NGOs called to extend transformation of coal regions until 2035 shutterstock

NGOs called to extend transformation of coal regions until 2035

Anna Velyka

They also developed their own guidelines for this process 

More than 30 Ukrainian civil society organizations (CSOs) have called on the authorities to plan a fair transformation of Ukraine's coal regions by 2035, not 2030, as previously stated in the Concept of the State Target Program on this issue.

The activists published their official position with recommendations for the development of coal communities in Ukraine on the website of the NGO Center for Environmental Initiatives "Ecoaction".

"As Ukraine plans to abandon coal in the electricity sector by 2035, it is necessary that the State Targeted Program for Fair Transformation covers the entire transition period," they said.

The authors of the position reminded that just transformation is the transformation of a city that is mainly dependent on the coal industry (a mine or a coal-fired thermal power plant) into a city that can exist and develop after its closure. They noted that this process involves not only solving the problem of job losses, but also overcoming and preventing the aggravation of existing social, economic and environmental challenges resulting from the functioning of the coal industry and the abandonment of coal as an energy source.

Representatives of the communities of the coal regions, together with ecologists, see the following priorities in the post-war reconstruction of their territories:

  1. Energy security issues should be solved not only by rebuilding the infrastructure, but also by shifting the focus to low-carbon and energy-efficient technologies, with the development of distributed generation from renewable energy sources.
  2. Solving the problems of environmental and man-made security should involve overcoming the problems that arose simultaneously as a result of the functioning of the coal industry in previous years and due to the destruction caused by military actions, as well as take into account the impact on the health and quality of life of the population.
  3. Economic recovery and economic development of mining communities should include diversification of the economy, take into account the peculiarities and state of resource potential of communities and promote sustainable development of communities.
  4. Repurposing the infrastructure of coal enterprises and using it to create industrial parks, production and logistics centers should be considered as a means to create green jobs and solve the socio-economic problems of coal cities and communities.
  5. The recovery of mining communities should include reforming the system of education, career guidance, professional retraining, overcoming the digital divide and ensuring the qualifications of people of different age groups.
  6. When implementing the necessary structural changes, it is important to take into account the need to mitigate social consequences and to foresee the aspect of gender equality and barrier-freeness in matters of employment, education, organization of social services, access to social services and public spaces, etc.

In order to support the mining communities in their quest for a just transformation, representatives of NGOs called to take into account the recommendations developed by them and take them into account in the further process of developing the State target program for the just transformation of the coal regions of Ukraine, based on previous efforts and taking into account the new challenges of wartime.

According to the results of the Conference on the Reconstruction of Ukraine (URC24), EcoPolitic reported that in Europe they see renewable energy as the basis for the reconstruction of Ukraine.

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