Gibraltar’s community-scale greenhouse gas inventory for the 2020 calendar year can now be seen online on the government website, and it covers emission sources such as electricity consumption, road transport, aviation and the treatment of solid waste and wastewater.
The report shows that almost half of Gibraltar’s greenhouse emissions in 2020 came from transport (44.6%), with local boats accounting for 28.2%, road transport 11.4% and aviation just 5% of the total.
The remaining emissions came primarily from stationary energy (44.4%) with waste and industrial processes and product use (IPPU) making smaller contributions of 7.1% and 3.9% respectively.
In general, the news was positive. In 2020 Gibraltar’s total manageable emissions had decreased by 28% since 2015 (when they peaked) and by 12% since 2019.
Emissions from electricity generation dropped by 13% since 2019 and by 35% since 2015 due to the introduction of natural gas (rather than gas oil only) as a fuel for North Mole Power Station. The amount of electricity produced/consumed remained fairly static.
Emissions from road transport dropped by 51% due to less fuel being imported into Gibraltar; this was likely to be a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Emissions from aviation decreased by 55% as a result of reduced flights – again, this is likely to be due to the pandemic.
Emissions from waste reduced by 9% since 2019, and by 12% since 2015, due to a decrease in total waste sent to landfill.
The only increase was in emissions from IPPU, which increased by 1% since 2019, and by 4% since 2015. The government said this follows trends in UK data which is used as a proxy for Gibraltar’s emissions from product use.
Gibraltar's Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, John Cortes, said:
“These headline figures are encouraging and suggest that Gibraltar is on track to meet its climate commitments. However, we must remember that these represent the pandemic year when many of our usual activities were curtailed. When the 2021 inventory is ready we will be able to see more clearly how much of this reduction is real and how much was an artefact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Judging by the separate air quality trends we published recently, while it is likely that emissions in 2021 will be up on 2020, I suspect that they will still be below previous years. I do hope so, as the community is much more aware and committed than ever to progressing on these environmental matters.”