We’re barely halfway through February and 2013 is already shaping up to be a tremendously busy year for EIA’s Global Environment Campaign.
At the end of January, we bade a fond farewell to our colleague Alasdair Cameron, who has worked as a campaigner at EIA since 2008. He is already sorely missed, as much for his intellect, passion and commitment as for his excellent sense of humour (a key requirement in the high-pressured world of campaigning!). Although he’s decided to move on to pastures new, we’ve made him promise to come and visit us regularly! A new team member will be arriving soon – watch this space for details.
There’ll certainly be a lot on our plate in the months ahead, what with the ongoing review of the European Union’s F-Gas Regulation and some important milestones at international level.
We’ve already been back and forth to Brussels multiple times since the beginning of the year to meet with European parliamentarians (MEPs) and EU Member State representatives. As you may recall, last November the European Commission finally published its revision of the F-Gas Regulation in the shape of a legislative proposal which is now being examined by the European Parliament (EP) and Member States.
The MEP responsible for writing the European Parliament’s report on the proposal (also called a “rapporteur” in EU jargon) is Bas Eickhout, a rising star of the Dutch Green Party and a seasoned environmental warrior. His report, due at the end of this month, will contain legislative amendments to be voted on by the entire Parliament in what’s called “Plenary” but will first be submitted to a smaller grouping of MEPs within the parliament’s Environment Committee.
In parallel to this, the EU’s 27 Member States have also been attending a series of Working Party meetings, where national positions relating to key points of the draft Regulation are discussed in detail and a common position is thrashed out.
With so many different industry players having such a big stake in EU F-gas policy, you can be sure there’s a lot of lobbying going on behind the scenes, which is why it’s so important that we’re in Brussels and national capitals, meeting with officials and other stakeholders, to explain our own position and make sure environmental concerns don’t play second fiddle to corporate interests.
It’s an awful lot for a small team like ours to do but we enjoy a challenge and have a growing network of NGO supporters who, like us, see this as an enormous opportunity to not only reduce emissions in Europe but for Europe to lead the rest of the world towards an HFC-free future!
We’ll keep you up to date on how things are progressing in the weeks and months ahead.