MEPs vote on Just Transition Fund - WWF comment

Posted on 18 May 2021

Getting local just transition plans right is essential
MEPs are voting today in plenary on the EU Just Transition Fund. 

To access the Fund, communities have to draw up Just Transition plans, which are then submitted by the national government to the European Commission.  

In WWF’s view, getting these plans right is essential to fighting climate change in a socially fair way. 

Katie Treadwell, Energy Policy Officer at WWF European Policy Office said:
“Some governments think they can get money for nothing - or even for continuing coal mining and burning. Let's be clear, if member states allow this, they will deny their communities access to this fund and walk them to a cliff face transition in a few years time”.

Plans must be developed in an inclusive way with communities, workers, unions and civil society. To be fair, they must not waste money on dirty fossil fuels, but instead enable regions to transition.

To assess the plans, WWF has developed a public, easy-to-use online ‘scorecard’ tool, which anyone can use. 

“We urge those developing plans to use our platform to check they really are consistent with a just transition before submitting them to the Commission”, concluded Treadwell. 

More information: 
The €17.5 billion Just Transition Fund aims to help the social impacts of the shift to climate neutrality of European regions whose economies have been based on high-carbon industries like coal mining and power. 

In this vote, MEPs will rubberstamp the deal they already agreed with the Council in December last year. The agreement requires regions to plan to reduce coal use in order to access funds and none of the money is allowed to go to new fossil fuel investments. 

Once adopted by the Plenary, the JTF Regulation will enter into force - most likely at the very start of June. Member states can only start submitting Just Transition Plans for their regions when the Regulation enters into force.
More information: 
Katie Treadwell
Energy Policy Officer 

Sarah Azau
Communications Manager 
Tel: +32 473 573 137
Coal mine at Turgen Mountains, Mongolia
Coal mine at Turgen Mountains, Mongolia
© Hartmut Jungius/ WWF