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11 Sep 2019, 13:58
Freja Eriksen

Climate protection “at the heart” of von der Leyen's new European Commission – media

Euractiv / Tagesspiegel Background

A commitment to making Europe "the world’s first climate-neutral continent" will be "at the heart" of President-elect Ursula von der Leyen's European Commission, news website Euractiv writes following von der Leyen's presentation of her new team of commissioners and citing the former German defence minister's own formulation.
With an "experienced and assertive" politician like the Dutch Frans Timmermans now responsible for the European Green Deal and climate change portfolio, the commission "can be expected to step up climate protection efforts," the Centre for European Policy told Tagesspiegel Background. Timmermans had already positioned himself strongly on climate during his election campaign, advocating for an EU-wide introduction of a CO2 and a kerosene tax, but now it is time to become "much more concrete”, writes Susanne Ehlerding in Tagesspiegel Background. Timmermans will coordinate four other commissioners who will be involved in the area of climate protection. Among them, commissioner for energy Kadri Simson has been tasked with ensuring “Europe follows the energy-efficiency-first principle across the board” and lifting the expansion of renewable energy, reports Euractiv. Members of the European Parliament are yet to approve von der Leyen's choices.

Von der Leyen has promised a Green Deal for Europe in her first 100 days in office, including a continent-wide "climate law" that enshrines the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 into law. Lawmakers in the European Parliament backed her election as President-elect by only a slim majority.

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