On 1st December 2019, a new European Commission, led by President Ursula von der Leyen, takes office. For the energy portfolio, the new Commissioner will be Kadri Simson.
After last week’s vote of approval by the European Parliament of the college of Commissioners (see President von der Leyen’s speech, available in EN, FR and DE), the new European executive starts its work today. Ms Simson, Estonia’s former Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, will be in charge of steering European energy policy throughout the 5 years of the Commission’s mandate.
Her objectives will be to focus on further developing an integrated, interconnected and properly functioning European energy market, in order to help keep prices down for consumers, help increase the use of clean energy and make energy supply more reliable and secure. This will be done whilst empowering people and regions, and supporting those most affected and most exposed by the transition to a cleaner and more efficient energy system.
To become the world’s first climate-neutral continent, Europe must reduce emissions further and faster, and by at least 50% for 2030. Given energy production and use accounts for 75% of the EU’s emissions, energy will have a central role to play in the European Green Deal, which, in the words of President von der Leyen, “is a must for the health of our planet and our people – and for our economy.”
The European Green Deal is the EU’s new growth strategy. It will help cut emissions while creating jobs. It is a generational transition towards climate neutrality by mid-century. But it must serve the European people and must be just and inclusive. It will require massive investment in innovation, research, infrastructure, housing, and the training of people, and will entail large public and private investments at European and national level.
Commissioner Simson will be supported by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy in her work, and she will operate under the guidance of the Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans.
2 December 2019