Council takes action to ensure green transition is fair and inclusive

(Source: Council of the EU and European Council)

The Council today adopted a recommendation on ensuring a fair transition towards climate neutrality. Member states are invited to adopt measures which address the employment and social aspects of climate, energy and environmental policies.

The recommendation encourages certain actions to support people most affected by the green transition for instance by stimulating the creation of quality jobs and facilitating access to safe working conditions protecting health and safety in the context of this green transition. It also puts a focus on education and training measures and invites member states to integrate the employment and social aspects of the green transition in the development and implementation of relevant national strategies.

Other proposals concentrate on fairness of tax-benefit and social protection systems and on ensuring access to affordable essential services and housing for people and households most affected by the green transition.

Impact of Green Deal

According to European Commission data, if implemented properly, the green transition could in aggregate create around 1 million additional quality jobs in the EU by 2030 and 2 million by 2050, in sectors such as construction, ICT or renewable energy.

However, in a pessimistic scenario, the impact of the green transition could also lead to job and GDP losses. Repercussions will vary by sector, occupation, region and country. Job losses are expected, for example, in some mining activities or fossil-fuel based energy production, as well as in parts of the automotive sector. Conversely, new job opportunities are expected in circular value retention activities (e.g. repair), sustainable transport and energy production.

The transition will also have an impact on energy and transport costs, notably due to the internalisation of emissions costs in price formation or to the costs of adaptation towards higher-efficiency, lower-emission alternatives.

This recommendation offers guidance to member states to mitigate some of these negative impacts.

Background and next steps

The European Green Deal, a set of policy initiatives to make the EU climate neutral in 2050, stresses that the transition must be fair and inclusive, putting people first and paying particular attention to supporting those who will face the greatest challenges.

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