THE Environmental Safety Group (ESG) has urged both main Gibraltar parties to reduce pollution in the fight against climate change as part of its election wish-list.
Gibraltar’s main environmental group pleaded with the GSLP and GSD to reduce city emissions from transportation, energy production, construction and waste.
The ESG highlighted that bunkering accounts for 90% of the damage that the Rock contributes to the problem, but admitted this is ‘an economic pillar’ for the community.
Little Gibraltar is now the biggest ship refuelling port in the Mediterranean, its port authority website boasts.
The election wish-list goes on to ask for the next government to work harder on the Climate Change Strategy (CCS).
The GSLP/Liberals published the CCS in 2021 after the 2019 Climate Emergency Motion.
It set in place what the government called ‘ambitious’ targets to reduce carbon emissions and reform that would affect every sector of the economy.
“ESG has lobbied for transparency and independent reporting by this Committee to share its recommendations to Government as well as resources needed,” the ESG said in the statement.
It asked the government to engage the community, other political parties and NGOs in this push toward carbon neutrality.
While it praised the ‘gains’ of the government’s net zero energy requirement for new developments, it asked for more to be done to refit current buildings.
“Green areas should also be legally protected from new development even if not in a park or nature reserve,” the ESG statement said.
“Carbon assessments of existing structures and possibilities of reuse-over-demolition should also be applied in planning.
“Holistic and strategic planning for short, medium to long-term needs should be applied as well as gauging a sustainable pace for construction, protection of important heritage sites, conservation areas and public amenity lands.”
The ESG went on to ask for anaerobic digestion to be part of the new sewage plant and for better solid rubbish processing and recycling.
On electricity creation, it wants to see more renewable energy sources but welcomes the Minister for the Environment’s budget speech about the increase of solar energy.
On transportation, the group is pushing for all public buses, taxis and coaches to be hybrid or electrical in the future, pointing out that the frontier to town route is particularly polluting, especially when idle.
“The Climate Change Strategy must be embraced for action at cross party level, by businesses and the community,” the ESG statement concluded.
“We have a lot of work to do as does the rest of the world, and we are running out of time, but inaction is simply not an option.”
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