Davies/ Davey: Reform of EU emissions trading scheme crucial for green investment

Chris Davies MEP, Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesman in the European Parliament, today asked what steps the European Commission is taking to reform the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS) in a parliamentary question to Environment Commissioner Connie Hedegaard.

Chris Davies said:

“The back-loading of carbon allowances approved by the European Parliament in July was an important step, but it was just a temporary sticking plaster.

“To really fix the EU’s Emissions Trading System, we need to treat the cause not just the symptoms. That means long-term structural reforms to shore up investment in green technologies, and the forging of links with other trading schemes to achieve a truly global carbon market.

“Structural reform of the ETS would also level the playing field for British industry, by bringing the price of carbon in the EU into line with our own ambitious carbon floor price.”

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey added Continue reading

Taylor/Davies: Lib Dem MEPs will continue fight for availability of e-cigarettes

MEPs in the European Parliament’s Public Health Committee today voted to update the ten year old tobacco directive  including provisions to ban the use of ‘characterising flavours’ (such as  chocolate and menthol) and slim-style cigarettes which are designed to appeal to younger and/or female consumers to encourage them to take up smoking.

Apart from packaging and labelling, other provisions included ingredients, cross-border sales and traceability for the purposes of enforcing product safety standards.

Lib Dem European health spokeswoman Rebecca Taylor MEP welcomed the adoption of rules requiring that all cigarette packets in future should have health warnings covering at least 75% of the surface  to make packaging far less appealing to consumers  and discourage them from starting smoking. She said:

“One in two smokers dies as a direct result of their smoking and tobacco related diseases place a great burden on the NHS. Clear and visible  health warnings on cigarette packets  play a role in making tobacco less attractive, particularly to potential first time consumers, who are overwhelmingly young, as 94% of smokers start smoking before the age of 25. Continue reading

Davies: backloading vote a stepping stone to deeper structural reform of EU ETS

Chris Davies MEPMEPs voted today to support the EU’s beleaguered emissions trading system (ETS), its principal tool in the fight against global warming.

The European Parliament gave its backing to ‘backloading’ proposals intended to support the price of carbon and maintain trading by delaying the sale of carbon allowance.

The hotly contested vote was widely seen as a test of support for EU efforts to reduce CO2 emissions at a time of economic crisis.

The UK Liberal Democrat European environmental spokesperson Chris Davies commented after the vote:

“What should have been a modest regulatory adjustment has taken on huge importance and had divided governments across Europe. Continue reading

Davies: Merkel calls in Cameron favours

Chris Davies MEPA deal to increase the fuel efficiency of cars and reduce their CO2 emissions was today halted in Brussels after German chancellor Angela Merkel called in favours from British Prime Minister David Cameron.

The UK had been expected to support an agreement reached with MEPs on Monday that calls for fuel efficiency improvements of more than 25% by 2020, reducing CO2 emissions from new cars to an average of 95g/km.

A study by the European Commission suggests that the fuel efficiency deal could save as much as £850 for an average driver and secure a 6% reduction in UK oil imports. Continue reading

Davies: Tories blow second chance on business carbon vote

Chris Davies MEPConservative MEPs got a second opportunity to help British business today – and once again blew it.

In April, the European Parliament voted on a proposal to backload the continent’s Emissions Trading Scheme that sets a price for industrial carbon dioxide emissions in an effort to combat climate change.  The vote was lost be 334-315 with British Tory MEPs voting against.

Today, the Environment Committee of the European Parliament voted again on the measure, sending it back to the full parliament for another attempt to pass the legislation.

Tory MEPs voted against backloading despite knowing that carbon prices in the UK leave UK manufacturers paying more for their electricity than their EU competitors and the EU plans would have reduced that gap.

Their votes pu tUK manufacturing industry at a disadvantage compared to Germany or the Netherlands.

Speaking after the Environment Committee’s 2-1 endorsement of the plan UK Lib Dem MEP Chris Davies MEP said, “Conservative MEPs have turned their back on the future and shown their contempt both for the needs of British industry and the policies of the coalition government. Continue reading

Davies: Irish Presidency accused of deceiving MEPs

Picture shows Matthias Groote MEP, Chair of the Environment Committee of the European Parliament (left) with Chris Davies MEP (right) and Bill the Cod.

The Irish Presidency will this evening be accused of deceiving MEPs over an issue key to reform Europe’s Common Fisheries Policy.

The preparation of long term management plans for every fishery is seen as crucial to the rebuilding of depleted fish stocks.

But since 2009, EU governments have blocked negotiations on their preparation in an argument with the European Parliament over the terms of the Lisbon Treaty.

Ministers say that governments have the right to set annual quotas, but MEPs say the treaty gives them the power to set guidelines.

MEPs argue that the Ministers have in the past been responsible for allowing over-fishing and the decline in stocks.

Chris Davies, a British MEP who founded the cross-party Fish for the Future group, has been amongst those pressing for negotiations. Continue reading

Davies/ Hall: Conservative MEPs betray British business in carbon vote

MEPs in Strasbourg today narrowly (334-315) rejected a proposal by the European Commission to delay the auctioning of greenhouse gas allowances to avoid a further drop in the price of carbon. The European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) was originally introduced to incentivise investments in low carbon technologies by putting a price on polluting greenhouse gas emissions.

UK Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies, the environment spokesman for the Liberal Democrat (ALDE) group in the European Parliament, commented after the vote:

“MEPs have turned their back on the future.  Continue reading

Davies: Commission calls Daimler’s bluff

Chris Davies MEPThe European Commission has warned that new model types of Daimler cars put on the market anywhere in Europe do not conform to EU law and should not be sold.

The announcement could inflict huge damage upon Daimler’s finances and reputation.

Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani will appear in front of the Environment Committee tonight (20 March 17.30-18.30) to discuss the enforcement of the mobile air conditioning (MAC) directive, applicable since 1 January 2013. Continue reading

Davies: EU animal testing ban

Chris Davies MEPA Europe-wide ban on the sale of cosmetics tested on ainmals comes into effect on Monday (11.03), thanks to the efforts of a UK Liberal Democrat MEP.

Liberal Democrat Chris Davies helped negotiate the EU Cosmetics Directive a decade ago and has welcomed the arrival of its final provisions into law.

He says it cannot be acceptable to cause animals to suffer in order to develop products intended to flatter human vanity.

And he wants the cosmetics testing ban to be a first step towards ending all tests on animals. Continue reading

Davies: Ban Discards

An agreement between ministers to curb the discard of fish has been criticised by a local Euro-MP for leaving gaping loopholes.

Fisheries ministers agreed on Wednesday (27.2) to reforms of the EU common fisheries policy, but said that close to 10% of all fish caught can still be discarded, dead.

Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies described the loophole as a breach of the principle that all fish caught should be landed. Continue reading