Energy Efficiency Directive: ETUC calls on Member States to give a strong jobs signal through higher ambitions

Brussels, 03/05/2012

The Commission’s original proposal was already very conservative in its scope and demands”, stated Judith Kirton-Darling, ETUC Confederal Secretary, ahead of the meeting, “and now national governments are watering down those limited demands, rather than seeing energy efficiency as a means of creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in Europe. Jobs we need urgently!

The European Trade Union Confederation has long called for binding energy efficiency targets at European and national level to achieve at least an improvement of 20% by 2020, with a clear role for worker participation and training.

The Commission’s original impact assessment argued that 2.4 million jobs could be created through its limited proposals.

To illustrate the opportunities offered through social dialogue and worker engagement, the German “Alliance for Employment and the Environment” has provided strong evidence of the net return on investment in energy efficiency and renovation programmes. This alliance brings together a wide panel of stakeholders: government, social partners and non-governmental environmental organisations. It resulted, through dialogue and active involvement of all stakeholders, in the renovation of over 2.4 million apartments, delivering a reduction in CO2 emissions of 1 million tonnes in 2006 and 1.5 million tonnes in 2009. Meanwhile it created 221,000 jobs in 2008 and 340,000 jobs in 2010, mainly in the skilled trades and construction sectors but also in the production of construction products (insulating glass, thermal insulation materials, etc.), and finally, in professional activities such as architecture, consultancy and engineering.

We firmly believe that this and other good practice examples provide strong models for other countries and in other sectors. However, this demands political will and engagement. We want to see EU member states demonstrate that political on Friday and in the coming weeks to reach an agreement which shows ambition not stagnation”, stated Judith Kirton-Darling.

- ETUC position on the EED: