Climate policies: adopting a development strategy is an urgent necessity

Brussels, 04/06/2010

The centre of gravity of global growth has shifted to Asia and Latin America. In these new circumstances and considering today's unprecedented crisis, Europe needs its own development project. It urgently has to develop strong, sustainable and dynamic industrial policies based on a low-carbon approach and the use of new technologies. At the same time, Europe needs to safeguard and reinforce its unique social model whilst respecting and strengthening its commitments to developing countries.

To achieve these objectives and successfully take up the climate challenge, considerable funds will have to be made available, at European as well as territorial and sectoral level. The European Union must therefore:

- Mobilise and strengthen existing resources for climate policies, particularly those of the European Investment Bank and the Structural Funds;
- Reform its governance of funds used to combat climate change, in particular by making respect for social and environmental principles a prior condition for obtaining project financing;
- Use innovative new sources of finance, such as a tax on financial transactions.

The European Commission declares itself in its communiqué of 26 May that "countries worldwide are recognising the potential of green, low-carbon growth to create new sustainable jobs and strengthen energy security". So the time has come to mobilise resources to put in place this strategy, which can also make a positive contribution to managing today's crisis.

On behalf of the ETUC, Deputy General Secretary Joël Decaillon also notes that such a strategy will only be a genuine development strategy if the conditions for a just transition are satisfied. This includes initiatives and consultation bodies that involve the social partners, at intersectoral level as well as in all key sectors, dedicated to management of the transition to a low-carbon economy: concerted choices of priority research and development themes, investments in low-carbon technologies, development of skills and adapted training strategies that are well thought out and provided at the right time thanks to social dialogue and anticipation of needs, so that the green jobs created will also be quality jobs.

The ETUC therefore asks the Environment Council on 11 June and the European Council on 17-18 June to take fully into consideration these proposals and social needs and to contribute to building a Europe of solidarity by means of a development strategy.

Press release