PES for environmental policy that benefits the planet, consumers and workers
PES member parties, MEPs, trade unions and the civil society discussed consumer rights in the circular economy, how to advance clean mobility and how to put a fair price tag on carbon emissions.
Jo Leinen MEP (SPD, Germany), chairman of the PES environment and climate change Network, said:
"We need to move to a circular economy, where today's waste becomes the raw material of tomorrow's products. This is essential, even unavoidable. It will bring clear benefits to the environment and it can create new jobs. We also want the circular economy to bring benefits to citizens' everyday lives.
"That’s why we discussed a Pact for Consumer Protection and Information in the Circular Economy. The practice of planned obsolescence should be banned and so should micro-plastic particles used in cosmetics. And we must crack down on false green claims to help consumers make informed choices."
Following the Clean Mobility Package proposals by the European Commission, the discussion took on how to make Europe's transport system more sustainable.
Mr Leinen said:
"Petrol and diesel engines cause about one fourth of all greenhouse gas emissions in the EU and are a major driver of climate change. A swift shift to clean mobility is thus urgently needed: more electric mobility, more and better public transport, and better urban planning for more pedestrian-friendly and bike-friendly cities.
"Europe will need a just transition strategy for its automotive industry to keep its global competitiveness and to maintain and create jobs in this sector."
The Environment and Climate Change Network also discussed the introduction of new systems of carbon pricing to accelerate the EU's efforts to fight climate change.
Mr Leinen said:
"'Polluters pay' must be the guiding principle in European climate policy. We need a fixed and predictable price tag for CO<sub>2</sub> emissions, both in sectors covered by the ETS, and those outside the ETS.
"This price must be high enough to drive investments into clean, low-carbon alternatives. Revenues from such a carbon levy could be used to promote the green economy, clean mobility and education systems fit for the new skills needed in the clean economy of the future."
Also in attendance were:
- Seb Dance, Member of the European Parliament, UK Labour
- Jytte Guteland, Member of the European Parliament, SAP Sweden
- Sylvia Maurer, Director Energy, Food, Health & Safety at European Consumer Organisation (BEUC)
- Ivo Schmidt, Member of cabinet, Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic
- Stephan Zimmermann, The World Bank Brussels Office
- Victoria de la Torre, Public Relations Adviser, S&D Group Secretariat
- Zefi Dimadama, Vice-President, PES Women
- Xavier Dutrenit, Adviser to the President, S&D Group Secretariat
- Charly Heberer, Parliamentary Assistant to MEP Tiemo Woelken
- Alexander Keynes, Parliamentary Assistant to MEP Seb Dance
- Guillaume Lepère, Policy Adviser, PS Belgium
- Bart Martens, Parliamentary Assistant to MEP Kathleen Van Brempt
- Harun Muharemovic, Vice-President, Young European Socialists
- Stefan Nuspl, Parliamentary Assistant to MEP Karin Kadenbach
- Rudolf Rechsteiner, Member of Grand Council of Basel-Stadt, PS Switzerland
- Klaus Röhrig, EU Climate and Energy Policy Coordinator, Climate Action Network Europe
- Justus Schönlau, Policy Advisor, PES CoR Group
- Teuta Voda, Deputy Minister of Justice, International Secretary of the Socialist Party of Albania
- Guus van Zwoll, PvdA, the Netherlands
- Charlotte Billingham, Executive Advisor, Foundation for European Progressive Studies
- Roland Joebstl, Policy Officer Energy and Climate, European Environmental Bureau
- Robert Ladrech, Professor, Keele University, Great Britain
- Stephen Minas, Senior Research Fellow, Transnational Law Institute King’s College London; Assistant Professor of Law, School of Transnational Law Peking University
- Yonnec Polet, PES Deputy Secretary General
- Constantin Kourkoulas, Head of PES EU Policy Unit
- Gerrit Krause, PES Adviser on Environment, Climate and Energy Policies