Pascal Canfin in June 2010
|Minister for Development|
16 May 2012 – 31 March 2014
|Prime Minister||Jean-Marc Ayrault|
|Preceded by||Henri de Raincourt|
|Succeeded by||Annick Girardin|
|Member of the European Parliament|
14. July 2009 – 16. May 2012
3. May 2014 – 30. June 2014
22 August 1974 |
Arras, Pas-de-Calais, France
|Political party||Europe Écologie–The Greens|
|Alma mater||Bordeaux Institute of Political Studies
Pascal Canfin (born in Arras, August 22, 1974) is the head of the French section of WWF, since January 5, 2016. He was Minister for Development under the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Ayrault Cabinet and previously a Member of the European Parliament from 2009 to 2012.
From July 2014 to December 2015, he was the Senior Advisor on Climate at World Resources Institute (WRI), ranked the most influential think tank in the world  on environmental issues, on the preparation of the International climate summit to be held in Paris in December 2015 (COP21). For this matter, he also co-chaired with Alain Grandjean the Commission for innovative financing for climate, mandated by the President of the French Republic.
He also co-directs since September 2014, with Olivier Nay, the master's degree "International Cooperation, Humanitarian Action and Development Policies" of the Panthéon-Sorbonne University.
He recently published a new book entitled 30 questions for understanding the Paris climate change Conference (Les Petits Matins publishing house) to decrypt the challenges of CoP 21 and guide citizen mobilization on climate.
Between 2003 and 2009, he was a journalist for the monthly magazine Alternatives économiques and a specialist for questions linked to the environment, social economy as well as corporate social responsibility.
Alongside his journalistic work, Pascal Canfin got politically involved with the Greens (France) in France. He was responsible for the party’s Economic, Social and Public Services Committee between 2005 and 2009.
He has been a member of Europe Écologie–The Greens since its creation in 2010.
Member of the European Parliament
At the 2009 European elections, Canfin was third candidate on the list put up by Europe Écologie, an electoral alliance of which the Greens were part, in Île-de-France, behind Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Eva Joly. With 20,86% of the votes, Europe Écologie got four seats, and Canfin was elected a Member of the European Parliament on the 7th of June 2009.
In the European Parliament, Pascal Canfin sat of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and was a substitute member of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection. He was also a Vice Chairman of the Special Committee for the Financial, Economic and Social Crisis, a member of the Special Committee on Organised Crime in the EU, and a Vice Chairman of the Public Services Intergroup.
Canfin was the rapporteur on the regulation of short selling and credit default swaps (CDS). His report was discussed in the Economic Affairs Committee in January 2011, and voted as such in the Plenary Session in July 2011. He has also been a negotiator on behalf of The Greens–European Free Alliance group on several legislative texts:
- Directive for a European Financial Transaction Tax (in process);
- Regulation on Credit Rating Agencies (in process);
- Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID) (in process);
- Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM);
- European Market Infrastructure Regulation.
In June 2010, Canfin initiated a call to the MEPs of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee to create a non-governmental organisation capable of developing a counter-expertise on financial activities led by the main financial operators (banks, insurance companies, hedge funds etc.). The call was named Finance Watch. He was joined by about one hundred European, national and regional elected representatives within the European Union. A year later, in June 2011, Finance Watch was set up as a NGO.
Minister for Development
On May 16, 2012, Pascal Canfin, left the European Parliament and was nominated by François Hollande as Delegated Minister in charge of development with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In one of his first announcements as Minister for Development, Pascal Canfin considers that “France has normalized its political relations with Africa”. In his opinion, this normalization stands out in the change of the Ministry name: “the Cooperation Ministry, with all the implications that it brings, doesn’t exist anymore” he claims. Pascal Canfin adds “the dissolution of the “Africa cell”, tipping point of Françafrique system, embodies the breakdown announces by François Hollande concerning relations between France and Africa.
Development policy and sustainable development
Pascal Canfin considers development policy as closely tied up with sustainable development aims. Indeed, he intends to “make sustainability an imperative for development French policy”. In these way, undertaken projects under the aegis of “l’Agence française de développement” (AFD) have seen a turning point since the first year of his mandate: renewable energies and energy efficiency are now part of AFD investments priorities for the next three years. AFD has also adopted in April 2013 a new doctrine in agricultural matters and won’t be able to finance nor GMO’s projects or agricultural investments that wouldn’t respect FAO principles against “land grabbing”. Finally, AFD has adopted the principle that she “should include environmental and social responsibility in its procurement process”.
- Consommer responsable [Responsible Consuming]. 2008.
- L’Économie verte expliquée à ceux qui n’y croient pas [Green Economy Explained to Those Who Do Not Believe in It]. Petits Matins, 2007.
- Le Contrat écologique pour l’Europe [The Ecological Contract for Europe]. Petits Matins, 2009.
- Ce que les banques vous disent et pourquoi il ne faut presque jamais les croire [What Banks Tell You and Why You Should Almost Never Believe Them]. Petits Matins, 2012.
- 30 questions for understanding the Paris climate change Conference. Petits Matins, 2015.
- Canfin-Grandjean Commission (June 2015). Mobilizing Climate Finance, a Road-Map to Finance a Low-Carbon Economy. http://www.elysee.fr/assets/Report-Commission-Canfin-Grandjean-ENG.pdf.
- Canfin, Pascal; Staime, Peter; Snelgrove, Paul (2015-11-18). 30 questions for understanding the Paris climate change conference. Les Petits Matins.
- fr:Pascal Canfin#cite note-real-22