EU launches Secretariat to assist coal areas in transition in Western Balkans and Ukraine


The European Commission has launched the Secretariat of a brand new initiative to assist coal areas within the Western Balkans and Ukraine transition away from coal in the direction of a carbon-neutral financial system.

According to the Commission, mirroring the profitable EU Initiative for coal areas in transition, the newly established secretariat will ship assist to coal areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Ukraine.

The Commission stated 17 areas with vital coal mining actions and coal-based vitality manufacturing would be the key beneficiaries. The initiative’s secretariat will present direct assist for its implementation and guarantee collaboration throughout the variety of establishments and actors that the initiative will have interaction, the Commission stated in a press launch on February 15.

“The EU has put ‘just transition’ at the very heart of its roadmap towards a resilient, climate-neutral and future-proof economy and the European Green Deal,” EU Commission Director-General for Energy Ditte Juul Jorgensen stated. “We recognize that not all regions and countries have the same starting point on the path to climate neutrality, and that is why the European Green Deal includes a ‘just transition’ chapter, which provides for specific support to the regions and people most affected by the transition. This includes regions with ongoing coal mining activity and people currently active in the coal sector,” he added.

The new initiative builds on the experiences of the initiative for coal areas within the EU, which has linked stakeholders, supplied technical help and developed assist supplies for affected areas since 2017. These actions give attention to the EU’s simply transition efforts, which purpose to alleviate socioeconomic penalties of transition, whereas selling the event of recent, future-oriented financial actions. The two initiatives will profit from manifold synergies and assist one another’s implementation.

The European Commission is collaborating on this new initiative with worldwide companions, notably together with the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Energy Community Secretariat, Poland’s National Fund for Environment Protection and Water Management, and the College of Europe in Natolin. The companions launched the initiative on 10-11 December 2020.

The first goal of the brand new initiative is to create an open platform permitting for region-wide, multi-stakeholder dialogue and offering an area for sharing experiences, information and greatest practices on transition-related points amongst coal areas within the Western Balkans and Ukraine. From there, the purpose is to construct ties between EU coal areas and their counterparts within the Western Balkans and Ukraine via twinnings, as a method to foster change and to switch information, expertise and greatest practices on transition-related points.

According to the Commission, an additional ambition is to ascertain a coal academy with a view to present capability constructing amongst related stakeholders on transition-related points, offering devoted trainings on governance, group engagement, environmental reclamation, and repurposing of land and belongings. Selected pilot areas will probably be supplied with entry to technical help within the type of knowledgeable assist with a view to develop transition roadmaps for related public authorities. Finally, the initiative’s companions will assist coal areas within the Western Balkans and Ukraine to entry financing for transition tasks or programmes, primarily based on numerous accessible sources, together with from the European Commission, the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The secretariat of the initiative for coal areas in transition within the Western Balkans and Ukraine is predicated in Brussels and run by a consortium with knowledgeable information of the scenario in all the taking part international locations.