The European Union’s appointed climate commissioner, Wopke Hoekstra, supports a tax on jet fuel kerosene. In addition, the EU must set a target of reducing emissions by at least 90 percent compared to 1990 levels by 2040, the former Dutch foreign minister said during the hearing before members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg yesterday.
The fact that kerosene, unlike diesel and petrol, is not taxed is “ridiculous”. As climate commissioner, he also wants to work to end subsidies for fossil fuels.
Kerosene tax for countervailing measures
However, the transition to a climate-neutral economy can only succeed if the population is taken into account. Hoekstra mentioned, among others, agriculture and countries of the Global South that need compensatory measures.
Hoekstra pointed to the aforementioned taxes on kerosene as well as increased income from issuing emissions certificates as potential sources of funding for such compensation measures.
It struck a self-critical tone
Hoekstra, who was Dutch finance minister in the past, also struck a self-critical tone. The conservative politician has drawn their ire during the coronavirus crisis with harsh words about budget policies in southern European member states. He described his statements at the time as a mistake.
Hoekstra is also viewed critically because he previously worked at oil company Shell and management consulting firm McKinsey. The appointed climate commissioner has largely avoided questions on the matter and has mostly pointed to his more recent role as finance minister and then foreign minister. However, during his time as a management consultant, he never worked for Shell or the European Commission, Hoekstra says.
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