transform the European industry without undermining its business model and without losing jobs

Trade Unions support the ambition to make Europe a climate neutral continent by 2050, but it will not be possible without securing a Just Transition for all. This must be a guiding principle in designing the ‘Fit to 55%’ package that will frame climate action moving towards 2030”, stressed Luc Triangle, General Secretary of industriAll European Trade Union. This is especially true when it comes to policies that impact sectors that are the backbone of the EU industry, such as automotive, aerospace, ship building and rail supply for the Mobility Strategy, or energy intensive industries (EIIs) for the Emissions Trading System (ETS).

The Green Deal and its 2030 framework must help to transform the European industry without undermining its business model and without losing jobs”, stresses Luc Triangle.

The European Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy(i) provides a framework to make the European transport system ready for reaching climate neutrality by 2050. It also sets a series of milestones for road, air, rail and waterborne transport.

Getting a clearer picture of the future of the European transport system is welcome, but we are missing a clear strategy to ensure a strong European industrial leadership to be able to manufacture the cars, trains, ships, planes and bikes that we need to make the transport system fit for climate neutrality”, said Judith Kirton Darling, Deputy General Secretary .

The level of ambition of milestones for a sector like aviation seems really high and will require tremendous efforts in terms of Research and Development, but also infrastructures”, noted Isabelle Barthès, Deputy General Secretary.

When it comes to social inclusion, given its key role, transport must also be kept affordable to all.

There is no Just Transition if the transport strategy makes some regions even more isolated, or if measures, such as tax or carbon pricing, significantly increase social inequalities”, warned Isabelle Barthès.

The EU ETS reform(ii) will be part of the ’Fit to 55%’ package expected from the European Commission by this Summer. “A reform of the EU ETS is part of the menu when it comes to increasing climate ambition for 2030, but it must be done in a way that clearly identifies what is feasible in the various sectors in the next decade. An increased carbon price is not a silver bullet, the EU must ensure, through in-depth sectoral assessments, that the industries at stake have the technologies and the investment capacity to reach the revised target.” emphasised Judith Kirton-Darling.

Decarbonisation is not happening in a vacuum and European industries are struggling with global trade challenges and with the impact of the pandemic. The revision of the EU ETS is taking place in a context of extreme vulnerability for some sectors, and for industriAll Europe, decarbonisation must mean investment and innovation in Europe, not deindustrialisation. Hence, the importance of strengthening or framework to fight carbon leakage and of increasing the resources available to transform the European industry”, added Judith Kirton-Darling.

The European Commission’s proposals expected in the coming month are an important step in the decision-making process that will last for months, and likely for years. “IndustriAll Europe and its affiliates will continue to follow up the process with the highest attention to defend a Just Transition towards climate neutrality that involves European industrial workers and leaves no one behind”, concluded Luc Triangle.

Read the industriAll Europe position papers
i. A Smart and Sustainable Mobility Strategy for Europe DE EN FR
ii. Review of the EU Emissions Trading System DE EN FR

Contact: Andrea Husen-Bradley (press and communication) and Benjamin Denis (senior policy adviser)