Climate and Environment Win Centre Stage in New European Commission | WWF

Climate and Environment Win Centre Stage in New European Commission



Posted on 11 September 2019
2019 September 10 – (Brussels, Belgium) - WWF welcomes the appointment of a Commission Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal who will also act as Commissioner for Climate Change and oversee the work of the Commissioners for Agriculture, Health, Transport, Energy, Cohesion and Reforms as well as Environment and Oceans. Frans Timmermans mandate letter emphasises his responsibility to mainstream biodiversity priorities across all relevant policy areas. However, the proposed One In, One Out Principle* risks limiting increased ambition.
 
The structure presented by Commission President-elect von der Leyen shows that she is following through on her climate and environmental promises by giving the highest level of attention to delivering on a European Green Deal,” said Ester Asin, Director of the WWF European Policy Office. “Frans Timmermans will also hold the climate portfolio, and thus be in a strong position to ensure that climate action and environmental protection is mainstreamed throughout all other relevant sectors, such as agriculture, energy and transport. He will now need to work closely together with all Commissioners to achieve this mission.”
 
During the current legislative period, Timmermans has demonstrated his strong commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). WWF calls on him to lead the European Commission to adopt an overarching EU strategy for the domestic implementation of the SDGs, a step that is urgently required in order for the European Green Deal to succeed.
 
Despite his lack of green credentials, Lithuanian Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius has been handed the environment and oceans portfolio. His mission letter emphasises a strong focus on halting biodiversity loss both within Europe and globally, as well as addressing the pressures facing our oceans ranging from overfishing to plastic pollution. It is now up to the European Parliament to ensure in the upcoming hearing that he demonstrates strong leadership on climate neutrality, nature conservation and the protection of our oceans.
 
Overall, the picture looks good. But the devil is of course in the details. The proposal to develop a ‘one in, one out’ instrument in order to limit the body of European legislation - including on the environment - risks having a chilling effect on initiatives needed to achieve the European Green Deal. Before approving the new College, Parliament must oppose this principle, or else it will undermine increased environmental and climate ambition,” said Ester Asin.

Contact:
Irene Lucius
Regional Conservation Director,
WWF Central and Eastern Europe
ilucius@wwfcee.org, Tel: +43 1 52 45 470 19

Angelika Pullen
Communications Director,
WWF European Policy Office
apullen@wwf.eu
+32 473 947 966
 
 *"Every legislative proposal creating new burdens should relieve people and businesses of an equivalent existing burden at EU level in the same policy area. The Commission will also work with Member States to ensure that, when transposing EU legislation, they do not add unnecessary administrative burden." (source)