Letters to Policy Makers

Letter to Selected Ministers of the EU Environment Council: the reformed ETS Directive and establishment of a Just Transition Fund

This letter is addressed to Environment Ministers and Permanent Representatives of Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and Bulgaria

Dear Environment Ministers,

As the ETS revision process closes to an end, we would like to bring to your attention, the crucial issue of establishing a Just Transition Fund in order to support local economies and especially workers and their families in regions where lignite and coal mining activity is expected to decline in the coming decade.

Recognizing the need for a Just Transition Fund “to support regions which combine a high share of workers in carbon-dependent sectors and a GDP per capita well below the Union average”, the European Parliament has already voted in favor of its establishment with 2% of the ETS auctioning revenues. Regrettably, this amendment was not included in the “general approach” discussed amongst Environment Ministers on February the 28th.

The formation of a Just Transition Fund as part of the revision of the ETS Directive can significantly contribute by providing a safety net for the affected workers and their families, as well as by supporting the development of additional economic activities in the regions struggling with transformation, thus, providing employment opportunities and sustaining the local economy in coming years.

This fund will be particularly useful for low income Member States, where the implementation of ambitious climate policies should not come at the expense of social justice. It will consist of 310 million allowances, which, according to the shadow carbon price predicted by the European Commission, will amount to €8 billion, additional funds for the period 2021-2030.

We therefore urge you to advocate for the establishment of this funding mechanism in the ongoing trilogue negotiations.

Yours sincerely,

Nikos Mantzaris, Head of Climate & Energy Policy Department, WWF Greece
Joanna Flisowska, Coal Policy Coordinator, Climate Action Network Europe

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