Gibraltar launches the independent Climate Change Committee

The inaugural meeting of Gibraltar’s Climate Change Committee (CCC) was held on 4th of February 2022, convened by Minister John Cortes. Gibraltar’s Climate Change Act (2019) committed to forming the Committee, which will play a role in to holding the Government to account through regular meetings and reviews and provision of an annual report to Parliament. The CCC members include the chair of the Committee (Angelique Linares, EY Gibraltar), and the committee members (Nicky Crawford, Dr Ali Mashayekhi, Dr Darren Fa, Nikki Kent, and Nicola Webb), with Catherine Walsh from the Department of the Environment, Climate Change, Sustainability & Heritage assuming the role of Committee Secretary.  The Committee’s expertise spans climate science, climate change mitigation policy, climate adaptation policy, and business, and all members have experience living in or working with Gibraltar. The CCC will provide independent advice on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change to support the Government in meeting their legally binding targets.

This first meeting saw Minister John Cortes make clear the importance of the separation between the CCC and Government and emphasise that the Committee are in a position to hold the Government to account on climate action. The first meeting ensured that the Committee were up to speed on Gibraltar’s climate change journey, including the declaration of a Climate Emergency in 2019, adoption of legally binding emission reduction targets as per the Climate Change Act, and the development of the Climate Change Strategy (published in 2021). The need for community involvement (both citizens and businesses) was echoed by all Committee members, alongside the need for transparency in how the Government is making progress against its targets, and the need to ensure Gibraltar has access to the funding needed to implement the Climate Change Strategy.

The next CCC meeting will look at how the role of businesses might be enhanced via initiatives such as the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), and scope out opportunities for community engagement and empowerment initiatives.