14. December 2021CINTRAN Newsletter #3

Welcome to issue #3 of the CINTRAN coal transitions newsletter. We present recent research on selected coal regions, report on drivers and barriers of historical coal phase-out processes and invite for inputs to CINTRAN’s global inventory of decarbonization coping strategies. Enjoy the read!



This newsletter is a co-production of the coaltransitions.org hub and the
CINTRAN team at the Wuppertal Institute. Find the privacy policy for this newsletter here.
The newsletter can be viewed here or on the page below.






Recalibrating mining policies in the Rhenish lignite area to the 1.5-degree limit

How to align coal mining plans in the Rhenish lignite area in Germany with the 1.5-degree temperature goal? A recent study by DIW Berlin reveals that the current policy and production plan would result in Germany’s CO2 budget for meeting the 1.5-degree limit being far exceeded. Thus, lignite mines and power plants in the region will be required to significantly reduce their output. This recalibration means abandoning current expansion plans, saving several villages from resettlement and leaving millions of tons of coal in the ground, and phasing out with reduced coal consumption as early as 2028.


Input sought: global inventory of decarbonization coping strategies

People, organizations and governments cope differently with political efforts related to the pressures introduced by global decarbonization efforts.

For example, the coping strategies of local governments in coal-intensive regions in Germany are very different from those of oil shale workers in Estonia because they have different capacities and are working in different environments. The CINTRAN project is currently compiling a global inventory of such strategies and is inviting interested stakeholders to submit to the database.



Just transition at work

In 2019, the Greek Government set the goal of withdrawing all lignite plants by 2028, with most units being withdrawn already by 2023.

This decision has had an immense socio-economic impact on the region of Western Macedonia. Recent research by the Greek CINTRAN consortium members reflects the current situation at the socio-economic and socio-political level in the region and discusses the policies implemented in the context of the lignite phase-out process to ensure a just transition for households and businesses of the region.


Learning from the past for future sustainability transitions

How can coal phase-out processes be organized in an efficient, swift and socially just manner? A systematic look into the past and learning from previous coal transitions can help overcoming challenges ranging from vested interests to the risks of social disruption. However, evidence remains fragmented throughout different research fields, and is not easily accessible. A new by Francesca Diluiso et al. published in Environmental Research Letters systematically reviews the existing literature on drivers and barriers of historical coal phase-out processes and draws lessons for today’s transitions.



“Building confidence in the process is key”: Report on COP26 coal transitions side event

On November 5, 2021, 11:30-12:30 GMT, the COP 26 EU side event “Voices from the regions: sharing first-hand experiences on coal phase out in Europe and beyond“ took place. The event brought together European and international practitioners, who shared their insights and lessons on how to ensure a just transition away from coal. Panelists discussed actions for effective and inclusive mobilization and organization of coal transition at the regional level, challenges of regional transition journeys and how they can be addressed, as well as regional transition success stories.



EU launches Coal+ transformation exchange programme

To help achieve the transformation towards carbon neutrality, the European Commission has launched exchangeEU, the exchange programme for coal, lignite, peat and oil shale regions, known as “coal+”, in the European Union. The multidisciplinary programme matches coal+ regions with their peers to deepen their understanding of each other’s challenges around the transition process. Coal+ regions can apply by January 14 2022 for the first of two rounds of exchanges.





Our sister projects




ENTRANCES aims to develop a theoretically-based and empirically-grounded understanding of cross-cutting issues related to SSH aspects of “Clean Energy Transition” in European coal mining and carbon-intensive regions, so as to formulate a set of recommendations in order to tackle these issues. With an overall view to involve different key players and perspectives at territorial, regional, national, and European levels, ENTRANCES will develop 13 regional case studies.


TIPPING+ will provide an empirical in-depth social science understanding of fundamental changes in socio-demographic, geographical, psychological, cultural, political, and economic patterns which give rise to Social-Ecological Tipping Points, both positive and negative in relation to socio-energy regional systems. The main focus of TIPPING+ is the participatory co-production of knowledge on the driving forces and deliberate tipping interventions leading to the emergence of positive tipping points toward clean energy transitions in European coal and carbon intensive regions.
TRACER supports 9 coal-intensive regions in Europe to design (or re-design) their R&I strategies in order to facilitate their transition towards a sustainable energy system. Six of these nine European target regions are from EU Members States (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Poland, Romania), and three from countries outside the EU (Serbia, Ukraine, UK), yet all of them facing the same challenges.



To keep updated, please subscribe to our newsletter.



Christof Arens
Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie



The CINTRAN project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 884539. The sole responsibility for the content of this website lies with the authors and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of CINEA or other EU agencies or bodies.