In September 2017, I was approached, in my former role as SDO President, by a coalition of non-state actors called the Europe Ambition 2030 Group who wanted to build on the "Rethink Europe" letter signed by the former President of the European Council, former prime ministers, former Commission vice-presidents, the current WTO executive director and former ministers of finance and labour, experts in finance, statistics, food security, gender issues and European policies, and other distinguished persons. The letter invites Europeans – both state and non-state actors - to "rethink Europe"’ in connection with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN Agenda 2030 "Transforming Our World".
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The second "Energy Day" organised by the EESC in Brussels, on 8 March 2018, looked at the forthcoming changes to the current Gas Directive. In its proposal, the European Commission maintains that gas pipelines from and to third countries should comply with the core principles of existing EU legislation. Some civil society organisations, though, highlight the uncertainty that this new text would bring in legal, commercial and environmental terms.
Social fairness and civil society participation must be at the heart of energy talks at all levels, from local to European. The first of the two "EESC Energy Days" organised in Brussels on 7 March 2018 discussed the state of play and future developments in EU energy policy.
The Committee backs the priorities set out in the Commission's 2018 Annual Growth Survey, but suggests that the survey should cover environmental policy and other relevant policy areas and issues, such as the quality of employment
Guaranteeing adequate funding to finance the enormous energy transition project is an issue very dear to the Workers' Group, with major investment needed to achieve a fair transition to a low carbon economy, creating quality jobs. These were the points debated by our Group, Commissioner Arias Cañete, and experts Pierre Larrouturou and Jean Jouzel.
"The transition to a low-carbon world is taking place everywhere at a pace that was previously unforeseen and unexpected. There are a growing number of concrete initiatives to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and develop business models for the low carbon economies" said Jacek P. Krawczyk, President of the Employers Group at the EESC in his opening speech at the 7th global meeting of the Low-Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative (LCTPi). "The EESC has an important role to play in...
Real life benefits for citizens and businesses must be the benchmark of progress towards the European Energy Union, urged the EESC in an opinion adopted at its last plenary. The EESC also called on the EC to open up the European electricity market to industry, business and local prosumer communities.
Policies to accelerate Europe’s energy transition require more realistic projections, better consultation with consumers, and clearer rules on Brussels’ attempt to enforce renewable energy targets, the EU’s main civil society body has warned.
The phasing-out of coal in Europe needs smart long-term strategies. It is important to focus on the balance between the economic, environmental and social impacts. A change to renewables can be part of the solution. Regional investment schemes and the involvement of the local population concerned in order to build public support are key to a successful transition. On 7 April, the CCMI of the EESC held a high-level debate on "Industrial and energy transition – the industrial, economic and social consequences", bringing together...
How to make sure that all Europeans can participate and financially benefit from the transition to a cleaner, climate-friendly energy system? How to enable EU citizens to reliably gain access to energy? How to protect the most vulnerable groups in our societies from being cut-off from heat, light and technology? Prosumers have the answers!