Electricity European Social Partners stand up for just energy transition

(24 November 2017) EPSU, Eurelectric and IndustriAll-Europe adopted on November 21st at the plenary meeting of the Electricity Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee a joint statement on just energy transition. The European Social Partners in the electricity sector recognise the need for rapid and coherent action to decarbonise the economy in order to tackle climate change and its negative impacts on environment, society and workers.

The joint declaration emphasises the need to focus on quality job creation, reskilling/upskilling, involvement of social partners/local communities and specific European financial instruments to ensure a just and clean transition in the electricity sector.

Jan Willem Goudriaan, General Secretary of the European Federation of Public Service Unions, stated:
“Providing workers affected by the energy transition with quality job alternatives and adequate skills are an absolute requirement to ensure a smooth transition.  Ensuring well-funded social security systems, strong public services as well as public authorities’ commitment, social partners’ involvement and local communities’ participation are important aspects to make sure that no one is left behind. Fighting against energy poverty which affects nearly 11% of the European population today, as well as democratising energy production and distribution will also be crucial elements to make the energy transition just for the workers and fair for the European citizens.”

Kristian Ruby, EURELECTRIC Secretary General, added:
“This joint approach proves the dedication and mobilisation of the European Social Partners for the Electricity Sector to ensuring a successful and just clean energy transition in Europe. We strongly believe that decarbonisation of the electricity sector will be crucial to ensure the long term sustainability of the European economy providing for growth and quality employment, and we are ready to lead in this transition.”

Luc Triangle, General Secretary of IndustriAll Europe, commented:
“Making the transition to clean energy a just one for workers across Europe means for industriAll Europe to safeguard jobs and offer alternative professional perspectives to the workforce that will be affected by the transition in the power sector, but also in energy intensive industries Europe with its unique social model can be a role model of striking a balance between achieving a clean energy system and keeping sustainable high-quality jobs in Europe if there is a clear and strong engagement to invest in this project from all sides: EU, governments, industry and trade unions.