A just transition means delivering the socio-economic transformation required to address climate change, whilst reducing inequalities in the most affected regions and ensuring the costs and benefits of the transition are spread fairly.
CAN Europe’s work on just transition started in coal regions, where the need to embrace the social and environmental dimensions together was compelling. The EU’s Coal Regions in Transition Platform (CRiT) as well as its Just Transition Mechanism (dedicated financial support scheme) agendas provided major opportunities to prepare for a fair and sustainable transition in carbon intensive regions across the EU (as opposed to transitions away from coal from the past, which in many cases were brutal and led to negative socio-economic impacts).
Mapping of challenges and looking for solutions on a case by case basis offers a number of options for a just energy transition in the regions that are dominated by the coal industry after the phase-out of coal. For example, installation of renewable energy sources such as wind or solar combined with other green industries (circular economy, sustainable tourism, sustainable manufacturing) are a viable option in many localities. Alternatively, depending on the local culture and natural resources other economic activities can be explored, such as developing olive production in Milas, Turkey.
While the coal phase-outs in Europe will accelerate, hopefully before 2030, the assistance to coal regions remains an important element of European policy making. We will monitor the first implementation of the Just Transition Fund in order to draw lessons for regions outside of EU.
See our publications:
– Just Transition for those depending on fossil resource extraction and combustion, Dec 2019 |
– How is the transition to a climate-neutral economy made just?, Nov 2019 | Briefing
– Just transition or just talk 2019?, May 2019 Report
– Just transition or just talk 2020?, September 2020 | Report
– Coal regions to become renewables hubs through a just transition, Dec 2020 | blog
– A wake up call from the coal impacted community of Lazarevac, Serbia, June 2021| Report
– EU certified olive oil NOT coal for the future of Milas, Turkey, April 2022| Report
Written by Ana-Maria Seman, Regional Climate and Infrastructure Lead at WWF Central and Eastern Europe. In pursuit of the EU’s ambitious 2030 target of 60GW of offshore wind capacity, there
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