Timmermans: ‘We can still rectify the climate problems’

SustainabilityNov 10 ’22 4:25 PMAuthor: BNR Web Editor

European Commissioner Frans Timmermans rightly says that people are more concerned about their energy bills than about the climate. ‘That takes precedence for now, but we can combine ‘what goes before’ with what needs to happen in the long term. The only way to reduce sustainable energy prices is by producing much more renewable energy.’

‘Because that renewable energy is beneficial. Gas, on the other hand, is really no longer cheap’, says Timmermans in BNR De Wereld. ‘Investing in sustainable energy also means investing in lower energy bills for our citizens. You can combine combating the immediate crisis with combating the long-term crisis.’

Doomsday scenarios

According to the European Commissioner, we must at the same time take the climate into account and adapt to it. “Ignoring facts and science has become a kind of sport and we have to get rid of that,” he says. According to Timmermans, the science is unambiguous: the temperature rise is the result of human actions and that temperature rise is running out of control. In Europe, the temperature rise is even higher than elsewhere. “It’s nice if you have 17 degrees in November, but it’s much less nice if you have 50 degrees in summer and all crops fail.”

podcast | Listen to the whole conversation between Bernhard Hammelburg and Frans Timmermans here

In order to realize this adaptation, Timmermans prefers to emphasize what is still possible instead of the doomsday scenarios. “It is serious but we can still solve it,” says the MEP. ‘The International Climate Panel also says the situation is serious, but we can still get out of it if we act now.’

Positive side effects

For example, Timmermans sees a number of positive side effects of the current crises, such as better home insulation, opting for a heat pump instead of a gas boiler and the rapid adaptation of electric cars. ‘These are positive examples where the consumer is not asked too much. The advantage is also quickly seen by the consumer and the business community is also increasingly picking up on it.’ Timmermans thinks seeing the benefits is a better attitude than ‘just preaching hell and damnation’.

Read also | Damage caused by climate change for the first time official topic of discussion during climate summit

Yet the MEP is also concerned because of the cynicism among people as a result of the doomsday message. “What I’m concerned about is people falling into despair, that would be an absolute tragedy. We can still straighten it out, I’m a grandfather myself and I see it as my duty to do something there.’

MEP for the Green Deal Frans Timmermans finds it understandable that people are more concerned about their energy bills than about the climate. (EPA / Julien Warnand)

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