NGOs Greenpeace and Bankwatch Romania have launched a new report outlining scenarios for the just transition of Romania’s best-known coal region, Jiu Valley, highlighting job growth and economic development without coal is very much possible in the region.
The report, Just transition in Hunedoara – Economic diversification in a fair and sustainable manner, outlining scenarios for the post-coal development of Romania’s best-known coal region, the Jiu Valley, and highlighting that job growth and economic development without coal are very much possible in the region, Bankwatch said in a press release.
The alternative scenarios, prepared by the Romanian Center for Economic Policies – Cerope, focus on the development of three main economic sectors: agriculture, industry, and services.
The analysis shows that, if alternative development scenarios are implemented, thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of euros can be generated in the region by 2030 – 750 jobs and EUR 88 million in net profits can be created over the next decade in small-scale farming and animal raising; 1,520 jobs and EUR 31 million in renewables and energy efficiency; and 434 jobs and EUR 38 million in profits in tourism and other services.
The analysis comes at a time when the EU’s Platform for Coal Regions in Transition is paying special attention to the Jiu Valley, this year a focus region for the Platform, and when national authorities are gearing up to prepare a regional development strategy for the region in view of deploying resources from the next EU budget (2021-2027).
The report highlights the need for state authorities to prepare the ground for alternative development of the coal region by investing in retraining programs for the workers, increasing connectivity of the region, strengthening the public administration, prioritizing investment areas, and facilitating cooperation among local actors.
During the launch event of the analysis, taking place September 23 in Lupeni, one of the main mining towns in the Jiu Valley, four mayors from the region joined an earlier commitment by local leaders to work together for just transition in the Jiu Valley (a memorandum of understanding was already signed by six Jiu Valley mayors this July in Brussels), according to the press release.