The Government accused the party of "hijacking" World Environment Day, after Together Gibraltar's latest statement questioned the Government's green policies.
A statement from the Government said:
The latest statement from Together Gibraltar on the Climate Emergency attempts to address a number of different issues and ends up addressing none at all. Their statement, trying to hijack and wanting to spoilthe most successfulWorld Environment Day Gibraltar has seen, is both miss-timed and inaccurate.
The Parliament of Gibraltar, on the instigation of the Government, has been among the first to declare a Climate Emergency. This was followed up quickly on 23 May with the publication of a Climate Change Bill which, if approved by Parliament, will set out relevant commitments in law.
The speed with which Government has moved from the declaration to legislation is practically unprecedented for any issue. It is therefore unfair for Together Gibraltar to claim otherwise.
The Party also raise the issue of car parking spaces under new schools as ifthey had just heard about it, when the subject has been discussed ad nauseum, including in answer to Parliament Questions, where the security angle has been more than covered. Strict allocation of spaces and round-the clock security are measures that have already been explained.Additionally,the school construction is such that fumes will simply not be possible to enter the school buildings. They criticise schools being constructed next to roads, as if Gibraltar had areas away from roads which are accessible and where schools can be built.
Given the size of Gibraltar, it is a long established practice to construct car parking under or in close proximity to buildings. Indeed, successive Governments have provided car parking for residents under their homes in different residential estates all over Gibraltar. The parking under Notre Dame School, for example, also provided a drop-off area for parents and has been very well received. In making such statements Together Gibraltar betray their total lack of experience in leading, organising and decision-making.
Together Gibraltar fail to recognise any of the huge amount of good work that has been done on the Environment in the past seven and a half years. They suggest that recent projects have not had solar panels incorporated, when they have, in those where solar radiation is enough to make these effective. Two very successful Government renewable energy projects were pioneered at the indoor swimming pool and at the stadium. Solar panels have been installed in one our industrial parks and this is set to continue.
The Government considers the criticism from Together Gibraltar to be superficial and unfair as if they have not given much thought to what they say.
Minister for the Environment and Climate Change John Cortes commented:“What sour grapes are showing from Together Gibraltar. I am really disappointed. Their statement today is in absolute contrast to the positive mood of hundreds of people, young and old, celebrating World Environment Day in that testament to the Government’s Green credentials: the fabulous Commonwealth Park. This unfair attack goes against the current mood of the environmental movement in Gibraltar, which is calling for all political parties to join forces in fighting the Climate Emergency.It seems clear by their confrontational statement that Together Gibraltar has no intention of doing so. I don’t like to sing my praises, but after forty years of working to transform the way Gibraltar sees the Environment, try as they may to lead, Together Gibraltar will always just be able to follow me.