14 December 2005

Defeated MEP accuses industry of scare tactics

THE MEP at the centre of the failed attempt to ban HFCs through amendments to the F-gas regulations has accused the industry of scaremongering.
Speaking on BBC Radio's File on 4, Irish Christian Democrat MEP Avril Doyle revealed how her colleagues were inundated with letters from industries in their constituencies threatening them with job losses.

'It's been six months of intense lobbying,' she said. 'It was email, writing, phoning and faxing, non stop.'
She added that MEPs received letters 'threatening them with job losses if they voted for this amendment or they voted for that directive.
'Are they really going to vote for legislation that they actually know nothing about - or are they going to take the word of industries based in their constituencies where they have to go back to face election?'
Concerted industry action, not least from the UK, was known to be instrumental in persuading MEPs to vote against amendments to the F-gas regulations which threatened to ban HFCs by 2010.
But, according to Ms Doyle, the F-gas industry 'over-gilded the lily. It was scaremongering.'
Honeywell's PR agency, Hill and Knowlton, has come in for criticism from environmentalists for successfully pressing the industry's case but Hill and Knowlton lobbyist Mary Walsh denied that her company over pressurised any MEP.
'I'm very comfortable with the dialogue we had with them,' she told File on 4. 'It's the premise of business that people should have the right to voice their position with elected representatives.'

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