The European Commission will stand firm on its climate objectives while aiming to ensure that companies and citizens continue to support the transition to net-zero emissions, pledged the new head of the bloc’s landmark green deal.
(Bloomberg) — The European Commission will stand firm on its climate objectives while aiming to ensure that companies and citizens continue to support the transition to net-zero emissions, pledged the new head of the bloc’s landmark green deal.
“We are not going to dilute our ambition because it would be like shooting ourselves in the foot,” Maros Sefcovic, commission executive vice president, told a group of reporters. “No one should be left behind.”
Sefcovic took over the responsibilities of Frans Timmermans, who resigned last week to lead the Dutch left alliance in elections in November. Timmermans’s final months in the post were marred by a fierce backlash from center-right groups over the pace of the transition and measures to help restore nature in the region.
Read more: ‘Culture Wars’ Are Risking Paralysis of Europe’s Green Deal
Sefcovic will now head up the bloc’s efforts to implement the Green Deal — a package of measures designed to put the EU on course for net zero by the middle of the century.
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed Wopke Hoekstra as the new Dutch commissioner to the European Council and Parliament. If confirmed, Hoekstra, currently Dutch foreign minister, would be in charge of climate action under the guidance of Sefcovic, von der Leyen said in a statement after interviewing Hoekstra on Tuesday.
Hoekstra will also represent the bloc at the United Nations’ COP28 climate negotiations later this year, assuming he’s been formally installed as a commissioner before the November summit, Sefcovic said.
The bulk of the EU’s legislation to cut emissions by 55% this decade have been agreed, but the commission is due to present early next year its climate roadmap for the next decade. Scientists have said that the commission should reduce greenhouse gases by as much as 95% by 2040. Sefcovic acknowledged that some sectors had “natural worries” over the net-zero agenda.
“We need to communicate better,” he said.
–With assistance from Ewa Krukowska.
(Updates with details on Hoekstra’s nomination in 5th graph.)
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