Saturday, September 27, 2008

I was happy to read this in the most recent Greenpeace E-mail. Good timing with International car-free-day just passing.

You too should try living without a car. I recommend it as a great way of life for anyone; especially if you live in a big city. You won't know what joy and lightness it brings until you try it.
Doing the right thing by the climate

There's been a real buzz in the air since that surprising turn around at the Environment committee vote on CO2 emissions from cars this morning.

Everyone is talking about it.

It’s one of those all-too-rare days when things go your way, made even sweeter by the fact that the signs showed otherwise. There is a real sense that at last we have a chance to do something positive in the struggle against climate change.

“It came down to the line, but MEPs chose to resist strong pressure from the car industry lobby and supported most of the Commission’s proposed measures to cut emissions from cars,” Franziska Achterberg, Greenpeace EU transport campaigner told me earlier. “Today’s vote means that the car emissions legislation could still become the first effective EU
law to limit our impact on the climate.”

“MEPs held out against rapporteur Guido Sacconi’s recommendation by rejecting calls to delay the proposed 2012 target and to weaken penalties for non-compliance. And what’s more, the environment committee voted to go beyond the Commission proposal by introducing a second target in 2020, subject to a review.”

German Green group member Rebecca Harms called it "a big surprise. There was a big fight with industry and governments, and the Germans and French were adding a lot of pressure."

But we got there in the end. It’s still hard to take in that we managed to prevent the car lobby, with all its resources and access to high level politicians, from getting its way.

Chris Davis has called it “a big blow for corporate lobbying.” He’s my MEP, remember? So thanks, Chris. I can’t tell you how happy I am that you did the right thing.

But it’s not all over yet. The ball is in the Council’s court now - they have to approve the proposals before they can become law.

You know what Greenpeace wants. It wants EU ministers to take heed of the Parliament’s position and support effective legislation to limit emissions from cars and protect the climate.

And so far on this bumpy ride, everyone I’ve talked to wants it, too. The people want it.

It’s up to us now to keep an eye on our MEPs and make sure they do the right thing.

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