Šefčovič grilled on climate deliverables for European Green Deal by MEPs

Commissioner who will take over ambitious portfolio for to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030, grilled by MEPs from environmnt and transport committees

Bas Eickhout (Greens) questions Maros Šefčovič
Bas Eickhout (Greens) questions Maros Šefčovič

The European Parliament’s committee on the environment, public health and food safety grilled the Slovakian commissioner Maroš Šefčovič after having been assigned the role of Commission executive vice-president for the European Green Deal.

All Commissioners are subjected to a question and answer session from MEPs in the committees that deal with the portfolio they steward, apart from a series of written answers.

Šefčovič underlined the need to finalise the work on the European Grean Deal “with urgency and courage”, while ensuring the proper implementation of already-agreed measures.

The committees on Industry, Research and Energy, on Transport and Tourism and on Agriculture and Rural Development participated in the hearing.

Šefčovič is currently in charge of the Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight portfolio in the college of Commissioners. He was assigned the role of Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal following Frans Timmermans’ decision to resign and run as a candidate in the forthcoming Dutch general election.

He said that in the remaining months of his mandate he would seek the support of citizens for the Green Deal and bring all pending proposals to fruition while rolling out agreed files on the vast package of measures.

The European Green Deal is financed by one-third of the €1.8 trillion investments from the NextGenerationEU Recovery Plan, and the EU’s seven-year budget will finance the European Green Deal. The European Commission has adopted a set of proposals to make the EU’s climate, energy, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

Šefčovič underlined his full support for the conclusion of outstanding climate action files, such as those dealing with nature restoration, ecodesign for sustainable products, critical raw materials, electricity market design, methane emissions and energy performance of buildings.

MEPs asked Šefčovič on his plans to coordinate EU climate action, requesting a commitment for a science-based EU climate target for 2040; how he would ensure the full and timely implementation of EU environmental laws in all EU countries, including the legislation adopted under the Green Dea; when the Commission would adopt the legislative framework for sustainable food systems; and how the needs of stakeholders, including consumers, farmers, foresters and rural communities, would be taken into consideration.

Other MEPs asked how he would facilitate negotiations on the EU Nature Restoration Law to ensure a compromise between Parliament and Council and which actions from the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 he intends to still deliver – including on funding targets.

The need to work closer with industry was also raised by MEPs, who questioned the Executive Vice-President on how he would create sectoral roadmaps in line with the EU Climate Law. Other MEPs asked about animal welfare, REACH revision, micro plastics and the role of nuclear energy in the green transition.

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