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TG sets out environment plans

Together Gibraltar yesterday set out a political programme it says will combat Gibraltar’s “shameful” environmental record.

At a press briefing at the party’s Main Street headquarters, candidate Craig Sacarello said Gibraltar had the worst renewable energy rates in the EU, heavily congested roads, the highest number of cars per capita, pumps raw sewage into the sea and no real cycle paths “just tipex on the ground”.

“It is time to right these wrongs, it is time to address the needs of the wider community,” Mr Sacarello said.

The party therefore plans to tighten up the language in the Climate Change Act to ensure that ministers cannot move target figures at will, get-out clauses are removed and reporting is entirely visible and transparent, he said.

“We will impose tougher targets and certainly ensure that these targets are displayed annually and met annually and not every four years,” Mr Sacarello added.

Additionally, if elected to government the party plans to ensure that the LNG power station is made fully operational with the “greatest urgency” whilst the old generating stations are decommissioned.

It vowed to investigate complaints of emissions from the dockyard and private enterprises in the port, and increase the level of sanctions implemented for companies that break the law.

Together Gibraltar also plans to implement regulations limiting black smoke emissions and minimum separation distances from the shoreline.

The party described transport in Gibraltar as an “ongoing crisis” which has a profound impact on public health, the environment and quality of life.

To this end, the party plans to put into action a plan for greater pedestrian and cycle networks and to improve public transport generally.

Moves towards adopting a greener transport system will see the party look into introducing electric bicycle sharing schemes.

Additionally, Together Gibraltar will cover open air car parks with solar panels and provide charging points for electric vehicles.

It will also then substantially increase subsidies for the purchase of electric and hybrid vehicles and bicycles.

And, there will be a scaled implementation of a green tax on diesel and petrol vehicles to dissuade multiple vehicle ownership.

Incentives will also be provided for taxis to move away from fossil fuels and to go electric or hybrid under a Together Gibraltar government.

To reduce traffic outside schools, the party plans to provide supervised clean school buses and no-idling policies on vehicles outside school areas.

Hedges will also be planted around schools to “shield” children from emissions and pollution, the party said.

The party also has a plan for a new bicycle highway which, it said, will be developed and implemented in four phases.

It will retrofit the existing bike-sharing scheme to allow for electric bikes and establish a park and ride scheme and provide transport between the frontier and Main Street.

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