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EU to provide €2.5 billion in funding for equitable transition in German coal states

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According to a news release issued by the European Commission, four coal districts in Germany will collectively receive a total of 2.5 billion euros from the EU’s Just Transition Fund (JTF) to assist them in transitioning to an economy that is more friendly to the environment. “The Just Transition Fund will help the German regions most impacted by the green transition to move away from coal,” European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira said. “This will be accomplished by supporting the reskilling of people and businesses, diversification of the economy, investing in sustainable mobility, digitization, and energy efficiency.” North Rhine-Westphalia, Brandenburg, Saxony, and Saxony Anhalt are the German regions that will be the most impacted by the green transition

Brandenburg, a state in eastern Germany that is rich in lignite, will get the largest portion, amounting to 785 million euros. According to a tweet posted by the state’s economy minister, Jorg Steinbach, “The JTF can be used, for example, in Lusatia, but also in the refinery region of Schwedt (in eastern Germany), to promote the reorientation of companies and the establishment of new businesses.” Lusatia is located in the eastern German state of Germany. North Rhine-Westphalia, located in the western region of the country, is home to a sizable industrial sector, and the state will receive 680 million euros as part of an initiative to clean up land contaminated by abandoned lignite mines, encourage the formation of new businesses in environmentally conscious industries, and offer training and career counseling to help workers keep their jobs. Both Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt will each receive 364 million euros, whereas Saxony will receive 645 million euros.

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Coal mining and other businesses that are detrimental to the environment have been major economic drivers in a number of European regions. The Joint Task Force of the EU provides assistance to such regions in order to facilitate a just transition to a climate-neutral economy. It provides targeted support to help mobilize approximately 25 billion euros over the period of 2021-2027 in the regions that will be most affected by the transition, which would ameliorate the negative socioeconomic effects of the transition. The just transition plans that have been drafted in collaboration with the European Commission outline the issues that are specific to each area, as well as the requirements for development and the goals that must be achieved by the year 2030.

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