September 27, 2021

Philippe Lamberts: ‘The time for free trade naivety is over!’

The proposals of the European Commission ‘have the merit of existing’ according to Philippe Lamberts: ‘55%, this is undeniable progress compared to the current target of 40%, but Europeans should reduce their carbon emissions by 60 to 65% ‘if we want to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement. And the climatic tensions that Europe and North America have experienced in recent weeks ‘remind us of the absolute urgency to act.’

One of the Commission’s proposals is a major overhaul of the European carbon market. ‘We have to put a lot more pressure so that carbon costs a lot more,’ insists Philippe Lamberts. ‘The time for free trade naivety is over’ and, contrary to what the Commission suggests, ‘it is better to put pressure on industries rather than consumers’, as the risk would be to see a new wave of challenges such as that of the yellow vests in France in 2018. European importers, industries, all will therefore have to review their copy in order to align with this Green Pact. The car manufacturers are the first, with the end of the sale of combustion engines in 2035. ‘That combustion engines must disappear is obvious!’, Assures Philippe Lamberts, who would have preferred that this happen as early as 2030.

The European Union also pledges to plant three billion trees in order to strengthen the role of forests in absorbing carbon and preserve a highly profitable timber industry in Europe. Philippe Lamberts notes ‘all the ambiguity of this measure’ supported by ‘a number of States in which the forestry industry is extremely powerful’ and which consists in producing in quantity for agrofuels ‘harmful to the climate’, just like industrial forestry, even though ‘European forests, even protected forests, are in very poor condition and no longer manage to play their role as carbon absorbers’.

On July 15, the European Commission launched an infringement procedure against Poland and Hungary for their failure to respect the rights of LGBT + people, which could lead to referral to the Court of Justice of the EU and then to sanctions. financial. ‘So far, we have not found a way to bring them back to positions more in line with the values of the EU’, regrets Philippe Lamberts. So maybe ‘the only thing that’ll really make them think about it is when we hit the wallet.’ Warsaw and Budapest have two months to respond.

Malta has finally given up on closing its borders to people not vaccinated against Covid-19, on the other hand imposing a quarantine on them. Such a measure was contrary to European rules. ‘Travel must be limited while giving a minimum of freedom’ to European citizens ‘because our societies are extremely tense and exhausted’. This is why the European Union produced the health certificate, ‘a common sense tool’ according to Philippe Lamberts, for whom it is ‘regrettable that a number of member states refuse to use it’.