Despite three-hours of grilling by MEPs of the Commissioner-designate for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete failed to explain how there is no conflict of interest with his brother-in-law Miguel Domecq Solís being a director of two oil companies, reads a Transport&Environment press release.
His responses lacked substance and his performance is best summarised as being ‘everything is important’. This makes it impossible to judge how he, if confirmed, would balance objectively issues of climate, energy, costs and security, let alone how he would legislate.
Transport is responsible for 39% of final and primary energy consumption in the EU. Transport is almost entirely dependent on oil and emits 31% of the EU’s CO2 emissions.
Yet Mr Cañete did not once mention the importance of reducing oil use or tackling transport CO2 emissions specifically, for example through improving vehicle efficiency or via the opportunities offered by new clean e-mobility solutions.
Jos Dings, director of T&E, commented: “The climate action and energy portfolio needs a Commissioner who is unencumbered by conflicts of interest, and with clear and specific plans. Mr Cañete has failed to address doubts on the first test and his performance was too vague to be convincing on the second.”
“This hearing also highlights again the importance of the Green10 demands for a vice-president for sustainability and widening VP Bratusek’s Energy Union portfolio into Climate Action and Energy Union.”