The EU nominee to be climate commissioner Wopke Hoekstra has been instructed to look into opportunities for carbon capture as a means of combating climate change.
Hoekstra was addressed by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen via letter, in which she calls for stronger efforts to present a strategy for the use of the technology.
Hoekstra has previously worked at the McKinsey consulting group and for oil supermajor Shell, whereas now he is set to take over the role of EU climate chief starting October this year.
The mandate to explore carbon capture technology in the context of adjusting emissions reduction targets is quite controversial and has received mixed reactions, as not all member states support the idea.
Specifically, the vote on whether or not to upgrade the emissions reduction goal of 55% to 57% by 2030 caused a deep divide among EU countries.
As the new climate action commissioner, Hoekstra will oversee the upcoming discussions revolving around the bloc’s 2040 emissions reduction target, which the European scientific advisory board on climate change suggested be in the range of 90-95%, compared to 1990 levels.
The EU directive is in line with the IPCC’s latest Synthesis Report, released in March 2023, which stresses the need to start deploying carbon capture solutions at scale, if we are to have any chance at limiting rising global temperatures.