Due to mechanization and low-cost energy alternatives, but also as a result of climate policy decisions, Europe's coal regions are currently facing a transition process, which creates major challenges for the regions. The European Commission's "Initiative for Coal Regions in Transition" supports coal and carbon intensive regions in their transition to a CO2 neutral economy. The objectives of the coal regions are to reduce environmental pollution and health risks, improve living conditions and create safer and cleaner jobs. The Wuppertal Institute is part of the international consortium that runs the secretariat of the initiative.
In cooperation with the "EU Just Transition Platform," the Initiative organises a virtual week from 16 until 19 November 2020, during which representatives of the regions, politics and science, as well as other stakeholders will meet to discuss strategies for a just transition and a technically and economically feasible coal phase-out, but also to exchange experiences on successful approaches to structural change. During the four-day online conference under the title "Just Transition Platform Meeting – Coal Regions in Transition Virtual Week," participants will discuss the latest developments in the EU Just Transition strategy, the Initiative for Coal Regions in Transition will present its current projects and the regions will report on their experiences in connection with structural change processes and the opportunities for shaping them.
Timon Wehnert, Head Berlin Office and Senior Researcher in the Structural Change and Innovation Research Unit in the Future Energie and Industry Systems Division at the Wuppertal Institute, will inform in a session on the future of the hydrogen economy about the special challenges, but also the opportunities of hydrogen for the regions and their energy-intensive industries. Other sessions in the virtual week will deal with environmental consequences of the closure of coal mines, employment and training in connection with a Just Transition, participation of young people in transformation processes and cooperation on the coal phase-out in Ukraine.
The Coal Regions in Transition Virtual Week takes place exclusively online. The complete programme as well as the registration can be found on the website of the Just Transition Platform.