Energy issues high on ETUC Working Group on Sustainable Development

Issues considered included: - A study on climate change policy, climate change and employment. The study is carried out by Syndex, Wuppertal Institute and others. It considers a number of scenarios and what the effects can be on different sectors (such as production of electricity) including in terms of employment. An important part of the study includes the technological development in the energy and transport system, what are already realistic options and what can be expected to be realised in the short-term (technological breakthrough). The study will also consider the policies of 11 European capital cities. Also a region (Nord-Pas-Calais) will be involved to ensure that policies of local public authorities are taken into account ([read more->art1771]); - Green Paper on a European Strategy for Sustainable Competitive and Secure Energy. A presentation was given by the European Commission. Discussion centred around contradictions especially resulting from the view that the internal market is the hard core of Europe's energy policy. The EPSU representatives questioned the seriousness of the consultation process as the Commission presents several issues as not-debatable. Other issues which raised where the Strategic Energy Review, its relation to the national energy mix and democratic influence and control, the lack of effort on the part of the Commission to strengthen the voice of poor citizens and the absurdity of promoting the internal market for electricity and gas to neighbourhood countries. Several confederations expressed themselves critically regarding the effort of the EU to address climate change. (Previous articles on the Green Paper: [>art2018] and [>art1846]) - Information and update on the High Level Group on energy, competitiveness and environment. This group was set up by the Commission and has a very skewed representation in favour of the large industrial users of gas and electricity. John Monks ETUC General Secretary is a member and supported by a so-called Sherpa. EPSU argued that ETUC should continue its critical voice regarding the internal market for electricity and gas ([read more->art1957]). For more information on the high level group please visit the website established by the European Commission. You will find many of the contributions in the working groups there as well. [>] - EU CO2 emission trading system and the national allocation plans. Participants considered the lessons to be drawn from the recent near collapse of the emission trading scheme after the publication of the national overviews and the resulting large surplus in rights. Many countries did not use them. ETUC will consider a position on this subject. - A brief report was provided on the trade union input in the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. The Trade union delegation (which included David Boys from PSI) achieved its goals of raising a number of issues which will be included on the agenda for the Energy policy discussion in this Commission in 2007. The trade unions will also be actively seeking to participate in the follow up to Kyoto. The working group took place 18 May 2006 Brussels. The EPSU Deputy General Secretary and Dick Barry took place for EPSU. Dick Barry represents EPSU on the Steering Committee of the study on climate change policy, climate change and employment.