Environment Committee MEPs assessed the skills, experience and suitability of Commissioner-designate for Climate Action Wopke Hoekstra on 2 October. He is set to replace Frans Timmermans, who resigned on 22 August to run as a candidate in the forthcoming general elections in the Netherlands.
During his introductory speech, Mr Hoekstra stressed that the Green Deal lays the foundation for the EU’s green transition and underlined that it is of utmost importance to maintain continuity in the EU’s climate ambitions. He hopes to ensure this by swiftly concluding pending climate negotiations and by proposing an ambitious climate target for 2040 in the first quarter of 2024, he said. Mr Hoekstra emphasised that the EU “cannot reach climate neutrality alone”. Global cooperation and climate finance are key during the upcoming UN climate change conference COP28, he stressed, vowing to work “non-stop for success in Dubai”.
He underlined that building a global “Loss and Damage coalition” is crucial to raise finance for developing countries and build trust. Finally, Mr Hoekstra stressed the importance of phasing out fossil fuels, as well as fossil fuels subsidies. “The sooner fossil fuels become history, the better”, he said, as they are “counterproductive for the EU’s energy transition”.
Based on the committee’s recommendations and the assessment by the Conference of Committee Chairs, the Conference of Presidents will conduct the final evaluation and decide whether to close the hearing process and hold a plenary vote.
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