More national and European funds for Western Macedonia and Megalopolis

The significance of Greece demanding a change in the criteria used to allocate funds of the new European Just Transition Mechanism among Member States, and the need for the Greek government to channel every year of this decade public funds from the auctioning of CO2 allowances to the country’s two lignite regions, were underlined by Nikos Mantzaris in an article by Machie Tratsa in Sunday’s “Vima” on the challenges these regions face because of the decision to phase out lignite.

The criteria recently proposed by the European Commission for fund allocation of the European Just Transition Mechanism lead to injustices and distortions. They reward Member States such as Poland that do not even support the European objective of climate neutrality by 2050, while being unfair to Greece which is proposed to receive just €294m from the €7.5bn European Just Transition Fund. Changing the criteria in the right direction will lead to more resources for Western Macedonia and Megalopolis, which are facing urgent needs due to the Greece’s forward-bearing lignite phase-out timeline.

At the same time, at the national level, the government must commit itself to continue to channel part of the public revenue from the auctioning of CO2 allowances for the development of sustainable economic activities in the country’s lignite region for the entire period until 2030. The continuation of the measure is also enshrined in the new National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) submitted to the European Commission in December 2019, which will be implemented over the next decade.

The article was published on February 16, 2020 in Sunday’s “Vima” under the title (in Greek):

From the “blessing” of lignite to Greece’s Manchester