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It’s Good to be Green The green credentials of our Minister for Health & the Environment, the Hon Dr John Cortes are beyond dispute. As long-time General Secretary of GONHS (Gibraltar Ornithilogical and Natural History Society) Dr Cortes often locked horns with previous governments on environmental issues, now as a Minister in his own right he talks to the Gibraltar Magazine about his green vision for the Rock, and why it should be a priority for us all. Why do you want to make Gibraltar Greener?

A green environment is important both for physical and mental health. “Green” policies ultimately reduce costs, can generate economic activity, gain us international respect, and are better for the community and for the Earth. After leading an environmental pressure group, how have you had to compromise on your vision now that you are a government Minister?

I have always believed that where there is a will, it is not that difficult to ensure that political actions are not detrimental to the environment. As a Minister, I do recognise that I have a wider responsibility for the people as a whole. I am lucky in that all my nine colleagues are committed to the environment. So far, I am pleased to say that no decision of the Government has upset me in any environmental way and I have not had to compromise. On the contrary, I am


always availing myself of opportunities to get A lot of people out there were very impressed that we had the speakers of the calibre that we environmental gain from decisions. had in Gibraltar. What positive feedback did you get from How do you see the future of Gibraltar from the 2012 Thinking Green conference at which ex-Vice President of the US, Al an environmental perspective? Gore, spoke? Excellent. The foundation we are buildA great deal. It served to make many people ing within Government, and by example in sit up and take notice of issues that had not the wider community will not be reversible. been brought as forcefully to Gibraltar ever Gibraltar will be greener, its biodiversity will before. A number of business initiatives have be better protected and interpreted for all to resulted from it, and Gibraltar was promoted recognise and enjoy, our children and young on a global scale. And it’s made a difference. people will be increasingly aware, and our economy will benefit from green initiatives and green industry. Our carbon footprint will be reduced, and pollution minimised. Our use of energy will be much more efficient. And all that will make us healthier. It will be something to be proud of.

It’s a question of us moving along together as a community. Actually, this is bigger than politics

What would you like to see happen from an environmental point of view during


The Gibraltar Magazine - May 2013  
The Gibraltar Magazine - May 2013  

Gibraltar's fabulous business and leisure magazine. Crammed full of great features from finance to football, from fashion to arts. Enjoy i...