A Just Transition Toolbox for coal regions

As the worldwide remaining carbon budget decreases rapidly, countries across the globe are searching for solutions to limit greenhouse gas emissions. As the production and use of coal is among the most carbon-intensive processes, it is foreseeable that coal regions will be particularly affected by the consequences of a transformation towards a climate-neutral economy and energy system.

Challenges arise in the area of energy production, environmental protection, but also for economic and social aspects in the transforming regions – which is often coined with the term ‘Just Transition’.

Building on the fundamental belief that it will always be better to have a managed transition than an unmanaged structural change process, the Just Transition Toolbox aims to provide practical answers to the question of how to steer and support the shift away from coal on a regional level.

Acknowledging that such a transition needs to combine the goals of environmental sustainability, social equity and economic prosperity, the toolbox provides an overview of the most important practical learnings and concepts that help to kick off measures to diversify the local economies while at the same time supporting the local workers and communities.

It is centred around five main themes: strategy, governance, energy, industry and employment, and is designed explicitly for practitioners in coal regions – policymakers in regional administrations, people working in or for ministries and other stakeholders who are or want to be involved in a transition process.

The toolbox features a broad range of examples of current practices in coal regions, including their strengths and shortfalls, as well as links to further resources and external knowledge.