This Friday, EU environment and energy ministers are holding informal discussions on the Just Transition and the Fit for 55% package.

In a letter to EU energy and environment ministers, industriAll Europe took the opportunity to highlight and deplore that after two years of intense dialogue with the European Commission, Just Transition remains largely based on soft coordination instruments. The resulting patchwork of measures and responses across Europe for workers and communities that are directly impacted by climate policies is threatening greater social and regional inequalities.

The draft Council Recommendation of 14 December 2021 ‘on ensuring a fair transition towards climate neutrality’, addresses social and labour aspects of the transition and sets out guidance to help Member States devise and implement policy packages to ensure this. They may be well intended, but it remains another soft law initiative that leaves it to the Member States to act.

IndustriAll Europe thus alerts EU environment and energy ministers that ambitious climate action must be accompanied by effective measures to secure a Just Transition for European workers. EU legislation and programmes making up the Commission’s Just Transition Agenda must be strengthened, particularly those addressing the employment dimension, social dialogue mechanisms and collective bargaining, workers’ participation and workers’ rights.

We reiterate our demands for strong measures to promote a Just Transition, including:

  • Provision of adequate resources to cover all sectors and value chains affected by the transition
  • A granular mapping of the existing and expected developments on regional and local labour markets
  • A legislative framework for the anticipation of change, requiring workers’ participation
  • Comprehensive workers’ rights, supporting every individual in the job-to-job transition
  • Enhancing policy coordination and covering every economic sector affected by the transition

Furthermore, in the current context of soaring energy prices, a new European strategy to make decarbonised energy affordable for industries and citizens is crucial. The energy price crisis cannot be allowed to provide an excuse to reduce climate policy ambitions.

IndustriAll Europe’s Just Transition campaign continues and will be stepped up. In the coming months, industrial workers across Europe will keep mobilising for a Just Transition that is based on rights, and not well-intended, non-enforceable legislation.

Letter to EU energy and environment ministers: EN
IndustriAll Europe’s position on the Fit for 55 package: ENDEFR

Contact: Andrea Husen-Bradley (press and communication), Corinna Zierold (senior policy adviser)