The EESC issues between 160 and 190 opinions and information reports a year.
It also organises several annual initiatives and events with a focus on civil society and citizens’ participation such as the Civil Society Prize, the Civil Society Days, the Your Europe, Your Say youth plenary and the ECI Day.
The EESC brings together representatives from all areas of organised civil society, who give their independent advice on EU policies and legislation. The EESC's326 Members are organised into three groups: Employers, Workers and Various Interests.
The EESC has six sections, specialising in concrete topics of relevance to the citizens of the European Union, ranging from social to economic affairs, energy, environment, external relations or the internal market.
Welcomes the new Commission's proposal on fluorinated gases as a step into the right direction but sees room for more ambition to maintain the global EU leadership in climate action.
Believes that improving the Commission's current proposal presents an additional opportunity to significantly reduce direct climate impacts by promoting natural solutions with a low global warming potential (GWP) instead of continuing to use hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) with a high global warming potential.
Is therefore in favour of a ban on all refrigerants with a GWP >5 after 2030 for heat pumps, room air-conditioners, chillers, and refrigeration applications alternatives. This sends a clear message to the market, is administratively easy to implement, and faces a low risk of circumvention.
Strongly recommends combining REPower EU ambition with the F-gas phase-out, aiming for refrigerants with the lowest possible GWP, especially in the field of heat pumps.
Believes that fears of market bottlenecks in the sector are unfounded due to the increased production capacity of the industry, which will be mostly based on natural refrigerants. The EU has a clear opportunity to make this an exemplary case in setting global green standards.
Considers the current quota charge too low and calls for a mechanism to increase income from quota sales. This income can be earmarked to boost customs controls at Member State level, to help with the adoption of low-GWP alternatives and to provide sufficient training to the installers of the equipment concerned.
Believes that addressing training needs on HFC alternatives is key. Skilled technicians, as well as qualification, certification and registration schemes are essential for promoting low-GWP natural refrigerants.