Greenhouse gases and cross-border travel in Europe

During today?s plenary session in Strasbourg, MEPs adopted by a large majority the report on the proposal for a Regulation on fluorinated greenhouse gases and the proposal for a Directive on package travel and assisted travel arrangements.

Fluorinated greenhouses gases are used primarily as synthetic refrigerants and were introduced in the early 20th century. They relatively quickly became the dominant refrigeration solution for both ACs and refrigerators found in every home. Because of their important impact on the environment and health of individuals, MEP Zofija Mazej Kukovič (EPP/SDS) express her views on the subject:

?The Regulation on fluorinated greenhouse gases will contribute to further development and innovation in our businesses. It will also benefit our health and our planet. It would be interesting to see a survey or research on how many elementary school pupils know of the highly negative effect of fluorinated gases on our health and on our environment. It is crucial that we are aware of their massive global warming potential, as they can cause a 23.000-times stronger greenhouse effect than CO2. In addition, each device that contains these gases has a lifespan of 50 years. If everyone knew the actual meaning of this, they would change their daily habits.?

The reduction of fluorinated greenhouse gases is part of the ?Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050?. By using alternative products, the emissions of these gases could be reduced by two-thirds by 2030.

?In my native land of Slovenia, we face a related problem. Our Oncological institute is completely dependent on air conditioning. This means that patients and medical staff cannot get any fresh air inside the building, since the windows cannot be opened. We would see a major improvement of this situation if today, for example, architects gave greater thought to methods of natural cooling,? said Mazej Kukovič in her speech.

MEP also voted in favour of the directive on package travel and assisted travel arrangements. The goal of the proposal was to ensure balance between the interests of consumers and the travel industry. The proposal mitigates the risks that occur when making internet reservation and especially when customers take cross-border trips.

Mazej Kukovič concluded by saying: ?The issues raised by this Directive are very important for my homeland in Slovenia, since cross-border reservations are occur that much often in smaller countries. In Slovenia, you only need to fly 163km in any direction to enter another state, meaning that cross-border solutions and mitigation of risk is all the more important.?


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