EU introduced a new platform called Coal Regions in Transition to kick-start the transition process towards clean energy in coal regions in Europe, European Commission (EC) announced on Monday.
The EU's commitment to clean energy transition is "irreversible and non-negotiable," the European Commission (EC) said, adding that in this shift to a more sustainable future, no regions should be left behind when moving away from an economy driven by fossil fuels.
The platform's activities will initially focus on coal regions, with the aim of expanding to carbon-intensive regions in the future, the statement read.
Based on requests by member states, pilot country teams for Slovakia, Poland and Greece were established in the second half of 2017 to assist the regions of Trencin, Silesia and Western Macedonia to eventually participate in the Platform for Coal Regions in Transition.
"We want to work closely with national, regional and local stakeholders in support of the structural transformation, using tailor-made solutions and all means at hand," vice-president responsible for the Energy Union Maros Sefcovic was quoted as saying.
"Our objective is to see every region reaping the benefits of the clean energy transition, whilst creating new jobs and promoting investment in new technologies," he added.
Forty-one regions in 12 member states are actively mining coal, providing direct employment to about 185,000 citizens, the EC noted.
Nonetheless, the EC explained that the number of jobs in renewable energy technologies increased by 70 percent between 2008 and 2014.
"Today there are roughly 2 million clean energy sector jobs across the EU, mainly in the renewables and the energy efficiency sectors. There is potential to create an additional 900,000 jobs by 2030, provided that public and private investment are sufficiently mobilized,” according to the EC.
Up to 400,000 additional local jobs could come from the energy efficiency sector, the EC concluded.
By Ebru Sengul