Brussels, Sept 18 (AFP/APP):The next European Commission taking charge of the EU from November has made an ambitious, global-leading fight against climate change the centrepiece of its mandate, putting a super vice president in charge of the issue.
The challenge has become all the more urgent as scientists say current UN projections of global warming are outdated and that average temperatures are rising faster than forecast.
Frans Timmermans, a Dutchman who missed out on being the Commission’s top dog, is the appointed green czar of Brussels, charged with pivoting the bloc towards a future of clean energy and carbon-neutral activity.
The vast task means he will supervise the work of the commissioners handling energy, fishing, agriculture, transport and food safety, all under the title of executive vice-president for the “European Green Deal”.
He will also inherit the office for climate action, from which the outgoing post-holder, Spain’s Miguel Arias Canete, negotiated the 2015 Paris climate accord in the name of the EU’s 28 member states.
“He’s one of the main politicians in the world with a lot of power in his hands,” said Pascal Canfin, the head of the environment commission in the European Parliament.
“He understands very well that he has an exceptional political window. He has the means to succeed.”