In the context of the EU Fit for 55 package, the European Parliament (EP) voted yesterday to sharply ramp up CO2 standards for cars and vans. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) supported the objective of making all new cars and vans sold in Europe zero-emission by 2035. In addition to this target, the EP position contains several elements that will accelerate the transformation of Europe’s automotive industry.

As a trade union organisation, industriAll Europe is committed to the fight against climate change. The EP vote on CO2 standards is an important step in revising EU rules to reduce emissions from road transport, in line with our commitments in the Paris Agreement. However, some important questions remain open and require urgent and effective answers.

“Our automotive industry is not just any industry in Europe. It represents more than 2.5 million direct manufacturing jobs and five times that number if all the auto-related jobs are taken into account. In the trilogue* and beyond, we want EU policy makers to build on elements of the EP position to secure quality employment in the sector long-term. There won’t be a Just Transition in Europe if workers from the automotive sector are exposed to disruption without support and anticipation measures”, stressed Luc Triangle, industriAll Europe General Secretary.

Reaching these emission reduction objectives will also require a series of enabling factors to be implemented. Power generation capacities to deliver decarbonised and affordable electricity, charging infrastructures, guaranteed supplies of raw materials and new battery value chains will be needed to make the 2035 objective a reality while keeping a strong automotive industry and related jobs in Europe.

“Decarbonising road transport requires a comprehensive and coherent industrial strategy. With the number of jobs at stake in Europe, we cannot just rely on a set of targets to steer the massive industrial change ahead of us. Just Transition will not happen automatically as MEPs have acknowledged in their amendments. Now we need to see these elements strengthened through the trilogue with the Council”, warned Judith Kirton-Darling, industriAll Europe Deputy General Secretary.

Workers and managing the transition must be at the centre of Europe’s strategy towards decarbonising vehicles and mobility. The position voted on yesterday will accelerate the green industrial revolution. Millions of men and women working in the sector are and will be at the frontline of these changes, especially among supplier companies. EU policymakers must urgently deliver a Just Transition framework to support workers and regions impacted by the change ahead of us. In line with our Just Transition Manifesto, we need to maintain and create quality jobs in the sector through a massive retraining programme, a legal framework to anticipate change, worker participation and significant funding and policy support from the EU.

IndustriAll Europe remains committed to build a Just Transition to climate neutrality that will leave no worker and no region behind and will continue to actively engage with its members to be sure that workers’ voice is heard in the Fit for 55 discussions.

* informal tripartite meetings on legislative proposals between representatives of the Parliament, the Council and the Commission

Contact: Andrea Husen-Bradley (press and communication), Benjamin Denis (senior policy adviser)