The EESC strongly supports the objective of making the EU a climate neutral economy by 2050 in a socially fair and efficient manner. Such a transition is possible and beneficial for Europe. The EESC endorses the overriding priorities set out in the European Commission’s Communication. The EESC calls on the Member States to support the objective of making the European Union a climate neutral economy by 2050. The EESC calls on businesses, trade unions, NGOs, and national Economic and Social Committees to support this objective.
The EESC considers that it is urgent to rapidly define a strategy for beyond 2030, in order to achieve a transition to a climate neutral society by 2050.
The EESC stresses that the transition to a climate neutral society must be implemented through a competitive, socially fair and multilateral approach and that appropriate tools must be put in place to achieve full involvement and acceptance of civil society, including all citizens, businesses and organisations. This includes conception and implementation of carbon pricing taking into account its effects on businesses and citizens.
The EESC underlines the importance of action taken at local and regional level and the importance of fully involving local and regional authorities.
The EESC underlines the importance of third country relations as a means of getting more countries on board in a proactive climate strategy and to ensure a level playing field for European industry and influence standard setting.
Financing is key to the implementation of the planned strategy. The EESC therefore reiterates its recommendations that adequate budgetary resources be provided to support research, development and industrial deployment.
The EESC points out the important role of bio energy with carbon capture and storage and natural carbon sinks, such as forests, conservation agriculture, pasture land, peatland, etc.
The EESC considers that Europe needs a social pact for the transition to a climate neutral economy, to be agreed by the EU, Member States, regions, cities, social partners and organised civil society, in order to ensure that the transition leaves no-one behind.
The EESC proposes that a permanent citizens’ dialogue should be set up as a compulsory preparatory element of all major political decisions and all pertinent law-making initiatives at EU, national and subnational levels. Input into the dialogue and the way it is taken into account should be publicly visible. The visibility of the dialogue should be ensured by making it a Commissioner-level responsibility.