A group of 41 mayors from 10 coal regions in 9 European countries including 11 mayors from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, and Romania have signed a declaration supporting a just transition to the post-coal era.
The signatory mayors also come from Germany, Slovakia, Poland, and the Czech Republic, while two are from non-EU countries (BiH and Montenegro), where phasing out coal is not yet even being discussed, showing that in some cases, regions are taking the lead, according to a press release from WWF.
In BiH and Montenegro phasing out coal is not yet even being discussed
The Declaration of Mayors on Just Transition was signed by the following mayors from the region:
- Edin Delić, Lukavac, BiH, Tuzla region
- Elza Velichkova, Bobov Dol, Bulgaria, Kyustendil region
- Anthimos Bitakis, Amyntaio, Greece, W. Macedonia region
- Vassilios Giannakis, Florina, Greece, W. Macedonia region
- Panagiotis Plakentas, Eordaia, Greece, W. Macedonia region
- Lazaros Maloutas, Kozani, Greece, W. Macedonia region
- Igor Golubović, Pljevlja, Montenegro, Nothern region
- Vasile Jurca, Petrila, Romania, Jiu Valley region
- Nicolae Dunca, Aninoasa, Romania, Jiu Valley region
- Tiberiu Iacob-Ridzi, Petrosani, Romania, Jiu Valley region
- Lucian Resmerită, Lupeni, Romania, Jiu Valley region.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wants to set up a ‘Just Transition fund’
According to the WWF press release, incoming EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has committed to achieving a climate-neutral Europe by 2050. To help coal regions reduce emissions and restructure their economies, she wants to set up a “Just Transition fund.”
Two of the mayors – from the Czech Republic and Germany – presented the declaration to the EU Commission’s Deputy Director-General for Energy, Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, at a meeting of the EU “Coal Regions in Transition Platform” in Brussels.