where it hurts
GOVERNMENTS across Europe
are being urged to follow France in banning the registration of new
Mercedes luxury model cars, including the A-class, B-class and SL.
German manufacturer Daimler is accused of failing to comply with an
EU law intended to curb global warming emissions from vehicle air
conditioning systems. The company claims that new refrigerant
R1234yf presents a fire risk in extreme circumstances, a claim
dismissed by all car manufacturers outside Germany.
The European Commission has made clear that it will consider
launching infringement proceedings unless Germany ensures by
September that Daimler vehicles comply with the 2006 Mobile Air
Conditioning Directive. However, legal procedures mean that it could
be years before the case comes before the European Court of Justice.
But the French Government's action has brought the issue to a head
by announcing the 'temporary' suspension of the registration
of Daimler models, denying purchasers the right to drive them on
The move could cost Daimler tens of millions of euros in sales. The
company is said to sell more than 30,000 Mercedes in France each
year. It has been welcomed by British MEP Chris Davies, who is
calling on governments elsewhere to follow the French example.
The MEP worked on the air conditioning legislation when it was
framed a decade ago. He says that the move from HFC134a, with its
global warming potential (gwp) 1,430 times greater than CO2, to
R1234yf which has a gwp of just 4, is wholly to be welcomed.
Davies said:- "The French government deserves congratulations
from everyone who cares about environment and the threat from
Daimler's approach has been cynical in the extreme. The company has
been playing for time to try and avoid paying the small additional
cost of the new refrigerant, but the French action will hit it hard
in the pocket. Car manufacturers elsewhere are furious that Daimler
has been allowed to get away with breaking the law while suggesting
that other cars are less safe. They claim that if 1234yf poses any
risk in new Mercedes models it is because they have been badly
UK transport minister Stephen Hammond says that the safety of road
users is a priority, but in a letter to Chris Davies, on 18 April
2013, writes that the British government has seen no evidence
"that the R1234yf refrigerant constitutes a risk to road users in
an appropriate designed vehicle system."
interfaith celebration to be biggest yet
BUILDING on this year's Liverpool
Pride theme:- 'Superheroes'; the service has the title
Within' and takes place at 7pm on Thursday, 1 August 2013 at Ullet
Road Unitarian Church Hall, Ullet Road. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender (LGBT) people of all faiths and none, and their friends
and family are all invited to attend.
Faiths represented at the service will include Buddhism,
Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Quaker, Paganism, Unitarian and more.
Traditions from each faith will be included such as prayer,
chanting, affirmations, readings, poetry, music and moments of
silence. The LGBT choir will sing and the service will be followed
by a vegetarian buffet at 8pm.
Spectrum of Spirituality is a network of LGBT people of faith and
the groups that support them. They hosted their first interfaith
celebration service in 2010; believed to be the first LGBT Pride
interfaith event in the UK at the time.
During this year's service, people will also be invited to write
down their hopes, dreams, or a prayer and these will be carried by
Spectrum of Spirituality representatives at the official Liverpool
Pride march on Saturday, 3 August 2013.
Ahead of the service, on 25 July 2013m between 3pm to 8pm, people can also
participate in an art workshop at the church hall and create
'heroic' pieces of art which will go on display at the service.
Press are invited to the workshop to take photographs and interview
members of Spectrum of Spirituality.
Warren Hartley, Chair of Spectrum of Spirituality said:- "One
of the key principles of Liverpool Pride is to be inclusive, which
also means including people of all faiths and none. This year's
celebration will have more representatives of different faiths and
spiritual traditions than ever before. By incorporating elements of
each faith; the whole spectrum of belief; we hope to create a real
celebration of unity through diversity."
Sue Branch, a Buddhist representative said:- "It's a joyous
occasion; full of warmth, connectedness and hope, with an indelible
sense of belonging. That is part of its real worth. I'm a believer
that your faith should bring you joy and happiness and a sense of
delight. Spectrum of Spirituality's mission and vision is for a
world where people do not have to choose between their spirituality
and their sexuality or gender identity. The rainbow is the
inspiration for this celebration because as well as being a symbol
of LGBT pride and diversity, it is also an ancient symbol of hope in
the mythology and faith of many cultures around the world."