- Composition of the Study group and timeline
- Administrator / Assistant in charge: Judit CARRERAS GARCIA / Lukáš ĎURECH
The ecological crises, threatening all life and depleting ecosystems we rely on, call for immediate ecological and equitable transitions. We face an uphill battle to lower greenhouse gas emissions, combat pollution and tackle climate change impacts, like extreme weather, affecting the vulnerable most. Scientific evidence shows we've breached safe planetary limits, necessitating urgent shifts in societal and economic structures to balance environmental stewardship with decent living conditions.
The European Green Deal states that the green transition must put people first and pay attention to the regions, industries and workers facing the most significant challenges. However, the COVID-19 crisis, the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the related cost of living crisis have significantly impacted many European citizens and businesses, especially those already in precarious situations amid rising inequality in some parts of the EU. According to a recent Eurobarometer survey, many Europeans perceive the EU's ecological transition as inequitable. Ensuring the acceptability of EU Green Deal initiatives and maintaining political stability necessitates a comprehensive, just transition policy framework. This framework should embody social, economic, and territorial fairness, address the needs of those disadvantaged by the transition, aim to fight poverty, reduce inequalities, and secure human well-being within a thriving natural environment.
As the incoming presidency of the Council of the EU, the Ministry of Climate, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Green Deal of Belgium has requested an exploratory opinion from the EESC on the steps the EU should take to establish a comprehensive, just transition policy framework. This framework should foster a carbon-neutral, environmentally sustainable, non-toxic, and fully circular society and economy by 2050 without further jeopardising the socio-economic opportunities of vulnerable regions and people.