The targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 55 % below 1990 levels by 2030 and to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 have been enshrined in the European Climate Law. The Commission has now presented its “Fit for 55” package, outlining which concrete measures will be taken to accomplish these targets. Comprising of no fewer than eight Regulations, five Directives, two Communications and two Decisions, this package covers important sectors, which are needed to achieve climate neutrality.
It is well known that the coronavirus pandemic has hit consumers and companies hard, particularly in the field of travel. As a result of the crisis, known problems in consumer law have become more evident and a lack of clarity, gaps in legal protection and practical difficulties in asserting rights have been highlighted. The Austrian Chamber of Labour therefore calls for improvements and clarifications within the european travel law, namely the Package Travel Directive and the Passenger Rights Regulations for air, rail, ship, coach and bus travel.
The Austrian Chamber of Labour in principle welcomes the reduction goals set out in the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, which include a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2050.
On 10th May 2021, the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment invited experts to a hearing on genome editing. One of the four experts invited was Iris Strutzmann, AK Vienna, to represent the interests of consumers.
On 9 December 2020, the European Commission presented its Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, which specifies the contribution the transport sector should make to achieving the Green Deal.
The new Directive on batteries and waste batteries is intended to support the EU in its efforts to achieve its climate goals and in the transition to a low carbon economy. Batteries are to become sustainable, efficient, durable, and safe throughout their life cycle. They should be produced causing the minimum of environmental impact and made of materials that are sourced in a manner that fully ensures compliance with human rights, as well as social and ecological standards.
On 29 April 2021, the European Parliament confirmed the compromise on rail passenger rights, which it negotiated with the Council and the Commission at the end of the year 2020. Hence, the negotiations regarding this Regulation are complete. From the passengers´ perspective, there are only few improvements, but one significant deterioration instead.
On 23 March 2021, AK EUROPA, the ÖGB Europabüro and MEP Günther Sidl hosted a Webinar with the title “Informed consumer choices – also regarding genome editing?” The message of the participants was clear: from consumers’ point of view, there is no reason to change the current regulations for new gene technologies.
Consumer confidence in food in general and GE-free products in particular must not be undermined in any way. An EU-wide approval procedure that includes traceability procedures as well as systems for detection and a clear labelling of GE products is absolutely necessary for consumers in order to keep their “right to choose” and “right to safety”. Consumers must not run the risk of buying untested and unlabelled genetically modified organisms (GMO).
MEP Günther Sidl, AK EUROPA, the Brussels Office of the Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour and ÖGB Europabüro, the Brussels Office of the Austrian Trade Union Federation would like to cordially invite you to our joint webinar "Informed consumer choices – also regarding genome editing?"