Europeans can’t afford empty promises on climate action
Brussels, 03 October 2023 – Wopke Hoekstra’s rhetoric display in last night’s questioning by the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment (ENVI) must be backed by urgent action. President Von der Leyen’s nomination of Hoekstra to be the next EU Climate Commissioner has already raised serious concerns around the EU Commission’s commitment on climate action.
Given Hoesktra’s poor track record on climate issues, he will have to prove himself quickly in the crucial role of EU Climate Commissioner. His pledge to follow scientific advice for the 2040 climate target proposal, committing to support a target of at least -90% net emission cuts, and to do more on climate action across the EU shows that he is feeling the pressure on him to deliver, but he will need to prove himself in action, not words alone.
The stark contrast between Hoekstra’s promises and his previous actions, also highlighted by several MEPs during yesterday’s hearing, and the vagueness of several of his announcements, raises questions about the credibility of his pledges which could significantly impact the EU’s reputation as a climate leader during COP 28 later this year. It is the responsibility of Executive Vice-President for the Green Deal, Maroš Šefčovič, and European Commission President von der Leyen to hold Hoesktra accountable and ensure he delivers affirmative EU climate action in line with the bloc’s commitments under the Paris Agreement.
“People across Europe and the world can no longer afford empty promises on climate action. Wopke Hoekstra’s words last night must be backed by urgent action. The EU must overshoot the -55% net emissions reductions target for 2030 and ensure it reaches net zero emissions no later than by 2040. In addition, the EU needs to strengthen its role as global leader at COP28 in bringing the fossil fuels era to an end and urgently fulfil the promises to provide sufficient financial support, primarily to the most vulnerable regions in the Global South for a just transition. This is the standard that the European Commission and EU institutions must set and achieve.” – Chiara Martinelli, Director at CAN Europe