Figures released by the Gibraltar Electricity Authority this week show that carbon emissions dropped by nearly six per cent last year, from 161,358 tonnes in 2016 to 152,287. This was the third consecutive year that the emissions dropped, and there has been a reduction of 27,000 tonnes, or 15.3 per cent, since 2014.
Several factors have contributed to this improvement, including Low Energy Devices (LEDs) being installed in all government installations and public lighting, as well as a small number of solar fittings. The Department of the Environment and Climate Change has also been carrying out energy efficiency campaigns, which appear to have been effective despite an increase in the number of buildings in Gibraltar.
Further reductions will be made when power in Gibraltar is generated from gas in the future; at present diesel is being used for power generation.
The reduction in carbon emissions means that less fuel will have been burnt, and will therefore also result in lower emissions of contaminants such as nitrogen oxides.
Responding to the news, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change, John Cortes, said this week: “We have to congratulate ourselves as a community in the way we have taken up the challenge in the global fight against climate change. We have shown that every little bit helps. Switching off lights and devices, changing to low energy lighting, and increasing the energy efficiency of buildings have been measures we have been encouraging since 2012 and are showing results. We must continue. Clearly we can make a difference.”