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One more painful step on steep climb to peak emissions

News item

Wednesday 18 Apr 2018

Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, expressed disappointment at the mixed outcome from votes on measures to control emissions and climate change in the European Parliament.

Parliament confirmed agreement with the Council of EU Member State governments on a raft of measures, which included a regulation to cut greenhouse gas emissions in sectors such as transport, agriculture, waste and buildings.

Other pieces of legislation passed today accounts for the role of land use and forestry in emissions and climate change, as well as new rules on the energy performance of buildings.

Speaking from Strasbourg, in reaction to the outcome of the votes, Ms. Childers, a member of Parliament’s Environment committee, said:

“I am disappointed to see this regulation on greenhouse gas emissions come short of what the future requires of Europe.

“We are talking about 30% reductions, by 2030, in sectors that account for almost two thirds of emissions on our continent. This is not enough to flesh out our commitments in the UN Paris Agreement.

“Recently, we passed long overdue reforms of the EU’s Emissions Trading System, to deal with the glut of carbon allowances that cheapened the production of emissions in the heavy industry and energy sectors.

“Today we haven’t come even near the 40% target in reductions we achieved then.

“Member State governments choose to drag their feet and protect the tired old ways of doing business at home.

“They remain blinded to ever clearer and present risks by the demands and short-term interests of preferred constituencies.

“Even in Ireland, we have started to feel the human and social costs of more extreme climate phenomena. There isn’t just opportunity in a proper, full-scale energy and industrial transition, but also resilience and survival, if we stay below catastrophic levels of global warming.

“Business as usual is not an option. The planet won’t wait for us to face up to the facts we need to act upon.”

ENDS


Statement on US pharma industry request to put EU on IPR enforcement watchlist- European Parliament Working Group on Access to Medicines

News item

Tuesday 6 Mar 2018

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the Biotechnology Innovation organisation have recently requested that the US Trade Representative place the EU on its watch list for the 2018 Special 301 Report, a yearly review of the global state of intellectual property rights enforcement.

The watch list identifies trading partners engaging in harmful practices in terms of IP protection and market access for US companies.

This is an extremely worrisome development, against which the EPWG on Innovation, Access to Medicines and Poverty related diseases must take a stance, at a time when the EU is reviewing its IP incentives regime, which we support.

EPWG Statement 06.03.2018

Nessa Childers MEP

Chairperson- EPWG

Background:

The European Union has a major impact on access to medicines for developing countries, through its policies, legislation and bilateral and regional trade agreements. It is vital that the EU adopts appropriate measures that improve access to existing medical tools (medicines, diagnostics, vaccines) and that stimulate the research and development (R&D) of urgently-needed better tools for people in developing countries, notably for poverty-related diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The Working Group operates as a Bureau of MEPs, with one Chair and four Co-Chairs, and a Secretariat, formed by Médecins Sans Frontières’ Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines and Global Health Advocates. The Working Group is open to MEPs, academics, representatives from the European Commission, international organisations and civil society.


EU Parliament sets up committee on glyphosate and pesticide approval flaws

News item

Friday 9 Feb 2018

Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, welcomed this week’s decision to establish a special committee to probe the EU’s decision-making process on pesticide approval, in the wake of the “Monsanto Papers” revelations.

Speaking from Strasbourg after the plenary votes, Ms. Childers, a member of Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, said:

“The revelations of Monsanto’s maneuvering to influence the scientific assessment of glyphosate and ensure the renewal of its EU authorisation raise serious questions about our ability to safeguard human health and to objectively assess the safety of chemical products.

“This probe will enable us to examine not only how the European Food Safety Agency and the European Chemicals Agency have discharged their responsibilities to assess the safety of glyphosates but also how pesticides are allowed into the EU markets in general.

“This is crucial for the environment and our citizens’ health. It is no less important in terms of public trust in our institutions and in the evidence they seek to inform the decisions they make on our behalf.”


EU Carbon reform: some progress and much resistance from national governments

News item

Wednesday 7 Feb 2018

Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, gave a guarded welcome to the approval of the deal reached between the European Parliament and the EU’s national governments to reform the Union’s carbon emissions trading scheme.

The EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is the first and largest international market scheme to cap and trade greenhouse gas emissions.

 It covers close to half of all emissions in the region, including power plants and heavy industry.

 Speaking from Strasbourg after the final vote in Parliament, on Tuesday, Ms. Childers, a member of the Committee on the Environment, said:

“We are used to seeing this policy described as the EU’s flagship on the fight against climate change, but the fact is that, since the inception of the scheme, it has been plagued by an overabundance of allowances.

 “Big corporate polluters were granted free allowances to offset competition from those who face no emission penalties abroad. It turns out they not only had plenty to use for production, but ended up selling these free allocations in the market and pocketed the profits.

 “The pricing signal has been too low to incentivise decarbonisation, which calls into question the very purpose of this complex and expensive enterprise.

“I have been part of previous efforts to removing allowances from the market, and welcome the higher rate at which the available quantity will be progressively reduced, even if it is lower than what we need. It will need to be corrected at the earliest available opportunity.

“The necessary shift from carbon-intensive activities in our economies will affect a number of sectors, so this reform rightly includes funding mechanisms to support innovation, transition to sustainable energy production and retraining for workers.”

 “Too many member state governments and conservative forces keep dragging their feet on this and other policy fronts we need to avert catastrophic climate change.

“Unfortunately, reckoning with the price of environmental disasters is something our governments have yet to properly do. Let us hope the same does not keep happening to the price signal of our carbon allowances.”

ENDS


EU Parliament to probe glyphosate scandal and pesticides decision-making

Press Release

Thursday 18 Jan 2018

Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, welcomed today’s decision to clear the way for a special committee to probe the EU’s decision-making process on pesticide approval, in the wake of the Monsanto Papers’ scandal.

The leadership of the European Parliament’s political groups has decided to support the establishment of a special committee on pesticides on foot of pressure from progressive representatives and civil society groups.

The proposal will now be put to a vote at the February plenary session during the week of Monday 5th.

Speaking from Strasbourg after today’s announcement, Ms. Childers, a member of Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, said:

“The revelations of Monsanto’s manoeuvring to influence the scientific assessment of glyphosates and ensure the renewal of its EU authorisation mean that we need to reassess how the EU does its own work in this field.

“This probe will enable us to examine not only how the European Food Safety Agency and the European Chemicals Agency have discharged their responsibilities to assess the safety of glyphosates but also how pesticides are allowed into the EU markets in general.

“This is crucial for the environment and our citizens’ health. It is no less important in terms of public trust in our institutions and in the evidence they seek to inform the decisions they make on our behalf.”

ENDS

Contact:  Mário Monteiro de Sá +32-474 08 80 19