Davies: MEPs approve back-loading to shore up EU emissions trading scheme

Chris Davies MEPMEPs voted today by 385 votes to 284 to support ‘back-loading’ proposals that will shore up the EU’s emissions trading scheme today by delaying the sale of carbon credits.

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

“What should have been nothing more than a minor regulatory adjustment had become a test of the EU’s entire strategy on climate change. We must now ensure Europe takes the lead in the fight against global warming by pursuing long-term structural reform of the ETS.” Continue reading

Davies: Final agreement reached on rebuilding Europe’s fish stocks

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

Major reforms aimed at rebuilding Europe’s depleted fish stocks have been agreed by MEPs meeting in Strasbourg today.The new EU Common Fisheries Policy will make it a legal requirement to set quotas for fish catches using maximum sustainable yields, with the aim of rebuilding fish stocks by 2020. It requires long-term management plans to be prepared for every fishery and devolves day-to-day decisions about fishing practice from Brussels to regional bodies.  A ban on the discard of fish will be phased in from 2015.

Liberal Democrat European Environment spokesman Chris Davies MEP, who formed the cross-party ‘Fish for the Future’ group, claimed the new policy demonstrated the importance of Britain playing a constructive role in Europe to achieve reform.

He said: “For too long decisions were made about fishing policy that ignored scientific advice, with the result that Europe now has to import two thirds of the fish we eat. Continue reading

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: 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

Davies: Commission must not give competitive advantage to German car manufacturer

Chris Davies MEPThe German government has been attacked for special pleading on behalf of a car manufacturer that is refusing to meet EU requirements for eco-friendly air-cons.

Daimler has declared that it will continue to use HGC134a, an air-conditioning coolant with a global warming potential (gwp) nearly 1,500 times greater than CO2.  The industry standard is now to use HFC1234yf, which has a gwp of just 4, but the car manufacturer claims that it has conducted new tests that suggest it is inflammable at very high temperatures.

EU Commissioner Antonio Tajani confirmed in response to a parliamentary question from UK Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies that he would start infringement procedures against Member States that had not complied with the new EU rules from 1 January 2013.  However, he also conceded that the Commission was analysing a request by the German authorities to find a special solution for Daimler.

Mr Davies commented: Continue reading