Join the dialogue on coal phase out and just transition in coal regions in the Western Balkans and Ukraine
Jointly led by the European Commission and its international partners, the Initiative for Coal Regions in the Western Balkans and Ukraine invites all interested parties to join the annual meeting of the initiative on 23-24 June. The aim of the event is to support open, multi-stakeholder dialogue on coal phase out and just transition towards sustainable energy sources in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Ukraine.
The initiative’s purpose is to jointly explore pathways to a just transition in coal regions in the Western Balkans and Ukraine and to deliver on the Green Deal. Established in the context of the EU’s commitment to address climate change and to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement, a mutual exchange with the neighbouring countries and the ambition to become the first carbon-neutral economy by 2050, the initiative includes accompanying measures for fair and just transition in coal regions in the Western Balkans and Ukraine.
Led by the European Commission, the initiative has six further collaborating international partners: the World Bank, the Energy Community Secretariat, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), Poland’s National Fund for Environment Protection and Water Management (NFOSiGW), and the College of Europe in Natolin. Its aim is to foster dialogue across regions and between stakeholders through knowledge-sharing, capacity building, and exchanges between coal regions in the Western Balkans and Ukraine and in the EU.
The initiative will provide support to coal regions that are aiming to implement just transition towards sustainable energy sources. The countries in focus are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Ukraine. An initial screening has identified at least 17 regions within these countries with significant coal mining activities and coal-based energy production that are invited to participate in this dedicated initiative. Other regions with significant coal mining activities or coal-based energy production are also welcome to join the initiative. To learn more about the regions addressed, see here.
The initiative contains five different elements of support. First, the initiative will provide an open platform allowing region-wide, multi-stakeholder dialogue through communication activities and events. All interested stakeholders are invited to join the dialogue. Among the foreseen stakeholder groups are public authorities, energy sector actors, NGOs, researchers, businesses, media, international organisations, political parties, youth organisations, etc.
Second, the initiative will implement a coal region-to-region exchange programme. Participating regions from the Western Balkans and Ukraine and the EU will build ties and share experiences, knowledge and best practices on transition-related issues. The programme will benefit from the experience gained in the successful Initiative for coal regions in transition set up for coal regions in the EU member states in 2017.
Third, capacity among relevant stakeholders will be built through a Coal Region Learning Academy that will offer dedicated trainings on governance, community engagement, environmental reclamation, and repurposing of land and assets.
Fourth, the selected pilot regions will be provided with technical assistance in the form of expert support to develop transition roadmaps for relevant public authorities.
Finally, the initiative will help coal regions access financing for transition projects or programmes, based on various sources available from the European Commission, the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the European Investment Bank.
Details about the initiative’s activities will be presented at its annual meeting. It will take place on 23-24 June online and is open to all interested participants. To join the event and receive further information about the initiative, please register here. Furthermore, interested parties will be invited to subscribe to the database of stakeholders and sign up for the latest news related to the initiative.
To learn more about the initiative, see here.