The ETUC calls for the implementation of the climate policies as part of development strategy for Europe

Brussels, 15/06/2010

Following the study commissioned by the ETUC, ‘Climate change, new industrial policies and ways out of the crisis’, a new brochure on the subject was presented at a press conference held on 15 June. Joël Decaillon, ETUC Deputy General Secretary, used it to sum up the proposals set out by the ETUC. There is an urgent need for the European Union:

- to define coordinated European industrial policies

- to promote coordinated global initiatives on research and development and the sharing of scientific knowledge

- to develop and disseminate green technologies at global level by means of technology transfer policies and balanced rules governing intellectual property, which take account both of these needs and of the social and economic objectives of those providing R&D funding

- to create a European agency charged with setting the benchmarks and carbon traceability extended to all products, such an agency being open to the social partners

- to establish an instrument (specifically coordinating the existing instruments such as the sectoral councils) making it possible to anticipate the socio-economic transitions and bolstering the dialogue between the social partners and the public authorities, while tackling the challenges of the industrial restructuring operations facing the new Member States

- to mobilise and strengthen the existing resources for climate policies, notably those of the European Investment Bank and the structural funds

- to reform its system of governance of the funds used to combat climate change, specifically by making respect for social and environmental principles an obligation to be complied with before project funding can be secured

- to use new, innovative sources of funding, such as a tax on financial transactions.
The European Commission itself reports in its communication dated 26 May that States all over the world are recognising the potential of low-carbon growth that respects the environment in terms of the creation of permanent jobs and reinforced energy security.
This means we have to seize this opportunity to mobilise resources to set up such a strategy that will also be able to help towards managing the current crisis.
In addition, such a strategy will be a genuine development strategy only if the conditions of just transition are satisfied, namely initiatives and councils at inter-sectoral level as well as in all the key sectors, including the social partners, dedicated to managing the transition towards a low-carbon economy:
- agreed priority choices in terms of Research and Development,

- agreed choices in terms of investments in low-carbon technologies,

- the setting in place of appropriate skills and training strategies that are well designed and delivered at the right time, thanks to the social dialogue and the anticipation of the needs, so that the green jobs created are also quality jobs.

The ETUC therefore calls on the European Council on 17-18 June to take full account of these social needs and proposals and to contribute towards the construction of a Europe of solidarity, via a development strategy.

Link to the leaflet:

Press release