Coal regions in transition

Coal in Europe’s energy mix

Coal accounts for nearly a quarter of the total electricity production in the EU. It is also a significant economic driver, providing jobs to around 240,000 people in mines and power plants across 41 regions and 12 EU countries. 

While coal remains a central fuel in the European energy mix, the transition to cleaner forms of energy and innovative technologies such as carbon capture and storage is imperative to meet the EU’s commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030.

Although the shift to a low-carbon economy presents many opportunities, economic and social impacts in many coal regions should not be ignored – this is where the platform for coal regions in transition comes in.

The platform for coal regions in transition

The declining use of coal has led to mines closing down in a number of regions across Europe. While EU coal regions share many commonalities, their paths towards decarbonisation differ widely. 
To ensure that no region is left behind in this transition, the European Commission launched the ‘Platform for Coal Regions in Transition’ in 2017, a key part of the coal and carbon-intensive regions in transition initiative included as a non-legislative element of the ​‘Clean energy for all Europeans’ package.

The platform works as an open forum, gathering all relevant parties, local, regional and national governments, businesses and trade unions, NGOs and academia. It promotes knowledge sharing and exchanges of experiences between EU coal regions, and represents a unique bottom-up approach to a just transition, enabling regions to identify and respond to their unique contexts and opportunities.

Since 2019, a secretariat has been set up to manage platform activities, including events, provision of support materials and technical assistance to coal regions.

At present, 18 coal regions are actively participating in the initiative:

  • Moravia-Silesia, Usti, Karlovy Vary (Czechia)
  • Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony Anhalt, North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Silesia, Lower Silesia, Greater Poland (Poland)
  • Western Macedonia (Greece)
  • Jiu Valley (Romania)
  • Trencin (Slovakia)
  • Zasavska, Savinjska (Slovenia)
  • Asturias, Aragón, Castilla-y-León (Spain)

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