EU Long term climate strategy: in need of moving to concrete plans

The European Commission is publishing today its long-term EU climate strategy. This is a first step towards the implementation of the UN Paris Climate Agreement beyond 2030.

The ETUC welcomes this initiative to set out the emission-reduction scenarios to meet the Paris agreement objectives.

“Clarity and certainty matter to workers as a necessary condition to anticipate change” said Montserrat Mir, Confederal Secretary at the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). “We welcome the efforts to give much more attention to the social and employment impacts of decarbonisation following long discussions with the ETUC and national trade unions. The strategy rightly highlights that the social effects of decarbonisation will be unevenly spread across regions and sectors.

“Now the social and job concerns underlying the strategy must be translated into concrete actions. The next EU budget must secure significant financial resources to support workers through decarbonisation.  The National Climate plans that member states have to develop must involve trade unions and employers to anticipate the impact decarbonisation will have on the labour market.”

The ETUC has identified 5 key requirements that must guide long-term EU action:

  1. A level of ambition consistent with Paris commitments: “net-zero emission” for the EU by 2050
  2. A political vision to build a sustainable economy and create quality jobs, a vision for the future EU economy to cover at least investment needs, technological developments, skills, trade policy and the role of public services
  3. A just transition for workers so that no one is left behind, including in regions and sectors highly dependent on fossil fuels
  4. Ensuring that decarbonisation is global and that EU industry is protected from free-riding from third countries
  5. The right to clean and affordable energy for all