In order to implement the Green Deal, it is of vital importance to make the energy sector more efficient and to increase renewable energy sources. The Austrian Chamber of Labour has participated in the Consultation of the European Commission and stresses: the spotlight has to be put on the distribution policy effects of energy transition.
On 17 September 2020, the European Commission presented its proposal to increase the climate target by 2030, which had been announced for quite some time. Whilst until now, a reduction of CO2 emissions by 40 % by 2030 compared to the emission of 1990 has been determined at European level, this reduction has now been increased to 55 %.
On its way toward a more sustainable Europe, the Commission also intends to improve the protection against hazardous substances. The Austrian Chamber of Labour has taken part in the Consultation of the Commission on the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability and demands a consistent strategy to improve the protection of citizens and above all of employees at work.
The Austrian Chamber of Labour supports many of the specific programmes and initiatives named in the roadmap for the strategy for chemicals. However, these programmes and initiatives, taken together, do not yet form a consistent strategy. Several of the challenges identified in the roadmap can only be addressed if more general principles are incorporated into the future strategy.
In order to accomplish the Green Deal and its enshrined target of EU climate neutrality by 2050, it is important that the European energy system too makes a vital contribution. To achieve this, the European Commission set out two strategies on 8 July 2020, which set the agenda as to make the energy system more efficient over the coming years.
Following negotiations that lasted more than three years, the Mobility Package has taken the last hurdle on 8 July 2020: none of the submitted objections found a majority in the European Parliament. Hence, important improvements for HGV and bus drivers came into effect – but also changes for the worse.
Without a change of production methods and consumer behaviour, the annual waste produced within the EU is expected to increase by 70% until 2050. To counteract such developments, the Commission published a Circular Economy Action Plan. The AK has subjected the Action Plan to a detailed analysis.
With the Green Deal, the Commission has set one of its key priorities for Europe’s sustainable development. On 22 June 2020, the Commissioner for Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, presented an Eurostat Report, which gives an overview on the progress of the European Union concerning the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.