Due to mechanisation 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.
As the latest product of the Secretariat, researchers from the Wuppertal Institute have developed the toolkit "Technology Options: Transforming industries in coal regions for a climate-neutral economy," which explains different technologies in relation to the after-use options of coal-fired power plants, the technological developments of sustainable steel production and the challenges and opportunities of transitioning to a hydrogen economy.
During the four-day online conference "Just Transition Platform – Coal Regions Virtual Week and Carbon-intensive Regions Seminar," which will take place from April 26 to 29, 2021, representatives of the regions, policy makers, academia and other stakeholders will also discuss the latest developments of the EU Just Transition Strategy, the employment effects of green technologies and the potentials of building battery value chains. The regions will report on their experiences in connection with structural change processes and the possibilities for shaping them. On April 28, 2021, starting at 3:45 pm, Timon Wehnert, Head of the Berlin Office and Senior Researcher in the Structural Change and Innovations Research Unit at the Wuppertal Institute, will moderate the session "Coal power plants: case studies of repurposing". On the last day of the event, he will also present toolkit starting at 10.00 am.
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.