Juncker makes controversial choices for Commission environment and energy portfolios

Press release - September 10, 2014
Brussels - Commenting on the choice of candidates for the new Commission led by incoming president Jean-Claude Juncker, Greenpeace EU managing director Mahi Sideridou said:

"Juncker’s team is full of surprises – not all of them good. The merging of environment and fisheries and a set-up with two commissioners with energy portfolios are certainly controversial choices. Given their track record, some candidates could also struggle in their hearings at the European Parliament."

“Overall, it’s vital for the new Commission to make a fresh start after years of apathy on environmental policy in the EU. Juncker and his team will have to pull their socks up to effectively tackle the burning questions of climate change and energy security. They have a responsibility to improve the lives of Europeans by cleaning up the environment and developing a more sustainable economy. To do this they will have to stand up to powerful private interests and instead protect the long-term prosperity of millions of people across Europe.”

On the appointment of Miguel Arias Cañete as climate and energy change commissioner, Sideridou added:

“A capable and proactive commissioner could help steer the EU towards deep carbon cuts and a clean, efficient energy system. It’s a vitally important role and Cañete is a surprising choice, given his connections to the oil industry. To prove he is the right man for the job, he’ll have to resolve conflicts of interests and improve on his environmental record as a minister.                              

"With events in Iraq and Ukraine stoking fears about Europe's energy security, and climate change undermining political stability, we need a Commission that recognises the importance of reducing our dependence on dirty, imported fossil fuels.”

Contact: Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911,

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