A Letter to President Barroso and EU Commissioners

 

Dear President Barroso, dear Commissioners,

The Spring Alliance brings together the European Trade Union Confederation, the European Environmental Bureau, the European Platform of Social NGOs, and the development NGO Concord. We are writing to you ahead of the scheduled release of the White Paper on the 2030 climate and energy policy framework to ask you to put forward an ambitious and socially just framework that provides the necessary EU response to climate change.

The post-2020 climate and energy policy framework will need to put the EU on a path towards the upper end of the 80–95% emission reduction goal by 2050 as a minimum in order to stay below the internationally agreed goal of 2 degrees of global warming and mitigate the worst impacts of climatechange. Reaching this objective will require a legally binding, three-target approach: greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction, the share of renewable energies in the energy mix and energy savings.

 

A single greenhouse gas target alone will not adequately promote the entry of renewable energies to
the market nor deliver cost-effective energy efficiency measures. Moreover, a greenhouse gas target,
complemented by a renewable energy target and an energy savings target, will help to ensure that the
competitiveness and employment benefits of EU climate action are fully captured, notably by triggering
large investments. Moreover, we believe that a 40% greenhouse gas reduction target, which appears to
be backed by some Member States and the Commission, is not sufficient to prevent dangerous climate
change, improve competitiveness a and tackle impacts of rising energy costs, particularly with a view to
protecting vulnerable households.

 

An agreement on an ambitious 2030 climate and energy policy domestically is also needed to provide

a clear commitment towards a successful global agreement on climate change with ambitious
commitments from all the major polluters well ahead of the international climate summit in Paris
(COP21). It was agreed at COP19 in Warsaw that all governments should announce their post-2020
climate action by the first quarter of 2015. Importantly, the EU GHG target must be achieved
domestically in order to ensure maximum benefits to the EU economy.

 

In order to ensure a socially just framework, energy should not be viewed as a standard commodity, but
everyone should be provided access to a sufficient amount of it. Therefore energy poverty and the
impact of policies on energy cost should be carefully assessed. EU climate policies should also not
infringe on the land and food rights of people in developing countries, and therefore all forms of
bioenergy should be subjected to an EU-wide binding social and environmental sustainability
framework. Support for energy efficiency measures and the smart use of EU emissions s trading scheme
(ETS) auctioning revenues to finance a just transition towards a low-carbon and resource-efficient
economy, to support the retraining of workers impacted by decarbonisation, to ensure the creation of
quality jobs, as well as to contribute to international climate finance are just some examples of how a
just transition can be achieved.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Bernadette Ségol
General Secretary
ETUC

 

Heather Roy
President
Social Platform

 

Jeremy Wates
Secretary General
EEB

 

Seamus Jeffreson
Director
CONCORD

 

The Spring Alliance brings together the European Trade Union Confederation, the European

Environmental Bureau, the European Platform of Social NGOs, and the development NGO Concord. We are writing to you ahead of the scheduled release of the White Paper on the 2030 climate and energy

policy framework to ask you to put forward an ambitious and socially just framework that provides the

necessary EU response to climate change.

 

The post-2020 climate and energy policy framework will need to put the EU on a path towards the

upper end of the 80–95% emission reduction goal by 2050 as a minimum in order to stay below the

internationally agreed goal of 2 degrees of global warming and mitigate the worst impacts of climate

change. Reaching this objective will require a legally binding, three-target approach: greenhouse gas

(GHG) emissions reduction, the share of renewable energies in the energy mix and energy savings.

 

A single greenhouse gas target alone will not adequately promote the entry of renewable energies to

the market nor deliver cost-effective energy efficiency measures. Moreover, a greenhouse gas target,

complemented by a renewable energy target and an energy savings target, will help to ensure that the

competitiveness and employment benefits of EU climate action are fully captured, notably by triggering

large investments. Moreover, we believe that a 40% greenhouse gas reduction target, which appears to

be backed by some Member States and the Commission, is not sufficient to prevent dangerous climate

change, improve competitiveness a and tackle impacts of rising energy costs, particularly with a view to

protecting vulnerable households.

 

An agreement on an ambitious 2030 climate and energy policy domestically is also needed to provide a clear commitment towards a successful global agreement on climate change with ambitious

commitments from all the major polluters well ahead of the international climate summit in Paris

(COP21). It was agreed at COP19 in Warsaw that all governments should announce their post-2020

climate action by the first quarter of 2015. Importantly, the EU GHG target must be achieved

domestically in order to ensure maximum benefits to the EU economy. 30 climate and energy policy domestically is also needed to provide a clear commitment towards a successful global agreement on climate change with ambitious commitments from all the major polluters well ahead of the international climate summit in Paris (COP21). It was agreed at COP19 in Warsaw that all governments should announce their post-2020 climate action by the first quarter o of 2015. Importantly, the EU GHG target must be achieved domestically in order to ensure maximum benefits to the EU economy.

 

In order to ensure a socially just framework, energy should not be viewed as a standard commodity, but

everyone should be provided access to a sufficient amount of it. Therefore energy poverty and the

impact of policies on energy cost should be carefully assessed. EU climate policies should also not

infringe on the land and food rights of people in developing countries, and therefore all forms of

bioenergy should be subjected to an EU-wide binding social and environmental sustainability

framework. Support for energy efficiency measures and the smart use of EU emissions s trading scheme

(ETS) auctioning revenues to finance a just transition towards a low-carbon and resource-efficient

economy, to support the retraining of workers impacted by decarbonisation, to ensure the creation of

quality jobs, as well as to contribut
e to international climate finance are just some examples of how a

just transition can be achieved.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Bernadette Ségol General Secretary ETUC

Heather Roy

President

Social Platform

 

Jeremy Wates

Secretary General

EEB

 

Seamus Jeffreson

Director

CONCORD