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Green jobs

Will the EU lead the transition or watch from the side lines?


The European Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee today adopted a report on green employment. Authored by Green MEP Jean Lambert, the report looks at how to tap into the job creation potential of the green economy. Arguing for a coherent, long-term policy on investment in resource efficient, low-emission sectors and workforce engagement to ensure a 'just transition' is not always easy. Especially when governments seem intent on propping up coal rather than supporting low carbon energy and job creation. But this battle is worth fighting for. When there’s a (political) will, there’s a way. Between now and 2023, direct and indirect employment in the wind, wave and tidal energy sectors alone could grow from 34,000 in 2013 to over 100,000 within the EU. Change is coming. The transition is already in motion. It is up to us to make sure it will be just and that green jobs will be decent, fairly paid jobs with good working conditions. Main points of the report:
  • The EU needs a coherent policy framework with targets that give clear indications to businesses and educational institutions on where they should invest in terms of finances and skills development. An ambitious outcome at this year’s climate conference in Paris could create momentum
  • The EU needs a clear industrial strategy, including supply chain development, which directs and encourages investment in energy, resource efficiency and renewables. This could boost jobs in rural and former industrial areas.   Immediate action could be taken by shifting taxes from labour to other areas, which could include environmental taxation, while counterbalancing any regressive effects.
  • Effort must be made to remove counterproductive subsidies which support polluting or carbon intensive sectors.
  • Workforce engagement is essential in bringing about a green transition. Some sectors will undergo considerable change, even decline, and managing that change will be more positive with the provision of effective support mechanisms.
  • Just transition roadmaps could be developed by local and regional governments, so they can manage change for the benefit of workers and communities and not simply react to circumstances. 
  • The efficient use of EU funds could also contribute to retraining or other active labour market measures.
The draft report, the amendments and the ENVI and FEMM opinions can be found amongst the meeting documents online:

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