More than 500 representatives from EU institutions, coal regions, companies, trade unions and NGOs gathered at the “EU Coal Regions in Transition Platform”. During the event, the EUKI project “Regions and Municipalities for a Just Transition” lifted the curtain for the findings of three reports on coal regions in Poland, Bulgaria and Greece. Project implementer WWF presented figures on jobs at risk and showed EU decision-makers the great potential for creating new jobs.
The study “Unlocking Low Cost Renewables in South East Europe” by EUKI financed project “South East Europe Energy Transition Dialogue” demonstrated how a few political and financial measures can help to strongly “de-risk” investment in renewables. Its cost could be lowered by stunning 20%. For example, the cost for onshore wind could fall to 46 EUR/MWh in Greece, well below the cost of fossil power plant projects. The de-risking measures with the highest impact include the EU budget guarantee mechanism, reliable, long-term renewables remuneration regimes and long-term renewables targets. The recommendations were discussed with decision makers both bilaterally as well as during a final project workshop in June 2021.
“Clean Heat” developed a strategy to reduce air pollution in Poland. In the process, the Forum Energii team achieved sustainable results not only at the national, but also at the local level: The analyses conducted were published by the Polish Ministry of Climate in 2020 and contributed significantly to the decision to end coal in cities by 2030 and in villages by 2040.
During four study trips to Germany, Greece, Bulgaria and Poland, 108 European stakeholders shared their experiences on coal mining. A total of 239 affected people working in coal regions took part in 8 capacity building workshops. Both measures created an atmosphere of trust and the basis for jointly developing plans for a just transition.
A “Forum of Mayors on Just Transition” was established with 72 mayors from European coal-mining regions signing to a Declaration on Just Transition. It took place in Kozani (Greece) in 2018, in Weisswasser (Germany) 2019, in Bytom and Konin (Poland) in 2020 and 2021. Continuity, Communality and Fairness are the drivers of change urged by EUKI project “Regions and Municipalities for a Just Transition”.