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Net Zero Delivery Body Meeting - 332/2023

May 24, 2023

The Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia chaired the fourth meeting of the Net Zero Delivery Body at No 6 Convent Place. The meeting was attended by Minister for Environment John Cortes and Minister for Transport Paul Balban, as well as representatives and stakeholders from across Government departments, agencies and authorities.

The Net Zero Delivery Body is comprised of a number of smaller working groups, which each provided an update to the wider board.

Net Zero Modelling Tool for Energy Consumption 

The Board received a virtual presentation of a Net Zero modelling tool for energy consumption, developed by the environmental consultancy Ricardo. The tool enables real-time comparators of the potential impacts of actions, policies and strategies using the projections of the Climate Change Strategy. As further data is entered and measured against baseline data from 2019, the Government will be able to measure and evaluate impacts against the projections and therefore inform future policymaking.

Sustainable Transport Working Group

In Gibraltar, transport accounts for around 20% of emissions from fossil fuels. The board received an update on the latest work in relation to the Active Transport Strategy, which aims to improve the experience of the pedestrian, as the priority group of the transport pyramid. The strategy aims to introduce a core cycling network including parking and storage infrastructure to increase the equity of space for vehicular traffic, pedestrians and cyclists, including beautification projects such as those currently underway at Bayside Road.

Other initiatives under consideration are the introduction of Smart traffic lighting systems that could improve the steady flow of traffic and prevent static vehicle build-up, and the rolling out of Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure to improve local air quality. The Department of Transport are working closely with the Department of Education on introducing cycling awareness and safety education to the curriculum.

Adaptation and Resilience Working Group

This workstream is currently focussed on the built environment and infrastructure, but aims to include areas such as tourism and health in the future. The working group is revising the Gibraltar Development Plan to incorporate sustainable infrastructure into the development and planning process, for example the inclusion of greywater recycling for use in cleaning and maintenance.

This working group involves the work of Technical Services to investigate issues that arise during heavy weather events, such as the recent rainfall that caused localised flooding. Key areas have been identified and works are ongoing to increase pipeline capacity that will alleviate these problems in the future.

Minister for the Environment, the Hon John Cortes, said: ‘The Net Zero targets for energy emissions are tangible and crucial Government policy, and it is important that this way of working is central to Government policymaking. The modelling tools that are being developed will allow policies and initiatives to be measured and evaluated for their climate change impact. If it goes unchecked, climate change will affect every aspect of our lives in Gibraltar and on this planet. It is, therefore, vital that the Government takes this holistic view of Net Zero and continues this important work to increase our climate change resilience, reduce our energy use and emissions, and implement viable, sustainable alternatives.’

The Deputy Chief Minister, the Hon Dr Joseph Garcia, said: ‘The work of the Net Zero Delivery Body is continuous and ongoing, through the diverse workstreams of its smaller working groups. This structure allows the Government to ensure that varying policies and initiatives retain climate change and the move towards Net Zero emissions targets as core objectives. In this way, the Government is maintaining a holistic, long term approach to achieving the Net Zero targets and to climate change governance.’