March Soirée: The Green Transition Requires a Just Social and Industrial Transformation

The March Green Mobility Magazine Soirée, hosted at the Press Club Brussels Europe, was an illuminating forum that brought together a distinguished panel of experts to delve into the complexities of the Just Transition within the European Union’s transportation landscape.

The panel, comprising Carlos Zorrinho, a Member of the European Parliament, Livia Spera, General Secretary of the European Transport Workers’ Federation, Lucien Mathieu, Cars Director at Transport & Environment; and Marc Billiet, Senior Adviser on EU Goods Transport at the International Road Transport Union, engaged in a comprehensive analysis of the social, political, and economic challenges intertwined with this transition.

Central to the discussions was the imperative need for a just green transition, with the panel emphasising the need to concurrently address the social dimensions of this transformative process alongside environmental objectives. The affordability challenges faced by consumers and road transport operators were of particular concern. The panellists explored potential solutions, including the prospect of introducing a social electric vehicle (EV) tariff akin to the one implemented in France, whilst select panellists advocated for a technology-neutral approach to decarbonisation in road transport.

Moreover, the ramifications of the transition on the industrial landscape were underscored, with approximately 20 million workers in the transport and mobility sectors poised to grapple with workforce reorganisation and the acquisition of new skill sets. This prompted contemplation on developing an industrial strategy attuned to the evolving employment dynamics in the sector.

The discussions at the event underscored the intricate interplay between environmental imperatives and the need to ensure a fair and equitable transition. The panellists highlighted the necessity of a holistic approach, acknowledging the multi-faceted nature of the challenges. The debate displayed a commitment to balancing the imperatives of environmental sustainability with the pressing need to address the socio-economic repercussions of the transition.

Image: Carlos Zorrinho via Twitter / X

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