On 28 November the Commission presented its updated climate strategy for 2050. Under the title ‘A Clean Planet for All, a European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy’, the Commission calls for immediate and decisive climate action. The new strategy confirms Europe’s determination to lead in global climate action and provides clear indications of the trajectory. Indeed, the vision is supported by a detailed analysis of 8 pathways to achieve greenhouse gas emissions reduction between -80% up to net zero by 2050. The Commission also identified 7 building blocks for a net-zero greenhouse gas economy: energy efficiency, renewables, the decarbonisation of transport, the circular economy, adequate and smart network infrastructure, the bio-economy and carbon capture and storage.

IndustriAll Europe fully supports this highly ambitious new long-term strategy of the Commission as it clearly takes on board the industrial challenges and highlights the role of industry as part of the solution. The strategy should allow the EU to maintain global leadership in low-carbon technologies and create first mover advantages for Europe’s industry. The seven building blocks offer clear long-term signals to industry. They will guide its innovation efforts and investment decisions. In this way the strategy should also become a lever for the re-industrialisation of Europe based on digital, circular and sustainable technologies and business models.

“It is by developing the synergies between industrial and environmental policy that Europe’s industry can stay at the forefront of sustainable industrial development and contribute to the societal demand for action against climate change. This is essential for the long-term future of industrial activities inside the EU. It is also key for creating high-quality jobs and above all to improve the quality of life of Europe’s citizens”, said Luc Triangle, General Secretary industriAll Europe. 

However, speeding up emissions reduction also risks having a negative impact on workers and communities which will weaken public support for climate policies. IndustriAll Europe fully shares the view of the Commission that the transition must be carefully monitored to ensure nobody is left behind. The social implications of this transformation must be considered from the outset and all relevant policy tools be developed and deployed to mitigate the impact on workers and regions. In this respect industriAll Europe supports the idea that a Just Climate Transition Fund should be established under the next Multiannual Financial Framework

The new climate strategy sets high ambitions for the next decades and decisive climate action is indeed needed. However, developing a shared political vision is only the first step. The vision needs to be turned in concrete commitments, legislation, actions that are able to deliver a ‘Clean Planet for All’. It will not be easy as it will require deep industrial and societal transformation. However, it is our duty to maintain our planet as a good place to live for our children”, Luc Triangle continued.

For us as industrial trade union three elements will be key. First, social sustainability must not be forgotten which means that nobody may be left behind, second, the strategy must maintain and create sustainable industrial activities and jobs inside the EU and finally, as Europe is not alone, international cooperation in support of the global uptake of climate-friendly policies is a conditio sine qua non”, Luc Triangle concluded. 

This article is a summary of industriAll Europe document "IndustriAll Europe welcomes idea of going climate neutral by 2050: 'A Clean Planet for All’ creates opportunities to re-industrialise Europe".

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