The Balearic Minister for the Environment, Margarita Rossello, fresh from attending the Earth Summit in South Africa announced yesterday that her department would launch a pioneering campaign to cut gas emissions in an effort to curb global warming. The project which has a budget of 185'000 euros will involve a heavy amount of research into the problem and then experts will decide how best to reduce the emissions of dangerous gases. The bad weather last month has been blamed on global warming and Rossello said that it was vital that something should be done. “We are the first province in Spain which is taking such action,” said Rossello, who is a member of the Green Party. “Presently top professors at the local university are working on the project,” she added. One of their first tasks will be to investigate how badly global warming has hit the island so far. “We know for a fact that global warming is affecting our climate. We must be able to be in a position to warn the various government debates of its affects,” the minister said. Returning to the Earth Summit Rossello said that most countries had pinpointed their environmental problems but said that the world meeting had not been a success. She underlined the importance of the event but said that it was a shame that it had not been more successful. “It's sad because it appears that we are going backwards since the last United Nations summit (before South Africa) in Rio de Janeiro. There is a vital link between pollution and world poverty. In South Africa we saw that some countries are not willing to act,” she said. The Balearics has joined with other Spanish provinces in giving greater emphasis to environmental issues. As part of this greater emphasis her department will be studying ways to reduce the emission of dangerous gases from the rubbish incinerator at Son Reus. Greenpeace has often said the incinerator is the biggest contaminator in the Balearics, allegedly pumping large amounts of dangerous gases into the atmosphere everyday. Also just returned from the South Africa summit is the Mayor of Calvia, Margarita Najera. Calvia was presented with a series of awards by the United Nations for its work on sustainable tourism. But environmentalists have said that it is a disgrace and have called on Najera to return the prizes because Calvia was unworthy. The main local environmental groups have said that the municipality is nothing more than a concrete jungle.

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