Just transition and energy crisis in focus at the annual meeting of the Initiative for coal regions in transition in the Western Balkans and Ukraine

25 November 2022

The annual meeting of the Initiative for coal regions in transition in the Western Balkans and Ukraine took place on 22 – 23 November 2022 in Brussels. The event gathered representatives of public authorities, international organisations, energy sectors, civil society and trade unions to discuss key issues currently facing coal regions, including coal phase-out policy challenges linked to the ongoing energy crisis and Russia’s war on Ukraine and financing implications on the just transition. The Secretariat was represented by the Director – Artur Lorkowski and Head of the European Green Deal Unit – Adam Cwetsch.

The panel prepared and moderated by the Secretariat explored whether and how the energy crisis and the war has affected decarbonisation strategies. The key takeaway message was that the need for short-term resilience and liquidity measures must be accompanied by a consistent, effective yet realistic mid-and long-term decarbonisation pathway. How to put Ukraine’s green post-war reconstruction into action was also in focus.

The meeting also discussed how to engage with stakeholders based on lessons learned from the Just Transition Public Perception Survey, launched jointly by the World Bank and the Energy Community and designed with CSOs active in the region to understand awareness, perspectives and expectations of citizens living in coal regions.

The event was co-organized by the European Commission and six collaborating international partners: the World Bank, the Energy Community Secretariat, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, Poland’s National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, and the College of Europe in Natolin.

Annual meeting

22 -23 November 2022, Brussels