Russia’s invasion has further underlined the need for EU climate ambition. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, phasing out fossil fuels, and security goes hand in hand.
During the last six months we have seen several new Energy Summits in the EU. Countries are getting together to amp up investments in wind energy and phasing out of fossil fuels.
“As trade unions we have to make sure that investments in green energy and phasing out fossil fuels goes hand in hand with social security of workers. We will not succeed with a just transition if we do not have enough skilled labour. This is the case all across Europe” Bente Sorgenfrey, Vice President, Danish Trade Confederation
We need to sustain ourselves through green energy
In Ursula von der Leyen’s State of the Union speech last week she highlighted the even bigger urgency to develop countries in the European Union. According to von der Leyen we need to sustain ourselves through green and renewable energy.
The president mentioned Denmark as an inspiration for European countries to follow.
“When the oil crisis hit, Denmark started to invest heavily into harnessing the power of the wind. They laid the foundations for its global leadership in the sector and created tens of thousands of new jobs. This is the way to go! Not just a quick fix, but a change of paradigm, a leap into the future.” Ursula von der Leyen.
On the European, national and regional level, policy makers need to remember the importance of education and skills development and involvement of the workers in the transition.
“The demand for skilled labour will be huge. Without skilled workers we will not be able to build windmills, wind farms and the necessary energy grid needed to become independent from Russian oil and gas” Bente Sorgenfrey
As the president mentioned we have already shown that we are able to re-educate our workers as seen in Esbjerg. The port in Esbjerg have for many years been the capital of oil and gas – but through investment in greener education for the workers, Esbjerg is ready for a transition to only sustainable energy and a complete cut from the oil industry in Denmark.
What is “State of the Union”?
Each year the president of the European Commission speaks in the European Parliament on the first plenary meeting in September. This speech is the president’s opportunity to give their analysis of the situation in the European Union, but often also gives an insight into the focus of the European Commission during the next year. Last year the main focus of the speech was solidarity in the time of a pandemic and climate issues.