Regions beyond coal: moving from dirty energy – and how to make it fair

Posted on 15 October 2021

Europe’s coal regions have a story to tell. Once the backbone of industry, their traditional livelihood is under threat as countries end fossil fuels. Europe’s coal regions know the damage it does if people and their livelihoods are forgotten in coal exit plans.
Coal is on its way out, but a just transition isn’t guaranteed: WWF, together with Bankwatch, are bringing this story to COP26.

During this multimedia event, participants will view witness statements gathered from coal regions around Europe and hear from those leading the charge for a socially fair transition.

We will welcome mayors from the heart of Europe’s coal country to tell of their regions' quest for a just transition to a more sustainable future.

After this, we will hear how that quest is replicated beyond the EU's borders and how the challenges to secure a just transition are the same and how they are different.

This will lead to a discussion on what works and what’s needed to ensure that ending coal leads to a fairer, healthier and more resilient future for all.

Stefan Krastev  - deputy mayor of Pernik, Bulgaria
Michal Bieda - deputy mayor of Bytom, Poland
Susan Aitken - Leader of Glasgow City Council


Lang Banks - Director, WWF Scotland

Date and time: 
4 November, 14:30-16:00 GMT - Glasgow Science Show Centre

How to join:
The event takes place in the COP26 'Green Zone', which is open to the public.
Book free tickets
 to attend in person or watch online

Several other events on just transition will take place at COP26, in the 'Blue Zone' to attend in person for those with blue zone badges only. These include the following:

A vision for “Just Energy Transformation” worldwide, and the impact on ambition
11:00 -12:00 GMT - WWF Pavilion (Blue Zone)
Join in-person or register to watch online

Urgent climate action is needed to secure a world in which the wellbeing and future of humanity are protected. This is only possible if the entire global community is behind the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Ror WWF, these “just energy transitions” must be part of a broader objective of societal transformation to a fairer, and sustainable, climate neutral future. WWF will present the case for a global “Just Energy Transformation” which entails systemic change that delivers on climate targets and on sustainable development goals. Speakers will give their thoughts on how to take this forward.


Frances O'Grady - Secretary-General, TUC
Sean De Cleene, World Economic Forum Executive Committee member
Vanessa Perez Cirera - Global Deputy Lead for Climate and Energy, WWF

Moderated by
Professor Jim Skea - Chair of Scottish Just Transition Commission and Co-chair of Working Group III of the IPCC,
Beyond Energy: A Just transition for all
4 Nov, 12.30-13.30 GMT - WWF Pavilion (Blue Zone)
Join in-person or register to join online
Overview: Just Transition is often confined solely to the energy sector and even then as a tool for remedying past mistakes. This event will widen our vision and present Just Transition as a national mission, crossing sectors and proactively contributing to a wellbeing economy. It will showcase Scotland’s Just Transition story alongside global examples of wider and non-energy Just Transition initiatives, inspiring ambitious and just climate action.
Scottish Government Minister (TBC)
Professor Jim Skea - Chair of Scottish Just Transition Commission and Co-chair of Working Group III of the IPCC, Sharan Burrow - General Secretary, ITUC
From Katowice to Glasgow - progress on Just Transition pathway in Central and East Europe 
05/11/2021 - 15:00-16:15 (CEE Bankwatch and Climate Reality Project) 
Blue Zone - Lomond Auditorium 

A Just Transition is a crucial element in the global path towards climate neutrality. The progress made in Central and East Europe since Katowice COP 24 led to a greater climate ambition. Positive examples and lessons learned from seven countries could encourage similar practices around the world. 

Richard Filcak - researcher, Slovak Academy of Sciences
Katie Treadwell - WWF European Policy Office
Miłosława Stępień and Victoria Shevchuk - CEE Bankwatch Network
Patryk Białas - Climate Reality

More information on COP26

The Regions Beyond Coal project is supported by the German Environment Ministry’s European Climate Initiative (EUKI)
Protests in a German village against coal expansion
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