7 golden rules for just transition planning in EU coal regions

Every region and every community is different. As EU countries wake up to the climate emergency and the need for a swift transition to a sustainable and carbon-neutral society, it is becoming increasingly clear that we need regional and community-level transition strategies to ensure that no one is left behind. Indeed, the UN Paris Climate Agreement itself recognises this. Not all regions will automatically benefit from the transition to net-zero emissions. With proactive and inclusive management, however, the transition can be a driver for sustainable economic development and social progress everywhere.

The just transition to a sustainable and carbon-neutral society requires action and engagement from all stakeholders to develop and implement bespoke economic diversification and transition plans.

The 7 Golden Rules developed by NGOs and think tanks participating in the Europe Beyond Coal Network establish guidance for regional and national authorities developing strategies for, and implementing the just transition of coal regions in the EU.

They are particularly relevant to the ‘country teams’ organized under the EU Coal Regions in Transition Initiative. These teams discuss and plan the transition, eventually selecting projects to apply for EU funding.

The full implementation of the proposed rules will ensure effective stakeholder participation in the process of selecting and implementing specific projects, as part of a long-term transition strategy for each region.

Applying these rules will be instrumental in enabling a speedy, socially just regional transformation beyond coal in line with the EU’s obligations under the UN Paris Climate Agreement.

We call on the European Commission to adopt these guidelines to ensure a just and sustainable transition for all.

The rules are proposed by the following organizations:

Europe Beyond Coal, WWF, The Green Tank, CEE Bankwatch Network, Polish Green Network, Greenpeace, CDE, E3G.

You can read the proposed 7 golden rules here.