Wopke Hoekstra - EPP Congress Rotterdam, photo from https://www.flickr.com/photos/eppofficial/52114756929/

50 orgs say no to fossil fuel ally Hoekstra as EU Climate Commissioner.

50 organisations have signed an open letter to the coordinators of the European Parliament Environment Committee, calling on them to reject the nomination of Dutch fossil fuel ally Wopke Hoekstra as the new Climate Commissioner.

To: Pascal Canfin, Bas Eickhout, Cesar Luena, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Anja Hazekamp


Re: Wopke Hoekstra’s nomination


Dear members of the ENVI Committee,


Extreme weather has hit our homes hard across Europe this summer. Ravaging wildfires, flash floods, and drought have caused devastation as well as integral damage to our food and water systems. These events serve as a strong reminder of the urgent need to accelerate our efforts in combating climate change.


At this important moment in time, European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen has nominated Dutch Christian Democrat Wopke Hoekstra as new climate commissioner, taking over from Frans Timmermans. 


We believe Mr. Hoekstra is not the right person for this crucial position. Not only does he lack expertise and experience in dealing with climate change issues, he also has a history of aligning very closely with fossil fuel interests. 


Specifically, we have the following concerns about Mr. Hoekstra:

  • During his private and political career of over 20 years, he has no track record of individually promoting or pushing for policies and measures that contribute to solving the climate crisis. He also has no experience in international climate negotiations.
  • Instead of that, he has a track record of working for over 15 years, between 2002 and 2017, with corporations that promote fossil fuel interests. 
  • While being minister of Finance in the Netherlands, he pleaded against rapidly ending gas exploitation in Groningen, despite the massive negative impacts gas drilling had on hundreds of thousands of citizens. This was reported in a recent Dutch parliamentary inquiry into the gas debacle.
  • Earlier this year, Hoekstra, as leader of his political party, personally blocked government plans for reducing nitrogen emissions that were aiming to bring Dutch policy measures in line with EU legislation on nature protection.
  • As Finance minister he provided 3.4 billion EUR in support to aviation company KLM during COVID19, without attaching any environmental, climate or other conditions to this package.

We strongly believe that, with such a track record, Mr. Hoekstra cannot lead the EU on climate policies. We therefore are asking you not to accept Mr. Hoekstra’s nomination and give a strong recommendation to President Von Der Leyen that Mr. Hoekstra can not be appointed as climate commissioner. 


If we want to prevent and mitigate climate disasters in the future, it is crucial that governments free themselves from the influence of the fossil fuel industry by introducing and implementing a conflict-of-interest framework. Making a person with strong and long-time links with oil and gas interests responsible for EU climate policies is the wrong step.


Yours sincerely,

Chloé Mikolajczak

Coordinator of the Fossil free politics campaign

On behalf of:

Corporate Europe Observatory

Food and Water Action Europe

Friends of the Earth Europe

Global Witness


Fossil Free Sweden

Attac Austria

Working group Food Justice

Enginyeria sense Fronteres

South Durban Community Environmental Alliance

Fracking Free Clare

Grandmothers Act to Save the Planet (GASP)

CEE Bankwatch Network

The Energy Poverty Research initiative


Naturefriends Greece

WeMove Europe

Fundacja Otwarty Plan 

Fossil Free Parliament

Mouvement Ecologique, FoE Luxembourg

Friends of the Earth Malta

Common Weal

La Ruta del Clima


NOAH - Friends of the Earth Denmark

National Society of Conservationists - Friends of the Earth Hungary

Centre for Citizens Conserving Environment (CECIC)

Rise For Climate Belgium 

Green Liberty

Focus Association for Sustainable Development

Estonian Green Movement (FoE Estonia)


ActionAid International 

Fresh Eyes 

Attac France

Global Justice Now

BUNDjugend (Young friends of the Earth Germany)

Friends of the Earth U.S.

Lurraren semealabak

Zelena akcija/FoE Croatia

Earth Action, Inc. 

Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business 

Friends of the Earth Spain

International Society of Doctors for Environment-ISDE


Friends of the Earth International 

Jordens Vänner / Friends of the Earth

Environmental Association Za Zemiata / FoE Bulgaria



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