We were greatly saddened to hear of the death of our colleague and friend Joop Van Hamm, who contributed so much to the development of an evidence-based European policy for air protection and who played such a significant part in the founding and development of EFCA as a vehicle for championing it.
Joop will be remembered for the breadth and ambition of his vision for a clean air future. He believed strongly in the value of combining action to combat air pollution with action on climate change. And he was a keen advocate of a “one atmosphere” approach to air protection through a Single Law of the Atmosphere. He made a powerful case for this in an important address to the 2010 World Clean Air Congress in Vancouver, explaining how such an approach grew out of the UN principles and the precedent created by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change as a regime for governing the global atmosphere.
He was instrumental in developing EFCA’s series of Policy Initiatives, particularly on Ultrafine Particles, including Black Carbon using his deep knowledge of the practicalities of reducing air pollution to propose more effective remedies for the specific problems of its different components. Joop has also built the link to the General Directorates for Environment and Transport and was successful in networking with various European Partner Organizations. These initiatives have already had an impact on air protection legislation across Europe and will continue to influence policy in future.
Joop was a member of EFCA’s governing body, The EFCA Assembly, from its foundation and, until 2016 Secretary General and then Treasurer till 2020. His advice at Assembly meetings was always constructive and much valued. He was a great source of inspiration and support for innovation and ambitious initiatives.
He was a true gentleman and an exemplary husband travelling almost always with his beloved wife Christine. We also remember him as a kind, wise, friendly and amusing speaker at our gatherings and we will miss him very much.
“Death never takes the wise man by surprise; He is always ready to go” (Just La Fontaine). Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children, in case His two sons Hubert and Hans.
And let me finish by this short poem of unknown author: Life is but a stopping place…. A pause in what’s to be …. A resting place along the road….to sweet eternity. Rust in vrede Dear Joop