Press Releases

President-elect Ursula von der Leyen unveiled the structure of the next European Commission today, putting climate policy upfront as a top priority.

In reaction to von der Leyen announcement today, Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said:

“The youth climate strikes and ever more severe climate impacts created the momentum for the new Commission to finally make climate policy a priority. Today’s announcement clearly shows that Von der Leyen recognises the need for more climate action.

Giving greater power to the Commissioner responsible for the climate, who will now oversee many other portfolios is a real opportunity to increase climate action in all sectors of the economy. A comprehensive climate policy needs to go beyond energy to transport, industry, agriculture, health and more.

We look forward to Vice-President Frans Timmermans leading the Commission’s climate work. We are expecting him to deliver on his campaign promise to urgently increase the EU’s ambition on climate. His first task is to put forward a proposal to rapidly and significantly increase the EU’s 2030 climate target.”

To keep temperature rise to safe levels, the EU needs to reach net zero emissions by 2040 at the latest and reduce emissions by 65% by 2030. Governments have little time left to fulfil one of the commitments they made in the Paris Agreements, which is to deliver, by 2020, a new and improved 2030 climate target. The EU needs to finally start the process to do so and ensure the new target is agreed in the first quarter of 2020, which would help create the momentum for other countries to follow suit.

Ania Drazkiewicz, CAN Europe Head of Communications,, +32 494 525 738

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's leading NGO coalition fighting dangerous climate change. With over 160 member organisations from 35 European countries, representing over 1.700 NGOs and more than 47 million citizens, CAN Europe promotes sustainable climate, energy and development policies throughout Europe.

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