European social partners want more clarity on future role of gas in EU

(12 April 2011) EU Member States and the European Commission are considering the energy roadmap towards a low carbon society in 2050. The power sector should be decarbonised with CO2 emission cuts of close to 100% in 2050. While the social partners for the European gas sector welcome the longer term targets they are concerned about how governments and Commission see the role of gas. While most scenarios indicate a continuing role, this is not translated in long term investment strategies amongst others because the political framework keeps shifting as well as that different forms of gas might be competing with each other (convential gas, liquefied natural gas, shale and biogas are examples)

The social partners therefore decided to continue to work on the future of gas in the EU energy roadmaps following on from the seminar organized earlier. Issues that are important to be addressed for the unions and employers represented by Euorgas are:
- The social dimension and the importance of social dialogue when addressing energy developments
- Skills and qualifications
- Just transition
- The employment impact of the scenarios of the roadmaps

Other issues considered:
- Feedback from the survey on Corporate Social Responsibility in the gas sector. The survey will be relaunched to increase responses. The social partners agreed to analyse the results together.
- Project on mapping of skills and qualifications. A project has been introduced with the European Commission
- Energy Community. The social partners requested the urgent publication of the study on the employment effects of Opening the markets for electricity and gas in the Western Balkan countries. The results should be discussed between the employers, trade unions and governments of the countries concerned to take the appropriate measures.
- Evaluating the use of joint projects and statements.
- Work progrramme 2011-2012.

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