Today, the European Commission presented proposals for a 'Just Transition Fund' aimed at supporting regions affected by the transition to climate neutrality. The Just Transition Fund is a building block of the Green Deal and is intended to initiate the economic turnaround needed to achieve the Paris climate targets and prevent social disruption in the regions most affected by the transition.
Niklas Nienaß, Green/EFA group coordinator in the Committee on Regional Development, comments:
"The Just Transition Fund is a necessary tool to support the regions that will be affected by the move away from coal and other polluting industries, which we have long been calling for. Unfortunately, the Commission's proposal does not set a binding date for the phase-out of coal. No money should be distributed from this fund before there are clear commitments and concrete dates for the coal phase-out from Member States. Poland should sign-up to EU climate targets before being eligible to money under the Just Transition Fund."
"The €7.5 billion proposed by the EU Commission will be far from sufficient to ensure that the economic turnaround is socially responsible and provides sufficient support for all coal regions. The transition fund needs fresh money. The EU Commission must not use sleight of hand to transfer existing money from one fund to another and risk undermining EU regional funds."
"This is the only social aspect of the European Green Deal, which is why the EU must invest in people directly, the money must not flow into large companies. People in structurally weak regions must be provided with the money to set up their own businesses and to retrain away from jobs in carbon intensive industries."
The Just Transition Fund for economic restructuring is endowed with €7.5 billion. The EU Commission's proposal does not tie the disbursement of the money to a deadline for the phasing out of coal. The European Commission's proposal excludes the promotion of fossil fuels and nuclear power.