Week of 4 May 2020
A cross-sectoral group of companies (in the European Corporate Leaders Group) call on the EU to fully commit to a Green Deal and make the case that climate policies will help Europe increase employment as it faces the megatrends of (1) technological change, (2) globalisation, (3) demographic change, and (4) resource scarcity
The European Corporate Leaders Group (CLG Europe), a cross-sectoral group of European businesses working toward a climate neutral economy and convened by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), has released a report which makes the case for the EU to place the Green Deal at the heart of its coronavirus recovery strategy. CLG Europe includes companies Unilever, Coca-Cola European Partners, EDF, DSM, ACCIONA, Iberdrola, and Sky.
The group calls on the EU to fully commit to a European Green Deal that delivers a clear and managed transition to net zero emissions by 2050. It is calls for member states to implement “green and equitable” Covid-19 recovery plans and urgently draw up a strategy to equip the continent’s workforce with the skills needed for a greener future.
A few highlights from the report:
- Alongside the transition to a climate neutral economy, Europe will be impacted by other transformative forces – known as megatrends. These four mega-trends are (1) technological change, (2) globalisation, (3) demographic change, and (4) resource scarcity.
- Modelling the economic and environmental impact of the megatrends suggests that many of the megatrends – and in particular technological and demographic change – are likely to have far bigger impacts on the economy and the labour force than the low carbon transition.
- Where Europe has an aligned and effective policy framework (referred to as the best-case scenario), Europe could maintain employment levels in the face of the combined impact of the megatrends. Without this strong policy response, Europe could see job losses of up to nearly 10 per cent by 2030 and 30 per cent by 2050.
- The modelling finds that well designed and implemented climate policies can help improve how Europe manages these megatrends: when the best-case scenario is combined with 1.5 degree compatible decarbonisation policies, it improves employment projections, leading to a scenario of around 1 per cent growth in employment.
- Decarbonisation policies can help build a European labour market that is more resilient to economic change and sustainable, as long as these policies are sufficiently tailored to manage negative impacts. In particular, financial support and inclusive policies will be essential to ensure that the negative impacts of low carbon transition do not disproportionately disadvantage specific communities, or exacerbate the negative impacts of the other megatrends.
- The group provides five recommendations for policymakers: (1) commit to the European Green Deal and a clear and managed transition to a climate neutral economy, (2) develop a comprehensive vision to scale up skills and adaptability, (3) establish an inclusive economy through a just transition framework, (4) define a shared European agenda for the future of work and (5) implement green and equitable Covid-19 recovery plans, while urgently addressing which skills will be needed for the future.