European Social Dialogue Committee for the Electricity Sector

Joint EURELECTRIC/industriAll/EPSU position on the 2030 Framework for Climate and Energy Policies

The European Social Partners for the Electricity Sector, represented by EPSU and industriAll Europe for the trade unions and EURELECTRIC for the employers, welcome the initiative by the European Commission to determine further climate targets for the time beyond 2020. We emphasize the importance of setting both long-term and intermediary targets in order to provide a framework for investments, both in technologies and the necessary skills.

As European Social Partners for the Electricity Sector we would like to stress the importance of the social dimension of energy and climate policies, and the impact that policies will have on employment in our industry. We are aware that the European Commission has commissioned a study to look into the potential employment impacts – both positive and negative – of the scenarios of the Energy Roadmap 2050, and that this study shall be integrated into the impact assessment on the foreseen White Paper on 2030. On several occasions we have expressed our interest in the elaboration of this study, and we remain eager to discuss with the Commission and experts its outcomes, and also to share the results of our joint work regard to climate and energy policies.

In 2011 we finalised a study on the employment effects of moving to a low carbon electricity industry, concluding that the European electricity industry will be disproportionately affected by the proposed reductions in CO2 emissions and this, in turn, will have a dramatic impact on employment, both in terms of job numbers and job functions.

Therefore, we would like to emphasize the urgency to integrate into the 2030 Framework the need for Just Employment Transition Principles as we have defined them in our joint study:

"Just transition can be seen as the transition (or shift) towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly economy, based on social dialogue between governments, employers and trade unions, in a way that promotes high economic growth and investments in low-carbon technologies while ensuring a smooth social transition through adaptation and mitigation actions as well as through the development of skilling and reskilling programs (or just new skills) and the creation of quality jobs".

As already underlined in our Joint Contribution to the public consultation on the Energy Roadmap 2050 in 2011, we strongly believe that social dialogue at company, national as well as European level has a key role to play in anticipating and managing the changes that are taking place, in order to facilitate a smooth transition in our sector. Therefore we once again confirm that we would welcome initiatives of DG Energy taken together with the social partners to encourage that the impact of moving to a low-carbon society is considered at all relevant levels.

In particular, we would like to draw attention to our Joint Framework of Actions on competencies, qualifications and anticipation of change in the European electricity sector, concluded in March 2013. This Joint Framework commits our members to jointly address at company, sector or national level, the transition towards a low-carbon economy, the transformation of our sector and the impacts upon today’s and tomorrow’s skills and jobs needs.


We remain ready and available to discuss with DG Energy and DG Climate Action and contribute to the shaping of a 2030 Framework and further long-term energy and climate targets.
Brussels, December 2013

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