Hoekstra’s weak climate waffle doesn’t convince Left
After another round of written statements regarding the two Commissioners designate, Hoekstra and Šefčovič , The Left maintains its clear stance: people and planet deserve better than these candidates to lead EU climate policy. We need to end the influence of the fossil fuel lobbies over EU policy and make sure social and ecological justice go hand in hand.
“Our political group voted against the appointment of Hoekstra and Šefčovič in the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) this morning. His career at Shell and McKinsey, his ministerial role, and his party leadership at the Dutch CDA have been unequivocally detrimental to the climate”, says Left MEP Anja Hazekamp (Partij voor de Dieren). EU Commissioner designate Wopke Hoekstra represents the fossil fuel lobby and does not convincingly demonstrate competence as a climate protector. “We believe that we have to change the system, not the climate. Wopke Hoekstra’s track record represents the system. We stand alongside civil society. Without a sense of urgency, we will continue on the same path we have for fifty years. Emissions will continue to grow, temperatures will continue to rise, and catastrophic climate events will persist”, Left MEP Silvia Modig (Vasemmistoliitto) states.
Co-Presidents of The Left, Manon Aubry (La France Insoumise) and Martin Schirdewan (DIE LINKE, Germany) say: “To entrust the helm of our climate policy to a former Shell employee, whose career trajectory clearly prioritizes profit over the planet, must serve as a wake-up call. It extends beyond the immediate concern of Hoekstra potentially reversing climate action; it symbolizes a broader issue of intertwining politics with fossil fuel interests. It’s a call to fortify our political landscape, creating a firewall that safeguards decision-making for the greater good and minimizes undue influence of private interests. Politics is not a charade or a game of poker. Deals made behind closed doors between the Social Democrats and the Conservatives are unworthy games that severely harm the cause. It is appalling that even the Greens are signaling their approval for Hoekstra and Šefčovič .This reveals how some political groups play games with the fundamental challenges of our time, such as climate justice, to then reduce them to empty words.”
During his tenure as a policymaker in the Netherlands, Hoekstra played a significant role in exacerbating the nitrogen crisis and supporting major polluters like KLM by providing them with billions in subsidies and waiving restrictions on their emission targets. In his previous positions at McKinsey and Shell, Hoekstra primarily served the fossil fuel interests of multinational corporations.
The two minority positions from the Left in verbatim:
On Wopke Hoekstra:
“The Left group does not consider the candidate to be up to the required standards of transparency and independence, nor has he displayed a credible commitment to climate action.”
On Maroš Šefčovič: “The Left does not consider that the Commissioner has shown an awareness of the need to accelerate on the European Green Deal by failing to commit to deliver on critical promised legislative proposals in this mandate.”