S&Ds support a net zero-carbon economy by 2050 but demand actions for a just transition

green climate - wind turbines, solar panels on green world

Socialists and Democrats welcome the European Commission proposal to end greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. However, S&Ds want to make sure that the transition to a net zero-carbon economy will benefit all citizens and it will not create new inequalities. On the contrary: it should contribute to bridging the growing gap between rich and poor and reinforcing social cohesion among citizens and among regions.


S&D president Udo Bullmann said:

“We welcome the Commission proposal. In fact, it is S&D MEPs who led the legislative work in the European Parliament for ambitious legislation on clean energy and energy efficiency. But this is not enough. The Commission lacks a global vision to ensure a sustainable society. We must stop thinking only about economic growth and macro-economic figures. We must put people first. The ecological transformation must go hand in hand with a reform economic governance and radical social policies to make sure that this is a fair transition for everyone.

“The S&D Group yesterday launched a report with more than one hundred proposals for a radical policy change in the EU based on coordinated actions on the economic, the social and the ecological front (see here).”


S&D vice-president for sustainability Kathleen Van Brempt said:

“We welcome the fact that the Commission listened to the Parliaments’ request in its COP 24 resolution and proposes a long term goal for a net zero-carbon economy by 2050 at the latest. However, in this resolution we also asked for a ratchet up of the 2030 goals. If we want to reach the goals in the longer term, we need to make the right decisions today. We know that the current targets are not sufficient to achieve the goals set in Paris in 2015.

 “We also have a responsibility towards our citizens and workers. They need Europe’s guarantee that no worker, no region and no family will be left behind in this transition towards a climate neutral society. We need to radically change the EU governance and take all Europeans and all European regions on board.

“We look forward to the reflection paper towards a sustainable Europe by 2030, that the Commission will publish next month and is due to implement the Sustainable Development Goals in European policies and measures beyond GDP-based indicators."