The Industry, Research and Energy Committee questioned Kadri Simson, Estonian Commissioner-designate for Energy. The president and political groups’ coordinators from the committee will meet within 24 hours to assess the performance of Commissioner-designate Kadri Simson.

Financing the energy transition to reach EU climate goals

During her introductory speech, Ms Simson said that she believes energy has a central role to play in the European Green Deal, to be presented within the first 100 days of the new Commission. She committed to reviewing the EU’s legislation on energy with the aim of making the EU climate neutral by 2050. By 2021, the EU should increase its 2030 reduction target to cut CO2 emissions by at least 50% and possibly up to 55%. This is conceivable, while still remaining competitive globally, Simson stressed.

MEPs put forward several questions on how to finance the reform of the EU’s energy mix and reach the EU’s climate objectives. “Through the EU budget and by making the European Investment Bank a climate bank”, she replied.

MEPs underlined the importance of the Just Transition Fund to support the regions most dependent on coal production to transition to renewable energy and stressed that this transition must ensure affordable energy for all consumers. They also wanted to know if the Commissioner-designate supports raising the EU’s 2030 targets on renewable energy and energy efficiency.

During the hearing, MEPs also raised issues such as energy security, gas supply, offshore wind farms, research, nuclear energy, and carbon capture and storage.

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.

EPP: Kadri Simson can fill role as Energy Commissioner

“With a mixed reaction to the hearing of Commissioner-designate Kadri Simson, the EPP Group considers that the overall impression is acceptable – not least because we have a lot of common ground with her when it comes to energy policy,” said Christian Ehler MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on Industry, Research and Energy in the European Parliament.

“The EPP Group strongly supports the goals of the Energy Union in the European Union that will deliver secure, clean and affordable energy to all. We also stand for the right of each Member State of the European Union to decide on their energy mix – an important point, which was backed by Kadri Simson in the hearing.”