Mediter­ranean cy­clone brings warmer and drier Oc­to­ber to a damp end

MEP Mar­lene Mizzi in­sists on hav­ing a com­mon stan­dard charger for all mo­bile phones by 2017

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

MEP Mar­lene Mizzi has urged the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion to meet the dead­line of pre­sent­ing a sin­gle com­mon charger for all mo­bile phones by 2017.

Dur­ing an In­ter­nal Market and Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Com­mit­tee, MEP Mar­lene Mizzi asked the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion on the state of play on the side of man­u­fac­tur­ers to­wards the 2017 ob­jec­tive of plac­ing on the market only uni­ver­sally com­pat­i­ble mo­bile charg­ers.

Back in 2014, the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment ap­proved a Di­rec­tive lay­ing down har­monised rules for plac­ing ra­dio equip­ment, in­clud­ing cel­lu­lar tele­phones and modems, on the market. The Di­rec­tive also calls on the man­u­fac­tur­ers to make mo­bile phones com­pat­i­ble with one sin­gle mo­bile phone charger no later than 2017.

MEP Mar­lene Mizzi said: “We ac­cu­mu­late so many dif­fer­ent mo­bile de­vices in our lives, such as mo­bile phones, smart phones, tablets, dig­i­tal cam­eras and mu­sic play­ers, that are only com­pat­i­ble with spe­cific mo­bile tele­phone charg­ers. This cre­ates real in­con­ve­nience and costs for con­sumers, as well as an un­nec­es­sary elec­tronic waste.

“Mo­bile phone charg­ers ac­counted for more than 50,000 tons of elec­tronic waste per year in the EU. Of­ten, when con­sumers change phones they are left with per­fectly well-func­tion­ing charger, in­com­pat­i­ble with the new model and there­fore ab­so­lutely use­less. This is con­tribut­ing to tons of elec­tronic waste,” said Mar­lene Mizzi.

MEP Mizzi, who is the ap­pointed IMCO rap­por­teur on the Stan­dards for the 21st Century re­port, said that “a stan­dard charger is an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity to first and fore­most ben­e­fit­ing con­sumers and sec­ond re­duce the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of elec­tronic equip­ment from charg­ers that are sold un­nec­es­sar­ily.

“How­ever, if we want to meet the dead­line of 2017, we need com­mit­ment on be­half of the Com­mis­sion and man­u­fac­tur­ers to de­velop Euro­pean stan­dards for a com­mon charger.”

The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion replied that it is work­ing to­gether with the in­dus­try on more in­no­va­tion friendly ap­proach that will be both con­ve­nient for con­sumers and have a pos­i­tive im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment.

The Com­mis­sion was pos­i­tive that in the com­ing months they will be able to­gether with the man­u­fac­tur­ers to come to an agree­ment on a com­mon and sat­is­fac­tory solution. Oc­to­ber ini­tially en­joyed high tem­per­a­tures that peaked at 31.2°C on the sec­ond day, but stormy weather to­wards the end of the month served as a none-too-gen­tle re­minder that win­ter was ap­proach­ing and clocks had to be turned back, the Met Of­fice at Malta In­ter­na­tional Air­port said yes­ter­day.

The month was warmer than ex­pected, with mean air and sea tem­per­a­tures sur­pass­ing the cli­matic norm by 2°C and 0.7°C, re­spec­tively. The air tem­per­a­ture for Oc­to­ber av­er­aged at 23.5°C and only six days hit max­i­mum tem­per­a­tures that were cooler than this av­er­age.

Oc­to­ber was also drier than usual. In fact, the 24mm of pre­cip­i­ta­tion that show­ered the is­lands fell 51.6mm short of the ex­pected rain­fall for this time of year. To date, Oc­to­ber 1951 holds the wettest record for this month, with pre­cip­i­ta­tion lev­els amount­ing to an ex­tra­or­di­nary 476.5mm.

Last month’s storm, which clas­si­fies as a typ­i­cal Mediter­ranean cy­clone, brewed as the month was com­ing to a close. Low pres­sure and strong Gre­gale winds fol­lowed.

Last Fri­day and Satur­day of Oc­to­ber, the is­lands were bat­tered by wind gusts that equalled or ex­ceeded 34 knots, pick­ing a max­i­mum ve­loc­ity of 45 knots at one point on the 29th. On the day, the tem­per­a­ture dipped to the month’s min­i­mum of 16.7°C and a to­tal ab­sence of sun­shine added to the gloom.

By the mor­row, the wind had died down to a mean speed of 7.1 knots and no pre­cip­i­ta­tion was recorded, al­low­ing cleanups of de­bris left in the wake of the storm to start. With only 1.4 hours of sun­shine reg­is­tered, the day re­mained quite gloomy.

In gen­eral, Oc­to­ber was duller than usual, en­joy­ing 19 hours of sun­shine less than the cli­matic norm of 218 hours. This re­sulted in part from a heav­ier mean cloud cover of 4.3 ok­tas, rather than the 3.6 ok­tas ex­pected for this time of year.

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