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The EU Green Deal Impacts on the Employment Sector. Opportunities & Challenges

European Union
Green Politics
Policy Implementation
Energy
Energy Policy
Policy-Making
Maria Kottari
Kings College London
Maria Kottari
Kings College London
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Abstract

The on-going energy transition is not limited only to the radical transformation of energy systems but is also coupled with the broader scope of an inclusive, sustainable, green economy. Given that fact, the employment sector is subject to undergo significant changes. Alongside, certain transition pathways have direct and major implications for the traditional employment patterns both in negative and positive ways. In addition to the interplay between the current employment trends, such as the digitalisation and the automation, and the climate change mitigation imperatives, employment is a key component of energy transition strategies on a global scale. The EU, that claims to be a global pioneer in fighting climate change, has begun to recognize the socio-economic linkages between energy transition and employment. The new energy rulebook, the so-called clean energy for all Europeans package (hereafter the clean energy package), adopted by the EU to fulfil its commitments under the Paris Agreement, includes policies that estimate to create a significant number of jobs linked to the clean energy sector. However, compelling challenges arise in regions that the coal dependence reduction signifies lob losses and a radical transformation of the workforce. This paper seeks to provide a comprehensive overview of the EU green jobs and skills agenda within the regulatory framework initiated by the clean energy package and the long-term vision for a climate-neutral economy by 2050, putting the accent in the interlinkages and overlaps between different policy portfolios. The paper will put particular attention to the future of jobs and skills in coal and carbon-intensive EU regions and discuss the effectiveness of the measures against social and regional disparities. Wind energy, solar energy, and batteries for energy storage (especially for electric vehicles) are commonly considered as the green technologies that will facilitate the transition to a low/zero carbon emissions energy system. The paper will, thus, attempt to elaborate on the employment aspects related to those technologies addressing also the gender equity perspective and the social innovation potential.