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27 Jan 2020, 14:22
Julian Wettengel

EU will not leave people of eastern German lignite region behind – cohesion commissioner

Clean Energy Wire

The European Union “will not leave the people of Lusatia behind”, as structural economic change brought on by the transition to a low-carbon world is a “European challenge”, said European commissioner for cohesion and reforms Elisa Ferreira during a visit to the eastern German lignite region. “People are understandably worried with the impact of the energetic transition on their lives, but they are not alone,” she said in a message on Twitter. She added that Germany could receive about 877 million euros from the recently presented “Just Transition Fund” to help minimise the impact of the transition in coal dependent regions. “As the most powerful economy in Europe, it is important that Germany keeps the momentum” in the energy transition, said Ferreira.

The EU aims to mobilise at least 100 billion euros over the 2021-2027 period in the most affected regions to alleviate the socio-economic impact of the transition. In Germany, one of the most contested aspects of the phase-out of lignite is how it will affect the social and economic well-being of the people living in the mining regions. The federal government, states and coal operators have agreed to a deal that would see lignite operations in western Germany largely shut down earlier than those in eastern Lusatia, as the eastern region’s economy would be hit harder.

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