by Irene Taylor
THE interdepartmental committee set up to study climate change chose yesterday, World Environment Day, to present a list of recommendation for reducing the emission of gases in the atmosphere this summer. And top of the list was “a responsible use of electricity.” The list was presented by deputy leader Rosa Estaras and environment minister Jaume Font.
The advice is contained in a leaflet which will be distributed to all government and town council employees.
Recommendations include “prudent use of air conditioning,” the best temperature for which is 25º; making the most of natural light; rationalising water consumption; ventilating the house first thing in the morning or late evening and not using a tumble dryer unless it is absolutely necessary. Estaras also announced that agreement had been reached with driving schools, which will give courses in “efficient driving.” Government drivers have already taken these courses, which include driving at a maximum of 80-100kph; making sure the car is well maintained; avoiding sudden braking and excessive use of air conditioning. This, she said, adds up to a 15 per cent saving in fuel. Font, for his part, commented on the increase of government subsidies for the use of renewable energies and efficient use of energy which will lead to a saving “of up to 6.5 million kilowatt hours, thanks to the use of solar and wind energy.” He added that this was a record figure for the Balearics. Since the year 2000, the government's measures had prevented more than 23 tons of CO2 being released into the atmosphere, Font said.
The government has also reached an agreement with the power company GESA-Endesa, under which it will include in its bills advice to promote energy saving. But yesterday wasn't all about facts and figures. On a lighter note, Font and other government officials helped release tortoises and birds of prey into the wild. The birds had been found injured and were nursed back to health at Son Reus.
And children also played a big part in celebrations, as most schools had organised events to mark the Day.
In Palma, the city council had organised a play and workshops for children in the Plaza de la Artesania, attended by more than 250 pupils who learned how to plant cuttings and seeds, painted murals and learned how to recycle articles.