EU strides forward on just transition, but risks stumbling on fossil fuels | 1/14/2020 | Staff
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The path to a climate neutral Europe became a little easier today, with the European Commission's proposal for a fund to help coal regions reach climate neutrality. The Just Transition Mechanism aims to mobilise up to €100 billion to support workers and their communities to develop sustainable economic activities in regions whose economies are based on carbon-intensive activities, like coal mining. The mechanism requires regional just transition plans to be compatible with EU climate and energy goals. This means EU Member States have no excuse not to sign up for climate neutrality. However, the mechanism is not clear enough on the need for regional plans to include timelines for the phase out of fossil fuels, including a phase-out date for coal of 2030 or earlier. This should be clearly stated in the 2030 National Climate and Energy Plans or 2050 Long-Term National Decarbonisation Strategies. MEPs and EU Member States must step-up its ambition to deliver a truly just transition.

Katie Treadwell, energy policy officer at WWF European Policy Office, says, "A climate neutral Europe needs everyone to play their part. The proposed just transition mechanism is an important step towards making that happen. But a 'just transition' is not 'just' if regions are locked into unviable fossil fuels. It is not a 'transition' if there is no deadline for getting climate neutral. MEPs and EU Member States must improve the proposal so that regions show how and by when they will get free from gas, oil and coal."

Electricity - Generation - Coal - Prerequisite - European

Phasing out fossil fuel-based electricity generation, especially coal, is a prerequisite for fulfilling the European Union's commitment to the Paris Agreement and the leadership role the EU strives to have in global climate policy. Such a major change must be accompanied by a comprehensive Just Transition Strategy to minimise hardships for workers and their...
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