International Forum for Coal Regions in Transition

Convening over 100 just transition stakeholders from coal regions around the world, The International Forum for Coal Regions in Transition took place in Berlin on October 26-27, 2023, with many more participants joining online.

Policy-makers, civil society organisations, academics, trade unions and coal industry representatives shared insights and learnings with sessions focussed on IKI JET partner countries in Asia, Africa, and South America, as well as the European Union, Western Balkans and Ukraine.

Challenges of a just energy transition

The event facilitated international dialogue and collaboration in the pursuit of a just energy transition (JET), spotlighting topics from strategy and governance to reskilling, economic diversification and financing.

Opening the forum, Anja Hajduk, State Secretary, Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, delivered powerful words on the challenges faced by Germany in its own just transition journey. She emphasised the need for continued learning and acknowledgment of the role coal has played in the cultural and social fabric of many global communities. She stated: “Coal regions can transform. Early action pays off. Climate mitigation and social development go hand in hand.”

Insights from IKI JET partner countries

Sessions continued with case studies and best-practice recommendations from coal regions across IKI JET partner countries. Insights from Chile, Colombia, and South Africa showcased the impact of social dialogue and consultation, knowledge building, and long-term economic vision, while lessons from Indonesia, Thailand, and Mongolia covered the importance of civil society movements, engagement of local government, and promotion of economic alternatives to coal.

Speakers from Czechia and Vietnam reflected on successful regional JET strategies and the role of trade unions in promoting just transition, while a panel from Ukraine and the Western Balkans discussed the importance of knowledge exchange between coal regions, as well as the additional challenges of implementing a just transition in times of war.

The role of finance

Policy and finance experts from the London School of Economics and Political Science, International Labour Organization, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, ninetyone, and GIZ discussed the challenges involved in funding just transitions and the role that finance can play in connecting action on climate change with inclusive development pathways.

Just Energy Transition in Coal Regions Knowledge Hub

Luca Carapelli of the European Commission presented the EU perspective on a global JET and outlined why the Just Energy Transition in Coal Regions Knowledge Hub, as a comprehensive resource for coal regions across the world featuring news, reports, tools, guides, and commentary, is key to successful just transition implementation.

Policies to support a just energy transition

On the final day, speakers from Germany, South Africa, and the EU explored policies supporting economic diversification, investment packages, promotion of green jobs, sustainable smart agriculture, and the need to link the JET vision to existing assets in the respective region.

Please find the full version of the article including key learnings by country here.

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