The report takes a detailed look at expected local employment and community-related impacts in Silesia and Eastern Wielkopolska in Poland; Western Macedonia and Megalopolis in Greece; and the Pernik and Bobov Dol regions of southwestern Bulgaria. Furthermore, it also offers recommendations on the biggest Bulgarian coal region, Stara Zagora. The authors report that, as of March 2021, half of Europe’s coal plants had already shut down or set a closure date. The study profiles individual regions and highlights key findings related to employment and wage prospects, lost income from indirect jobs, the types of jobs to which mining workers could transition, and the expected delay before economic benefits from the transition accrue.
It finds that planning, local participation, transparency, and a commitment to ending fossil fuels are crucial aspects for all the regions. These aspects, along with financing, can turn coal communities into sustainably and economically thriving places to live. The report makes recommendations for EU policymakers to consider while approving the Territorial Just Transition Plans that include: the verification of the “Partnership Principle”; the prevention of further investment in fossil-intensive industries; the application of the “polluter pays” principle; the provision of support for all workers affected; and the alignment with other EU funds. The report provides additional recommendations to national and local policymakers to ensure a just transition.