On October 20, 2021, the European Economic and Social Commission adopted the "Glass at a Crossroads in Europe" report based on the recommendations of its Industrial Change Advisory Committee, which was subsequently approved at the plenary meeting the next day.
The European Economic and Social Commission is promoting a green and energy-saving glass industry, which will improve competitiveness and maintain high-quality jobs. It is also willing to accept the EU's policies to support the glass industry and help transition to a climate-neutral society.
"The European Economic and Social Commission requires EU policymakers to place the glass sector and all its sub-sectors at the core of current policy priorities, such as the "carbon reduction 55" climate package, circular economy plan, digital agenda, strategic value chain agenda, and The EU’s international trade policy and related tools."
In 2020, the EU produced more than 36 million tons of glass, making it one of the world's largest glass producers, employing approximately 290,000 people. However, the economic downturn and pandemic crisis have had a serious impact on the glass industry. Some important glass industries, such as flat, domestic, and glass fiber production have decreased, and the recovery is slow.
To overcome these difficulties and help the green and digital transformation of the European glass industry, the European Economic and Social Commission requested support for investment in education and training.
"This will bring in new and young employees to the industry, supplement the aging employees with the necessary knowledge and capabilities, and enable current employees to keep up with the innovation and transitional changes in the industry."
The green and energy-saving European glass industry 1
Co-rapporteur Gerald Kreuzer, the representative of the European Union of Industry to CCMI, is responsible for industrial and collective bargaining policies. Austria, the European Economic, and Social Council concluded that:
1. Call on EU and national decision-makers to support the EU's transformation wave, which will provide huge business opportunities for glass, trigger investment, and at the same time make a huge contribution to reducing carbon dioxide emissions and green energy.
2. It is recommended that EU policies support the energy transition of the glass industry, which will ensure that the glass industry will not be subject to unfair competition from outside the EU market.
3. It is recommended that the principles of the circular economy be implemented more widely, combined with public and private financial support and partnerships, such as the closure of glass recycling initiatives to encourage the use of glass recycling. This will enable Europe to avoid glass waste, reduce energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, and create new jobs in the glass recycling sector.
4. Call on the EU to protect the glass industry from the risk of carbon leakage. The European Economic and Social Commission requested that the carbon boundary adjustment mechanism be supplemented, at least before 2030, to carry out a free allocation based entirely on benchmarks to comply with WTO rules to strengthen carbon leakage measures.
5. The European Union's proposal to classify glass as a permanent material.
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