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Twin transition: developing a trade union narrative and strategy

The Green Deal will have a major impact on the construction, woodworking and forestry sectors. Hence, it will also have a great impact on workers and working conditions. The panel on Twin Transition has been a chance to discuss the opportunities and challenges that will show up within the transition process. A process that aims to lead towards a green, sustainable and digital economy.

During the panel, experts discussed the topic of just transition, its benefits and challenges. And as we know, the concept of just transition calls for the involvement of trade unions in this process. Experts also discussed how to bring together the strengths of all the players involved in the transition process. Indeed, it has been underlined that a successful transformation, supported by society, requires a participatory approach involving all the social and economic players.

Valentin Espert, researcher at the Wuppertal Institute for climate, environment and energy opened the panel discussion stating that “In the just transition there are social and economic elements that are linked. Not only distributive but also procedural justice is called for, and this is possible by involving trade unions.”

Vesa Terävä, head of unit green deal at the European Commission, explained the Commission’s role in ensuring that the twin transition is just and  presented the tools and strategies that the EU Commission will adopt to support the Member States throughout the transition. “Within the just transition, we are committed to preserving the role and security of workers in the various sectors. Also, the transition is expensive, which is why we have the Fair Transition Fund today and the Social Climate Fund by 2026, important resources to consider the most vulnerable and impacted by climate change.”

David Johnsson, chair of the social affairs working group at CEI-Bois, added that “companies need to be upgraded and prepared, to attract new workers. At the same time, upskilling and reskilling processes are necessary to get the job done. The just transition should serve to improve working conditions.”