Kadri Simson, the European Commissioner designate for Energy, spoke before the EP’s ITRE Committee ahead of formally taking on the role on November 01. The topics covered by Simson included the financing of EU climate goals, energy security, energy poverty, carbon border tax, gas infrastructure etc.
During her introductory speech, Ms Simson underlined the central role energy have to play in the European Green Deal, for the first 100 days of the new EC. She also committed to reviewing the EU’s legislation on energy with the aim of making the EU climate neutral by 2050. Then, she expressed her support for the objective of the EU to increase its 2030 reduction target to cut CO2 emissions by at least 50% and possibly up to 55%.
The representatives of the EP’s various political groupings, within the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) questioned the Estonian Commissioner designate and some of them expressed mixed feelings with Simson’s answers to future energy infrastructure developments. ITRE mainly looks at how to finance the EU’s goals in this area, as well as ways to increase the use and efficiency of RES, plus ensuring European energy security.
To get the green-light for the role, Ms Simson received a two-thirds majority. Based on the committees’ recommendations, the Conference of Presidents will decide on 17 October if Parliament has received sufficient information to declare the hearing process closed. If so, the plenary will vote on whether or not to elect the Commission as a whole on 23 October, in Strasbourg.