COPENHAGEN: A SUCCESSFUL AGREEMENT IS ALSO A SOCIAL AGREEMENT
At its Executive Committee on 21 October, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) adopted a resolution entitled "Climate change, new industrial policies and ways out of the crisis", which will be presented at the forthcoming Copenhagen Summit. The ETUC proclaims the need for an ambitious international agreement and a fair social transition. These same messages are transmitted to the Environment Council being held today and the European Council on 29-30 October.
The ETUC demands:
- An ambitious, binding and comprehensive international agreement aiming to limit the global rise in temperatures to maximum 2°C, in accordance with the scenarios laid down by the IPCC, reducing at least 25%-40% by developed countries by 2020 below 1990 levels.
- An enhanced European contribution to finance the global mitigation of climate change.
- To improve European governance, support the ambition of the European recovery, specifically by implementing stronger Community policies in the industrial and research fields.
- Climate change legislation must contain strong provisions dealing with international competitiveness in order to ensure that nations that lack a strong emissions programme do not receive an unfair advantage:
o To create a European agency charged with setting the benchmarks and the generalised carbon traceability of all products. This agency should be open to social partners.
o To fix clear rules for the carbon market with appropriate legislative instruments, in order to avoid speculations on rates, and excessively erratic fluctuations, and to forge ties between the European market and the other regional markets. These rules should be enshrined n a directive.
o To promote global and coordinated R&D initiatives, to share scientific knowledge, to develop and to spread green technologies in the whole world through policies of technological transfers and through rules on intellectual properties, also taking into account the social and economic objectives of those financing the R&D dedicated to green technologies.
For the European trade union movement, it is crucial to put in place a European low carbon industrial policy based on a dynamic of Community industrial coordination that will transcend intra-European divisions and the damaging effects of the demands for short-term profitability from industrial investments. This European low carbon transition strategy must be based on Just Transition principles: dialogue between Government, industry and trade unions and others on the economic and industrial changes involved; green and decent jobs; investment in low carbon technologies; new green skills.
In this context, the European trade unions demand:
- At European level the creation of a permanent instrument to ensure the anticipation of socio-economic transition is urgently needed, to coordinate existing instruments such as sectoral councils and reinforce dialogue between the social partners and public authorities. In this framework the EU must commit itself to the challenges of industrial restructuring with which the new member states are confronted.
- European technology platforms developing low-carbon technological products and processes should ensure the participation of trade unions in their governance systems, their task-forces, evaluations and proposals to anticipation structures as defined.
- The creation of an international fund and of an European fund to facilitate the development of technologies producing low carbon emissions and of technologies based on energy efficiency and renewable energies in the developing countries, as well as to develop employment policies based on social protection, the promotion of decent work and public services.
- Green growth based on maintaining and creating high quality jobs and social progress, across the whole economy.
Joël Decaillon, ETUC Confederal Secretary, declared: 'A much stronger social dimension in European policies towards the development of low carbon industrial strategies and the development of industrial policies is urgently needed through a modern demand-side European employment strategy guaranteeing job creation and protected mobility not a strategy based solely on labour market deregulation.'
Link to the resolution on "Climate change, new industrial policies and ways out of the crisis": http://www.etuc.org/a/6594
For more information :
ETUC Head of Press and Communications
+ 32 (0)2 224 04 30
+ 32 (0)477 7 7 0 1 64
E-mail : Pgrillo@etuc.org