The Coal Regions in Transition for Western Balkans and Ukraine is a joint effort of principals (European Commission, Energy Community, World Bank, EBRD, College of Europe, Government of Poland) working together on cooperation with partners in the Western Balkans and Ukraine to:
facilitate the development of transition strategies and projects to kick-start a timely transition towards a low-carbon and climate-resilient future in these coal-dependent regions;
ideliver knowledge to coal regions and governments, principally through meetings and the Coal Regions in Transition Learning Academy; iii) facilitate ‘matchmaking’ with financial resources where possible, to help identify and implement pilot projects that support the decarbonisation objectives of these regions.
Knowledge to be delivered pertains to planning and preparing for transition. The project will foster wide stakeholder consultations and dialogue in coal regions, as well as with national governments and private-sector actors. It will include groups from state, regional and local authorities; coal and coal-based industry; civil society; trade unions and social partners; and academic institutions.
The Initiative has five components of cooperation:
Knowledge-sharing platform meetings
EU-Western Balkans and Ukraine coal regions twinning
A Coal Regions Learning Academy to formally disseminate good practices and support transition
Technical assistance for pilot coal regions, supporting regions undertaking transition
The Energy Community Secretariat is at the forefront of the energy transition in the region, encouraging ambitious NECPs, NDCs and GHG emission reduction targets along with low-carbon policies and measures within. Moreover, it is a frontrunner when it comes to the design of a fair, inclusive and gradual carbon pricing mechanism to be introduced in the region (Just Transition).
The implementation of the Large Combustion Plant Directive and Industrial Emission Directive represent also concrete impediment to the status quo; legal action can be triggered for not compliance while plants opting-out can remain in operation only for a limited number of hours (Cases Registry). Coal, in general, is increasingly perceived as a liability in financial circles, since heavily subsidised - as demonstrated by a recent study published by the Energy Community - while its real price should definitely reflect environmental and social costs.