EU energy and climate framework 2030 package disappointing, says EPSU

(29 January 2014) The verdict of a discussion between EPSU trade unions on the proposals of the European Commission for the energy and climate framework 2030 was cristal clear: disappointing and not up to its task to guide the EU in the process of changing the energy system towards more sustainable production.
- Nothing on just transition despite the importance attached to it made in the Energy roadmap 2050 and Cancun agreement on climate change.
- Nothing on social dialogue and the role of the social partners despite [the letter the social dialogue partners for the electricity sector received from EU energy Commissioner Oettinger->10090]

- No binding national targets for renewables. It is not clear how the overall target will be delivered as the national plans have a limited binding nature. No binding target for energy efficiency even though it is already clear that the 2020 target for energy efficiency will not be delivered upon and leaving it to purely voluntary efforts will not work.
- It ignores the positive employment effects of binding energy efficiency and renewable targets which are underlined in the impact assessment.

The EPSU group confirmed that it supports the European Parliament in its proposals for binding targets. The Parliament should also be firm on demanding just transition principles to be part of the future energy and climate framework. EPSU will write to the EP. The Standing Committee in Autumn will reflect on the possibilities for workplace action to put pressure on the Council of Ministers for Energy under the Italian Presidency.

The EPSU Standing Committee Utilities decided further:
- To start preparing for the Global Climate Conference which will take place 30 November - 11 December 2015, Paris. It could be the final round of negotiations to set new global targets and (binding) commitments to reduce CO2 emissions. We will regularly come back to the issue and what we can do towards the EU, Russian and other European governments including via work place mobilisation. We possibly have a delegation attending.
- To discuss with Eurelectric (the European electricity employers organisation) if we can make progress on the Commission proposal for a Council recommendation on Quality Framework for Trainees.
- To ask the European Parliament and the Council to support the proposal of the European Commission to clarify and improve the health and safety for sub-contracted workers.
- To ask the Council to support the proposals of the European Parliament to improve the proposed directive on the disclosure of non-financial information.

Other issues addressed:
- The state of affairs regarding the European Citizens' Initiative Right2Water. The hearings with the European Commission and the European Parliament will take place on 17 February. The EP has opened its registration for the event. Register at:>]
- The implications of recent decisions on [posted workers and enforcement directive
and the links with the recently adopted procurement directives which strengthen the possibilities for public authorities to indicate which collective agreements need to be followed. They also determine that the use of sub-contractors should be clarified by the main contractor. The amendments to the enforcement directive establish chain responsibility for the main contractor but this is only limited to the construction sector. Employers use several constructions to go around applying to the labour and social security legislation in the country in which the works are executed. The jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice was considered critically as its recent verdicts have shifted the balance of power further in favour of corporate interests (freedom to do business) at the expense of especially those which are vulnerable in the labour market.
- The results of the German Energiewende with a focus on the implications for workers and companies as many restructure and seek to lay-off staff. A major concern are the effects on the networks also as these link the country to the rest of Europe. The new government coalition has taken up this issue and will seek reform to the German renewables legislation. The situation is complicated with decisions to phase-out nuclear (closure of next power station in 2015 could give problems in South of Germany as it is not well connected to the Northern part), to subsidise renewables and promote co-generation, low price of CO2 emission rights forcing gasfired stations to close or which need subsidies to be kept open to guarantee system stability
- Lack of progress with the social dialogue in the gas sector
- Proposals to work together with municipal waste companies to influence the review of the European waste directives together
- The agenda of the electricity social dialogue. An overview was given of the responses to the survey on the implementation of the Framework of actions. More needs to be done by employers to implement it, and more discussions between the employers and unions will be required. Members also exchanged views on how to deal with the energy and climate 2030 package, the follow up to the corporate social responsibility joint position, and the skills and competences debate. The work of the EPSU delegation in the social dialogue committee was approved.
- Participation in the ETUC Euro-demonstration 4 April

The Standing Committee thanks its vice-president Reszo Gal of the Hungarian union EDVSZ for the many years of hard work in promoting the work of EPSU and bringing Europe's energy unions together. Reszo is retiring.

The 40th meeting took place 28 January 2014, Luxembourg and was chaired by Jan Ruden, SEKO, Sweden.

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