The project is completed. By creating a platform for regions and municipalities, the project developed concrete ideas to enable robust and Just Transition pathways in Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, and Poland.
The project built on a previous project in the same countries which defined Just Transition roadmaps for coal regions in transition. The main goal of the previous project “Just Transition in Eastern and Southern Europe” was for relevant stakeholders in Bulgaria, Greece, and Poland, but also in Brussels and Germany, to recognize Just Transition as a necessary component of climate policy. This is considered to have been completed at a formal level. The European Commission’s “Strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy” integrates measures for Just Transition in its strategy.
Recognizing that the phase-out of coal is urgent to achieve the net zero target by 2050, the project aims for robust Just Transition pathways. It does so by supporting concrete transformative ideas in Bulgaria, Germany, Greece and Poland, thus at the same time boosting regional development. To foster Just transition, it is necessary that stakeholders share the same vision and carry it at policy level including towards EU institutions. This needs to be accomplished through an open, transparent, and participatory process.
Over a two-year period, the project conducted capacity-building workshops and other dialogue formats with relevant representatives to promote the exchange and sharing of expertise and best practices.
The project highlighted the need for a transparent participatory process to shape the coal phase-out, supported concrete ideas for transformation processes in the regions, and contributed to the further development of the climate debate. By creating an exchange platform, the project contributed to a consensus among municipal actors on the need to to systematically integrate the Just Transition agenda into climate policies.
State of Results
The project sensitized the representatives of the regions and municipalities in the target countries to different aspects of a just coal phase-out and promoted cooperation with the local communities and authorities. This contributed to the emergence of a shared vision and increased the acceptance of the European climate targets.
The annual meetings of the Forum of Mayors, where mayors from mining regions meet to exchange experiences, established a common institutional voice of the municipal level in the Just Transition debate. The Declaration of Mayors on the need to involve the municipal level and provide support was signed by 72 municipalities by the end of the project. A permanent secretariat was established for the Forum, funded by the European Climate Foundation.
Within the framework of three studies, the project partners analyzed possible employment effects of the targeted coal phase-out. The project sponsor WWF used new data to demonstrate which local jobs are at risk and showed the EU representatives the great potential for creating new jobs. These results were presented to more than 500 representatives of EU institutions, coal regions, companies, trade unions and non-governmental organizations who met for the “EU Coal Regions in Transition Platform”. During the event, the EUKI project “Regions and Communities for a Just Coal Exit” unveiled the results of three studies on coal regions in Poland, Bulgaria and Greece. The project sponsor WWF used new data to demonstrate which local jobs are at risk and showed the EU staff present the great potential for creating new jobs.
Updated: February 2023
Countries: Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Poland
Project duration: 11/19 - 12/21
Funding: 435,623 €
Target groups: Cities, towns and municipalities, Civil Society, Companies, Experts, Investors, Private sector
Partners: WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme, WWF Greece, WWF Poland
Project Webseite: wwf.de
Ms Juliette de Grandpré
Organisation: WWF Deutschland
This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The EUKI call for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.
European Climate Initiative (EUKI)
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