Posted on 15 July 2019
Every region and every community is different. As EU countries wake up to the climate emergency and the need for a swift transition to a sustainable and carbon-neutral society, it is becoming increasingly clear that we need regional and community-level transition strategies to ensure that no one is left behind. Indeed, the UN Paris Climate Agreement itself recognises this. Not all regions will automatically benefit from the transition to net-zero emissions. With proactive and inclusive management, however, the transition can be a driver for sustainable economic development and social progress everywhere.
The just transition to a sustainable and carbon-neutral society requires action and engagement from all stakeholders to develop and implement bespoke economic diversification and transition plans.
The 7 Golden Rules identified by the partners of the Europe Beyond Coal Network establish guidance for regional and national authorities developing strategies for, and implementing the just transition at regional level. They are particularly relevant to the ‘country teams’ organised under the EU Coal Regions in Transition Initiative. These teams discuss and plan the transition, eventually selecting projects to apply for EU funding. The full implementation of these rules will ensure effective stakeholder participation in the process of selecting and implementing projects, without which the transition strategies will be much less effective, or could even be counterproductive. Applying these rules will be important to enable a speedy, socially just regional transformation beyond coal in line with the EU's obligations under the UN Paris Climate Agreement.
We call on the European Commission to adopt these guidelines to ensure a just and sustainable transition for all.