(Bloomberg) -- European Union lawmakers will approve former Dutch foreign minister Wopke Hoekstra as their next climate commissioner, setting him up to represent the bloc at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai in November.
Legislators gathered in Strasbourg, France, will vote Thursday to approve Hoekstra’s nomination and that of Slovakia’s Maros Sefcovic, who has been appointed executive vice president overseeing the green deal. The vote is a formality after coordinators from two-thirds of the political groups signaled their support at a meeting Wednesday.
Hoekstra and Sefcovic were grilled by lawmakers for over three hours on the extent of their climate ambition. Both pledged they would look to set a target of cutting the EU’s emissions by 90% by 2040 in a communication due to be presented next year.
“This is a success for the climate across the board,” Michael Bloss, a German lawmaker from the greens in the European Parliament. “The Commission has caved to our every demand, shattering the Conservative barricade against climate protection.”
The two men faced some of their toughest questions over their previous professional links. Hoekstra faced criticism over his roles as a partner at management consultant firm McKinsey and Co., and having previously worked at oil giant Shell Plc.
Sefcovic was asked to commit to the EU’s stance on Russia following its war in Ukraine, given his previous links to former Slovak prime minister Robert Fico, who is on track to return to the eastern European nation’s premiership and has derided the EU’s sanctions against Moscow.
He laid out a timetable for the remaining green deal issues, such as preventing microplastic pollution. The commission would continue to work on rules governing chemicals, he said.
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