8 environmental organizations (Europe Beyond Coal, Polish Green Network, Priatelia Zeme CEPA, Greenpeace, WWF, CEE Bankwatch, CAN Europe and the Green Tank) sent a letter to the newly founded Secretariat of the Coal Regions in Transition Platform*, with the goal of establishing a better cooperation between the Secretariat and the NGOs.
The letter follows the platform’s latest Working Group meeting in Brussels on 8-9 April and the constructive exchange of views between NGOs and the platform leader Klaus-Dieter Borchardt.
It stresses the importance of developing specific Just Transition plans for Europe’s coal regions that are compatible with European climate goals. Based on several presentations at the last WG meeting in Brussels, this should not be taken for granted.
In addition, the NGOs ask the Secretariat and the European Commission to address the key issue of representative participation in the country teams representing regions participating in the coal platform. These groups also decide on projects to be funded by European funds.
The experience so far in various European coal regions shows that the procedures followed are opaque, while the projects proposed for funding are often incompatible with the European targets for the decarbonization of the energy mix or do not really contribute to job creation and the transformation of local economies in a sustainable direction.
Read the letter here.
*The platform was established by the European Commission in 2017 in order to provide technical assistance to EU coal mining regions and to support their transition to alternative economic activities as they shift their economies away from coal. The platform currently provides support for 20 regions -out of a total of 42- from 8 member states (CZ, DE, PL, EL, RO, SK, ES, SI). The region of Western Macedonia in Greece is amongst the first three regions to be included in the platform.