In an interview with Axadle in Strasbourg, the chairman of the environment committee of the European Parliament reacted to the recent COP27 climate summit in Egypt. Pascal Canfin hailed the “loss and damage” deal for vulnerable countries as “better than nothing” and welcomed the fact that China has been asked to contribute to it.
The COP27 conference in Charm-el-Cheikh, Egypt ended without any major agreement to accelerate the global green transition. Countries renewed their commitment to limit temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, but without any concrete plan to do so.
Canfin, however, hailed the “breakthrough” for a “loss and damage” deal, which aims to provide funding to countries most affected by climate change: small island states facing disappearance due to rising sea levels, but also African countries suffering from drought . MEPs called the result “better than nothing” and welcomed the fact that China, the world’s biggest polluter, has been asked to contribute to it – at the EU’s insistence.
However, China remains a source of concern in the transport sector. Canfin pointed out that since EU countries only have 13 years to switch to electric vehicles, there is a risk of becoming dependent on Chinese lithium batteries. Canfin said the EU must develop this market, adding that the bloc is currently on track to become the world’s second largest producer of lithium batteries by 2025.
Asked about the acceptance of environmental measures by society as a whole, Canfin said this was “a key element” that needed to be taken into account. He warned of the importance of not making the mistake of “taxing people on the climate when they are vulnerable households or when they have to use their car to go to work”, a nod to the yellow vest protests that took place in France over an increase in the fuel tax.