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ENERGY : UNIONS CALL FOR SUSTAINABLE AND CONSUMER-FRIENDLY EU POLICY.

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has passed a resolution on the European Commission's EU energy strategy 2011-2020 document released on 10 October. For the ETUC, the EU's future energy policy must protect consumers, including vulnerable users, ensure quality jobs through a "just" transition and promote industrial competitiveness. In the document adopted on 1 December, the ETUC also calls for sustainable and affordable public transport programmes as well as avoiding negative social consequences in the shift to a low-carbon economy.

Memorable points amongst the 20 priorities listed in the ETUC document are: developing a European energy solidarity pact; creating a "democratic" European energy agency to promote a common energy policy; ensuring energy bills reflect just prices (socially fair, affordable, based on fair rate of return and not on excessive profit taking); protecting vulnerable energy consumers and reducing the energy bill of low and medium-income households.

Other notable elements are integrating social and environmental criteria in public contracts for energy infrastructure and awarding EU funding only to companies with a solid policy for corporate social responsibility (CSR). ETUC further calls for sustainable and affordable public transport as well as an EU directive on sustainable mobility. There should be sustainable and quality employment programmes anticipating structural changes and avoiding negative social consequences from the shift towards a low-carbon economy. A further important point is permanent consultation of social partners on the social and economic impact of climate change policies.

The resolution is available ata www.europolitics.info > Search = 283901

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Publication:Europe Environment
Date:Dec 16, 2010
Words:247
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