Workers are at the heart of the green transition of the aviation sector and must therefore be fully involved and consulted.

Today, at the unveiling of the Toulouse Declaration at the EU’s Aviation Summit, trade unions are satisfied that the principle of a Just Transition and social dialogue have been included as key factors in the move towards greener aviation.

The Toulouse Declaration, spearheaded by the French Presidency, aims to create a common platform on the environmental sustainability of aviation, and specifically on its decarbonisation, in the shorter term as well as towards the end-goal of 2050. Supported by the EU, its Member States and several non-EU countries, the Declaration was also endorsed by industrial stakeholders and trade unions.

By endorsing the Declaration, these private and public stakeholders declare their will to support a basket of measures to accelerate the transition of the aviation sector to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Such measures include sustainable aviation fuels, carbon pricing and aircraft technology. The stakeholders also call upon worldwide partners to work towards net zero carbon emissions by 2050 for international aviation.

The social elements of the Declaration are particularly important. They include the importance of a Just Transition, social dialogue, as well as the re-skilling/up-skilling of workers. The Declaration acknowledges that the decarbonisation of the aviation ecosystem cannot succeed without a fair and inclusive transition.

Isabelle Barthès, Deputy General Secretary for industriAll Europe, said:

‘’We were clear in our demands for the Toulouse Declaration. Workers are at the heart of the green transition of the aviation sector and must therefore be fully involved and consulted. Decarbonising the sector is possible, but this needs careful planning and preparation. Quality social dialogue at all levels is indispensable throughout the process. It is a precondition to create quality jobs and fair solutions for all workers and regions impacted by the green transition.

‘’If European workers are to produce the best and cleanest aircraft and technology in the world, we need to ensure that they are appropriately skilled, and that appropriate health and safety training and measures are in place for new technologies and new fuels.’’

Third countries and international organisations will also be encouraged to endorse the Declaration in order to start action and cooperation at international level on decarbonisation and sustainability of the aviation sector, with Just Transition playing a prominent role.

Isabelle Barthès added:

‘’Today is a positive step in the right direction. Aviation remains a global sector however, and other regions must step up and play their part in decarbonising the sector. We hope that non-EU countries and social partners will endorse the declaration and support a Just Transition towards cleaner global aviation.’’

Toulouse Declaration: EN/FR

Joint Press Release ETF, UNI Europa, EFFAT, industriAll Europe, ECA: EN 

Contact: Andrea Husen-Bradley (press and communication), Elspeth Hathaway (policy adviser)