The European assembly
of local and regional politicians adopted their recommendations
for the Just Transition Fund,
which aims at supporting regions to meet the challenges of the green
transition. Rapporteur Vojko Obersnel (HR/PES), mayor of Rijeka, calls for an ambitious
EU support so that no one and no place is left behind in the transition to a revived
and green economy.
The CoR members welcome the European Commission's proposal on the Just Transition Fund (JTF) and its recently increased budget of up to €40 billion in an opinion by rapporteur Vojko Obersnel (HR/PES), mayor of Rijeka. It will be a key tool to support regions and territories, which phase out the production and use of coal, lignite, peat and oil shale, or transform their carbon-intensive industries.
"The Just Transition Fund is key to help Europe's most carbon-intensive regions on their path towards a green recovery, both in advancing the overall goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time transforming their economy and building a more resilient future for their communities. As the European Committee of the Regions, we call to restrict the access to the Fund only to those who commit to objectives of the European Green Deal and of the Paris Agreement, including the EU's own goal to be climate neutral by 2050. For us, it is fundamental that the Transition Fund is not only just but also fair", said Mr. Obersnel.
The CoR furthermore welcomes the creation of the Just Transition Platform, in which the CoR undertakes to engage closely. It can profit from the positive experiences with the Coal Regions in Transition Platform and should ensure that all relevant stakeholders work together in partnership to address structural change in the affected regions.
"As cities and regions we want to make our voice heard and we need to be closely involved in the preparation for the territorial just transition plans. The pandemic showed us at a great speed that we need to rethink our communities and economic model in a more socially fair and sustainable way", said Mr. Obersnel.
The opinion was adopted alongside a high-level debate on the European Green Deal, the EU's growth strategy to reach climate-neutrality by 2050. On 15 June, the CoR launched the working group 'Green Deal Going Local', which aims at converting the Green Deal into concrete projects and direct funding for cities and regions to deliver the sustainable transition on the ground.
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