The big topic in the EU right now is the Commission’s proposal for a green industry plan – the so-called Net-Zero Industry Act.
It aims to promote the green transition and the EU’s 2030 climate goals through, among other things, faster permits to produce green technologies, access to financing, proposals for collaboration around technologies, etc.
This week, FH’s deputy chairman Morten Skov Christiansen hosted a webinar where the EU’s green industrial policy was on the table – and its importance for the labor market. Both the business minister, the American trade union movement and Dansk Metal gave their suggestions on what needs to be done.
Business Minister Morten Bødskov emphasized on the webinar that we should not be satisfied with the green initiatives we have already implemented. We must further develop our green transition and our workplaces.
He therefore saw the Commission’s proposal for a green industrial plan for the EU as a welcome and important initiative.
He elaborated that we must ensure the right skills to build wind turbines, solar cells and other technologies that promote the green transition.
This must be done through upskilling and retraining. We must not be intimidated by the United States and the opportunities that now come with the Inflation Reduction Act. We must cooperate and Danish industry is very strong and has a lot to offer. The green transition requires the workforce to follow suit. And here we can also do something in Denmark.
He stated: “Without smart heads and good hands, it won’t work”.
The green transition is also the transition of opportunities
It is important to remember that the green transition contains opportunities for the future labor market. At the same time, the EU must continue to be competitive – so that jobs do not move away
That’s what it sounded like on the webinar from Johan Moesgaard Andersen, EU-cn hhef at Dansk Metal. He continued that the green transition will create new jobs – and they must be maintained in Europe. Here, a new green industrial policy plays a key role.
Let us be inspired by the green industrial legislation
On the webinar, the proposal for the EU’s green industrial plan was repeatedly held up against the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) – which the US government launched last year to boost an ambitious green transition and at the same time create new good American jobs.
Cathy Feingold and Samantha Smith from the American trade union movement enlightened us on the American IRA, which is expected to create 1 million new American jobs.
The main element is the possibility of a tax discount and access to financing – but the condition is that the investments must have a local content – i.e. favors American manufacturers and suppliers. But the most important thing is that the investments must be made on the basis of good wages and working conditions.
The trade union movement has difficult conditions in the USA, but the IRA is a historic breakthrough for American wage earners. Never before in the United States have the rights of wage earners been so much at the center.
Morten Skov Christiansen: “We can be inspired by the American IRA and adopt a socially ambitious green industrial plan in the EU.
We are happy that the green transition is being pushed forward and that there is a focus on retraining and continuing education. But it is important that it goes hand in hand with orderly pay and working conditions – as is the case in the USA”.