closed the Fronter and left the whole Campo area with no other recourse for finding work, you cant really blame the Gib Government for taking advantage of it being there when the Frontier re opened and not just sit and take only the pollution.

    The acid rain which burns holes in clothes hung out to dry overnight in the Campamento and Los Barrios area as well as in La Linea and which makes small rounded brown marks on my plants outside, doesn’t precisely come from the exhaust of cars, of which there are quite a few in Gib, but not more than in most cities with 30,000 inhabitants. Gibraltarians dont all have two or three cars, most have a motobike which they use instead during the week to beat the traffic chaos during peak hours, especially in summer. Added to our own vehicles are are the thousands of cars that come in from across the border every year to fill up at the petrol stations well into the wee hours of the morning.

    Almost all of these petrol stations are owned and serviced by the same Spanish company, but sold here cheaper than in Spain. So maybe halving that footprint being attributed exclusively to Gibraltarians might be fairer and more in line with reality.

  6. Inthe name,
    I lived for a while in Rotterdam in the province of Holland and we regularly had acid rain falling from the vast industrial complex at Europort.

    On the truly beautiful coast of the Asturias ( any part of north west Spain’s coastline is infinitely more beautiful than anywhere on the Med coast, go and take a look if you don’t believe me) is the most polluted place in the whole of Europe.

    Come to that, enter Granada from the Almeria direction and you can cleary see the orange smog cloud hanging over the city, day in, day out.

  7. Hi Stuart, I haven’t been to Asturias, though have heard and read and seen it on TV often enough, and the Rias area is said to be extremely beautiful. It would also be greener than anywhere this far down south so the trees should absorb some of the C O emissions. It is a pity that man is destroying so much we should be protecting and neither politics nor nationality should bar us all from demanding more protection for our planet from our governments. But let us ALL stop hiding our dirty linen and blaming others as the greatest polluters without owning up to our own. But then when there are some powerful countries that wont sign the Kyoto Convention their pointing fingers at little Gibraltar as being the top culprit of C.O. Emissions without taking into account the huge industrial complex in this area, is so unrealistic and so unfair..How can they pinpoint where its all coming from if they cannot even pinpoint when its going to rain on Gib when giving out weather forecasts for the area. Beats me.

  8. Inthe name,
    these hugely wealthy industrialists in the USA/China/India don’t give a damn as long as they can enjoy their power and wealth in their lifetime.

    In the USA you would’nt believe how many ordinary Americans could’nt give a damn about what fracking is doing to their countries water supplies as long as they can have cheap gas.

    And that basically is how so many people across the world think – screw tomorrow as long as MY today is fine.

    Sad to say but maybe it was better our ancestors stayed jumping up and down in the African trees.

  9. Now where has that pesky little monkey of a grand daughter of mine gone?? Lol.

    Seriously now, I think there are many in many countries that are aware and working towards a greener world. Little things amount to big ones when there are many little people putting in their two pence worth. Like for example not waiting for the next man to ring the police or the fire brigade when they see a swirl of smoke that shouldnt be there. A phone call to the police, as I have recently been made aware that if you call the Fire Brigade in Spain you are liable to pay for the service, even if you havent been the one to cause the fire? If this is true, no wonder so many go unreported, its crazy. The old saying ” a stitch (Telephone call) in time..” could have saved many trees and lives in Spain and elsewhere, which in turn absorb CO emissions, which in turn stops earth erosion, over heating of the planet etc., etc. Let us hope many more will join in and we can, between all, save our planet.


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