Portuguese Eurodeputies and the Climate – Sinan Eden

I participated in an open session organized Gabinete de Informação em Portugal of the European Parliament: Café Europa – A Europa e as Alterações Climáticas. The organizers invited all euro-deputies, but some were not available. -_- So we listened to

  • cafeeuropa_banner_v2_a-02Carlos Zorrinho (PS, S&D),
  • João Ferreira (PCP, GCEUE/ENV),
  • Marisa Matias (BE, GCEUE/ENV).

The speakers are also members of the Industry, Research and Energy Committee of the European Parliament, so they took active part in the preparations of the EU pledges on the way to Paris, which made the debate particularly interesting. Below are my personal notes from the discussion.

Carlos Zorrinho (PS)

Carlos Zorrinho started his speech by saying “we must change everything”, from our energy systems to how we organize our society. He said the change he is referring to would amount to a “revolution”.

I asked him: “Let’s talk in concrete terms. Are you in favour of or against TTIP [Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership]? I think deregulation and market liberalization were the Plan A which we tried for decades. Are you interested in changing this trend? Or is it not part of your “must-change-everything” proposal?”

He clearly stated he is in favour of TTIP. He also stated he was in favour of TTIP because he was in favour of trade regulations, which I took as a joke if not an insult to the intellects of the audience.

João Ferreira (PCP)

João Ferreira openly denounced market-based solutions as false solutions (he used the word “perverse.”). He mentioned that the current pledges lock us into a path of 2.7-3.5°C warming.

When I asked him if the EU pledges corresponded to the historical responsibility of European countries, he said “No.” and explained that the current mitigation pledges were around half the required amount designated by the IPCC.

Marisa Matias (BE)

Marisa Matias was also clear about deregulation and commodification being amplifiers of the climate crisis. She put a particular emphasis on global and national inequalities, both on responsibility and on impacts of climate change.

I told her about the Red Lines action that will take place during the last plenary session of COP-21, explaining that thousands will take to the streets of Paris to denounce the corporate-dominated UN process and show the real solutions of the peoples. I asked her if she would join us, and she said Yes. (And so here I record it. ^_^ )