Heads of municipalities in Slovenia’s coal regions – Savinjsko-Šaleška, and Zasavje decided to establish a council of mayors to monitor the phaseout of coal and secure just transition. In the meantime, the government has published action plans for phasing out coal in the two regions. The documents will help Slovenia tap on the Just Transition Fund.
The activities are part of Slovenia’s preparation for setting the year of abandoning coal and for the adoption of a coal phaseout strategy. The public debate over the draft strategy is underway, and the proposed year is 2033.
At the invitation of the head of the Municipality of Velenje Peter Dermol, six mayors from the Savinjsko-Šaleška (SAŠA), and Zasavje regions met in his town to adopt a common stance on the restructuring of coal regions, Velenje said on its website.
The council will monitor the developments in the process of just transition
They decided to form a council of mayors of the SAŠA and Zasavje coal regions which would include the municipality chiefs from Velenje, Šoštanj, Šmartnega ob Paki, Zagorje, Hrastnik and Trbovlje. The directors of the regional development agencies of SAŠA and Zasavje will also be members.
The council will monitor the developments in the process of just transition, as only with a united approach and strong support from the state the transition can be just, the Velenje municipality said.
The mayors authorized the development agencies to prepare a proposal for a just transition management framework.
Set a coal phaseout year and apply for money from Just Transition Fund
The Ministry of Infrastructure has published action plans for the SAŠA and Zasavje regions in transition. The documents were developed by consulting company Deloitte in cooperation with regional and national stakeholders, the ministry said.
They were produced as part of the European Commission’s technical assistance project which includes the preparation of a national strategy. The action plans were developed in line with the draft national strategy for a coal phaseout and the restructuring of coal regions.
They are the basis for further discussion and preparation of regional plans, which will be drafted by the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy. The regional plans will be sent to the European Commission as annexes to the operational plan, which will be the basis for drawing funds from the Just Transition Fund.
However, it will only be possible after the coal phaseout year is set, the ministry said.