Saturday, March 14, 2009

ESG warn there is 'no cohesive plan' on climate change in Gibraltar

Gibraltar ecologist group, the Environmental Safety Group (ESG), warned Gibraltar authorities last week, that they are "heading headlong in the other direction with no cohesive plan" on climate change.

The warning follows the publication of an EIA report, which was referred to by the GBC (Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation) last week, on global carbon consumption figures.

The report suggests that Gibraltar leads the world in having the highest per capita carbon dioxide emissions from the consumption and flaring of fossil fuels.

The EIA (Energy Information Administration) is a US Government agency who provide "policy-neutral data, forecasts, and analyses to promote sound policy making, efficient markets, and public understanding regarding energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment".

Commenting on these somewhat alarming statistics, Gibraltar's ESG, said that these figures are in fact "misleading".

In a statement, the ESG explained that these figures are likely to be linked with the vast amount of fuel sold locally for export to the many Spanish (and other nationals living in the Costa del Sol) who visit Gibraltar daily to purchase the much cheaper fuel available in Gibraltar.

The EIA report statistics, the ESG also pointed out, include the bunkering services that Gibraltar's port offers to international shipping.

The EIA statistics apportion Gibraltar's small population size with this reported high 'energy' consumption, by way of handling, to a per capita level of 160 metric tons, far outreaching any other country in the world.

The ESG parallel this distortion of the figures to Luxembourg, who are also affected in a similar way.

An ESG spokesperson said:

"Including the amount of fuel sold to non-native residents in these calculations would also explain the distorted carbon dioxide emissions per capita in Luxembourg.

Like in Gibraltar, fuel is less expensive than in neighbouring countries, which explains why Luxembourg has 26,3 per capita while the average German, Belgian or Frenchman 'only' produces 10.4, 14.2, 6.6 per capita carbon dioxide metric tons per year." 

The ESG however, note cautiously, that while Gibraltar "may not be emitting such high carbon dioxide levels locally", it nevertheless, still "carries a responsibility for the impact this will have elsewhere and on climate change".

The ESG add that Gibraltar must realise that fuel economy is "finite with cheap oil in the decline making this an unsustainable industry".

The ESG believes Gibraltar should be developing alternative and sustainable economies which will also "help slow down the worst impacts from global warming".

The ESG statement concluded with a renewed and worrying warning to Gibraltar:

"New statements, issued only this week by Climate Change scientists in Copenhagen, reiterate the need for urgent and collective action on our carbon emissions.

We appear to be heading headlong in the other direction with no cohesive plan for change."


John Borda said...

Well, I did recently send GoG an outline plan that would have reversed this- still waiting to hear any outcome. More as & when folks!