January 30, 2023 (10:19)

Eurogas final conference “Towards a just transition for the gas sector and its workers”

On January 26-27, 2023 in Brussels Cepconsult took part in international event Eurogas final conference “Towards a just transition for the gas sector and its workers. Challenges and opportunities”.

During the conference, representatives of the the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and industriAll Europe along with DG ENER, European Commission, energy companies and expert organizations address the functioning of the european gas market and its evolution, in the context of an emergency situation. They also heard the results of a special report by independent consultants Syndex on the challenges and opportunities for gas sector workers within the EU’s energy transition.

In short, this new report calls for new momentum that ensures a Just Transition for gas workers across Europe. Social dialogue, planning and investment will mean that employees from across the gas sector – but also from the petroleum and chemicals sectors – could be upskilled or re-skilled. A new dynamic for the gas sector as it decarbonises. The report also highlights a real need to get the skills in place for scaling up hydrogen and biomethane, as well as CCUS. As noted by Judith Kirton-Darling of industriALL Europe, “REPowerEU has massive ambitions in terms of biomethane and hydrogen targets. This will mean big changes.”

“The good thing about Just Transition possibilities in the gas sector,” said Eurogas Secretary General James Watson, “is that we can move forward with good jobs for communities. By that, I mean unionised jobs.” Watson continued: “Our sector has a future. We have opportunities but we will need a lot of changes. And we will need social dialogue in our sector to bring about a Just Transition.”

The event gathered a host of best practices from companies such as TotalEnergies and Floene, with numerous contributions from the European Commission in the areas of preparing for the jobs of tomorrow, and the tools and methodologies that will pave the way for a Just Transition. The keynote speech was also delivered by MEP Jens Geier.

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