Energy roadmaps 2050 need a social dimension and be based on Just Transtition principles

(Brussels, 31 March 2011) The European Union is addressing reducing CO2 emissions in reaction to climate change concerns. Such reductions will have implications for different sectors including electricity. The Social partners did a joint study on the [employment effects and opportunities->] and have now followed this up with a joint input in the consultation process on the Energy Roadmaps 2050. This joint contribution calls for:
- A social dimension to the energy roadmaps. The social partners expect the European Commission to make concrete proposals regarding the initiatives it intends to undertake to assist the social partners in addressing the profound changes. The Impact Assessment should address this.
- The social partners want the Energy roadmaps to integrate Just Employment Transition Principles. “Just transition can be seen as the transition (or shift) towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly economy, based on social dialogue between governments, employers and trade unions, in a way that promotes high economic growth and investments in low-carbon technologies while ensuring a smooth social transition through adaptation and mitigation actions as well as through the development of skilling and reskilling programs (or just new skills) and the creation of quality jobs.” The social partners link this also with the [agreement->] reached at the Climate Change Summit in Cancun (December 2010). The EU and other governments recognized the importance of ensuring a just transition and decent work and quality jobs.
- The social partners repeat that the trade unions and employers consider that the public authorities have a genuine role to play in supporting the sector to adapt in the coming years, especially in improving skills and competencies to match the supply of skills with the demand from companies. The Commission is urged to take account of this as a necessary component of their planning process and to consider the relation between the roadmap and proposed progress towards a low carbon electricity sector and on the other hand the employment effects, skills and qualifications needed in the future and how the social partners and Commission can contribute to the highly skilled and qualified workforce of the future.
- The social partners underline the valuable role the Social Dialogue can play and request that the Energy Roadmaps 2050 should promote the importance of social dialogue at company, national as well as European level as a mechanism to anticipate and manage the changes that are taking place. Initiatives from DG Energy taken together with the social partners to encourage that the impact of moving towards a low carbon society are considered at all relevant levels are welcome.
The European social dialogue partners for the electricity sector agreed the common position on the public consultation on [the Energy Roadmaps 2050->] which will follow the Communication of the Commission [Moving towards a competitive low carbon economy->] and which seeks to define the CO2 emission reduction targets for several sectors including for electricity. The electricity sector is to cut CO2 emissions with almost 100% in 2050. The position was discussed in their joint meeting of [6 March->] and a consultation process.

To read the position: