The ETUC on the European Green Deal: ahead of the announcement of the EGD, the ETUC pointed to the urgent need for ambitious climate policies that should be inclusive and supportive to the most vulnerable regions, sectors and workers. The position paper emphasised that a concrete just transition strategy – one which matches climate policy ambitions – is necessary.
In its statement ahead of the Commission proposal for the new industrial strategy, the ETUC highlighted that in order to tackle both the climate and digital challenges ahead, the concept of just transition should be central to the future industrial strategy. According to the ETUC, the main objective should be employment creation in the EU while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and supporting workers, the public sector and companies in the transition to a digital world. Policies concerning those regions, sectors and workers most affected by the transitions should guarantee that no one is left behind. The document also calls for a carbon border adjustment mechanism to protect European jobs and industry from unfair competition or carbon leakage.
The ETUC on greenhouse gas emission targets: the ETUC supports the upward revision of the 2030 GHG emission reduction target from 40 to 55% (compared to 1990 levels) as well as the longer-term objective of reaching net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. In order to have sufficient funding to fight climate change, the ETUC urges the EU Council to increase the EU budget to 1.3% of gross national income (GNI) and to develop plans for a fairer taxation system.
IndustriAll stresses that to secure the support of workers in industry for the European Green Deal, its social dimension should be developed. Europe’s industrial union warns that increasing the carbon price within the EU-ETS might not be the silver bullet that will trigger the expected transformative change, partly because this would neglect the specificities of the different industrial sectors regarding technological readiness and the cost of low-carbon options. Regional disparities represent another risk for the Green Deal.
While the European Public Service Union (EPSU) supports the climate neutrality objective by 2050 and an ambitious 55% GHG reduction target by 2030, it stresses that the European Green Deal should move away from market-based solutions. It has also formulated key demands, such as a significant increase in public investment, the promotion of public ownership of utilities, an ambitious just transition strategy, and universal and affordable access to basic services and common goods.
Europe’s biggest industrial union, Germany’s IG Metall, expresses its support for the objective of climate neutrality, but stresses that the targets must be concrete and achievable. IG Metall will not support a disruptive transformation whose core elements are built on the backs of workers. The automobile industry is a key part of the economy and the European emissions targets have been raised only recently; it will be a Herculean task, and although doable it needs time.