In his inaugural address, the newly appointed EU climate chief, Wopke Hoekstra, made a resounding call for expediting the shift away from fossil fuels. His impassioned plea underlined the significance of a prompt departure from fossil fuels, citing their counterproductivity to the EU’s energy transition.
The cornerstone of the EU’s environmental transformation is the Green Deal, which Mr. Hoekstra regards as the linchpin for this transition. He stressed the imperative of sustaining the EU’s climate ambitions by swiftly concluding ongoing climate negotiations and proposing an ambitious climate target for 2040 early in 2024. This proactive approach underscores the EU’s commitment to climate neutrality and demonstrates its dedication to international cooperation.
Importantly, Mr. Hoekstra acknowledged that achieving climate neutrality is a collective effort necessitating global collaboration and financial support. He highlighted the vital role of global cooperation and climate finance, especially in the context of the upcoming UN climate change conference COP28. He pledged to exert relentless efforts towards success in Dubai, recognizing that creating a comprehensive “Loss and Damage coalition” is essential to secure finances for developing nations and foster trust.
A core tenet of Mr. Hoekstra’s vision is the phased elimination of fossil fuels and the subsidies associated with them. He emphasized that expediting this phase-out is not just an aspiration but a pressing need. “The sooner fossil fuels become history, the better,” he declared, underscoring their adverse impact on the EU’s energy transition.
In conclusion, Mr. Hoekstra’s address set a tone of urgency and determination, signaling a proactive approach to climate action. The EU, under his leadership, is set to advocate for global collaboration, assertive climate targets, and the acceleration of the renewable energy transition, emphasizing that the time to leave fossil fuels behind is now.