November 27, 2019 / 8:45 AM / 10 days ago

Incoming EU chief vows to fight 'existential' climate risks

European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen addresses the European Parliament ahead of a vote of Members of the European Parliament on her college of commissioners, in Strasbourg, France, November 27, 2019. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

STRASBOURG (Reuters) - German conservative Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament on Wednesday that fighting climate change was an “existential” challenge and she would ensure money was provided to help adapt economies to lower fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Speaking ahead of a final vote in the chamber to confirm her as European Commission president from Dec. 1, and also confirm the other Commission members, von der Leyen said: “We don’t have a moment to waste any more on fighting climate change.”

She said that transition towards “climate neutrality” by mid-century had to be achieved in a “sustainable way”, meaning it must keep on board workers, regions and governments that still rely on coal for jobs, energy needs and economic growth.

“It must be inclusive or it will not happen at all,” she said.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska and Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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