Policy Brief: Structural change in coal phase-out regions

The proposal for a JTF regulation identifies 108 European regions with coal infrastructure and nearly 237,000 related jobs. Coal regions are among those particularly vulnerable as their regional economic ecosystems are historically linked with coal extraction and power generation. This brief synthesizes extant literature, recent research and policy advice in relation to structural change in coal phase-out regions and plugs in ESPON territorial evidence for policy questions that have not been
addressed as yet. These relate to the efficient use of JTF resources, potential links with other funding streams and the design of interventions based on territorial parameters relating to the knowledge and entrepreneurial stock in coal-dependent localities.

The brief seeks to reconcile the different angles of the ‘just’ epithet. Coal phase-out resonates differently in different territorial realities. Coal-dependent regions perceive a redistribution of social benefits while marginal economic damage is inflicted upon a few regions.