16 Oct 2019, 12:45
Freja Eriksen

Mayors from coal regions call on Europe for more help in transition

Clean Energy Wire

Forty-one mayors from Germany, Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Greece, Romania, Montenegro and Slovakia have signed a declaration calling on the European Union for more structural and financial help for European coal regions in transition. In their declariation to the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament the mayors recognise that the European economy must be decarbonised in line with the Paris Agreement. They urge that financial support for the implementation of just transition is scaled up, "including provisions for the workers, enhancing the adaptive capacity of local communities and shifting the local and regional economies towards sustainable economic activities." The Mayor of Weisswasser in Lusatia, Torsten Pötzsch, commented that his city had "navigated many hurdles, for example overcoming depopulation in the 1990s. But we cannot ensure a fair energy transition alone."

President-elect of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has committed to turning Europe climate neutral by 2050 and proposed setting up a Just Transition Fund for coal dependent regions. In Germany, coal-fired power generation is set to be phased out by 2038 and the government has promised to set aside 40 billion euros for structural change in the affected coal regions over the next 20 years.

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