• European Union
  • Decarbonization

Hands-On, Tailored Technical Assistance to Support the Just Transition in Europe

Emma Krause
Jul 26, 2023

Wind turbines on hills with a sunset in the background

Coauthored by Moritz Schäfer

As the effects of climate change become more prevalent and energy prices fluctuate, Europe is working ardently to transition away from fossil fuels toward greener, more sustainable national and regional economies. For the transition to be environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable, people, communities, and regions cannot be left behind. To this end, the European Commission has launched the Just Transition Mechanism, mobilizing around €55 billion ($62 billion) from 2021-2027 to provide targeted support to the most affected regions and alleviate the socioeconomic impact of the transition.

Affected regions are known as Just Transition Fund (JTF) regions, a designation determined by their submission and the European Commission’s approval of a Territorial Just Transition Plan (TJTP). JTF regions receive monetary support from the JTF to implement their transition in line with the plans articulated in their TJTPs. Regions are also supported by the Just Transition Platform (JTP), a comprehensive technical and advisory service offering information about funding opportunities, technical assistance and capacity-building programs, regulatory updates, sector-specific initiatives, and opportunities and resources through which to exchange good practices.

Currently, coal, lignite, peat, and oil shale (coal+) and carbon-intensive JTF regions across Europe are implementing their TJTPs by preparing or issuing calls for projects to support their transitions. Guidehouse experts now support these regions through capacity building, knowledge exchange programs, and technical assistance services.

JTP GROUNDWORK: A Comprehensive Technical Assistance Facility to Support JTF Regions

Guidehouse, along with project partners COWI, ICLEI, and ifok, launched a call for applications earlier this year for JTP GROUNDWORK, a technical assistance facility that will support six JTF regions in implementing their TJTPs.

Figure 1: JTP GROUNDWORK Regions

European Commission's Just Transition Platform GROUNDWORK regions in Latvia, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and Czechia

(Source: Guidehouse, European Commission)

Through JTP GROUNDWORK, Guidehouse and its project partners are supporting the beneficiaries below in the following ways:

  • The region of Łódzkie, Poland, to develop JTF project ideas to stimulate research and innovation in the region.
  • The town of Sokolovsko, Czechia, on strategic communication and stakeholder engagement for JTF implementation.
  • The region of Médio Tejo, Portugal, to mobilize subject matter experts and develop retraining programs to jump-start new projects and industries in the region.
  • The region of Västerbotten, Sweden, to attract workers and necessary skills to increase green economic development.
  • Riga Technical University in Latvia, to create pathways to restore peat extraction sites in the Vidzeme and Latgale regions.
  • The regions of Hunedoara, Gorj, and Dolj in the Jiu Valley, Romania, to identify potential growth industries and project opportunities for JTF implementation.

Participating regions started the work with a dedicated JTP GROUNDWORK team to develop a comprehensive technical assistance service package, where content and scope are tailored to the region’s needs and TJTPs. For each selected region, this package includes scoping, planning, and implementing the technical assistance, as well as workshops and public-facing events to engage with local stakeholders and interested citizens.

Additional Capacity-Building Mechanisms Will Be Launched via the JTP

Complementary to JTP GROUNDWORK, Guidehouse and its project partners are also launching the following programs through the JTP:

  • JTP Knowledge Hub, a knowledge repository for a series of tool kits, case studies, project fiches, and policy approaches. These resources are designed for key stakeholders in coal+ and carbon-intensive regions to gain easy access to information on possible transition pathways and their implications. Good practice examples, specific approaches, and effective strategies on a variety of pertinent transition topics will be highlighted.
  • JTPeers, a program that includes the following:

JTPeers Experts: A publicly accessible database of professionals working on the Just Transition across Europe. Once listed on the database, JTF regions and other interested stakeholders will be able to contact the experts for advice regarding the implementation of Just Transition projects.

JTPeers Exchanges: A peer-to-peer program to facilitate in-person and online exchanges between different JTF regions and JTPeers Experts listed in the database.

To learn more about the JTP and its services, follow JTP activities on Twitter via @EUinmyRegion.