Just Transition, an open book: A Civil Society Perspective

Stressing that the youth of Kozani and all of Greece’s the lignite regions of the country should be at the forefront of the Just Transition, Ioanna Theodosiou participated in the event “The Just Transition of Kozani: An Open Book”, held in Kozani, organized by the Association of Active Youth Florina – Europe Direct Western Macedonia, as part of the EUTeens4Green project.

In her contribution titled “Just Transition, an open book: A Civil Society Perspective”, she referred to the urgent demand for the country’s energy transition and the lignite phase out in order to mitigate climate crisis. The country’s lignite regions led the way to this direction since 2015, seeking the means and the resources to ensure that the shift of their production and economic model will be just.

The decision to phase out lignite in Greece announced in 2019 and the European mobilisation following the European Green Deal that led to financial mechanisms in support of the EU’s lignite/coal regions were two crucial milestones in this path.

Commenting on the possibilities offered today by the Just Transition Development Programme 2021-2027, which is the main source of funding for the Just Transition in Greece, she referred to the following proposals:

  • strengthening local communities’ participation in the design and implementation of the Just Transition,
  • redesigning resources of JTDP in a way that meets the immediate and basic needs of citizens, youth and local businesses,
  • developing renewable energy sources and heat pumps to meet the energy needs of households in lignite regions,
  • supporting energy communities.

Especially for the youth that is faced with the challenges of unemployment, exclusion from education and training, as well as youth drain in search for more opportunities in other areas, she proposed the creation of a Youth Council for the Just Transition, in order to strengthen the active and institutional participation of the youth of the lignite regions in the governance of the Just Transition, as well as the Youth Fund for the Just Transition, in order to actively support their initiatives.

The crucial role of youth in the Just Transition and the proposals for its empowerment were the focus of Ioanna Theodosiou’s discussion with journalist Thomae Adamou on ERT Florina radio, ahead of the event.

The Green Tank’s proposals for the Just Transition in view of the local government elections to the candidates of the lignite regions are available at this link.

The event was held in Kozani, on September 29 & 39, 2023.

The conference was opened by the President of the OENEF, Kostas Filippidis. The Friday sessions were moderated by Kelly Grigoriadou, Editor, Together Free Press Magazine, while the Saturday sessions were moderated by Vassilis Lianas and Stefania Zourka, who were in charge of the Living Library Sessions implementation.

Other participants included:

Giannis Kostarellas, Just Transition Institute Greece

Stergios Kianas, Vice Regional Governor, Western Macedonia

Giannis Fallas & Vasilis Mpalachtsis, CluBE

Lefteris Ioannidis, former Mayor of Kozani, Ecological Movement of Kozani

Nikolaos Ntavos & Eleni Papista, CluBE

Vaggelis Nomikos, CERTH

Anastasios Rafailidis, Vice Mayor, Kozani

Panayiotis Strakalis, Teacher, Economics Expert

Group of Students, 3rd General High School Kozani

The full programme of the event is available at this link.

On the outcome of the event follow this link.