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Konin, November 17, 2020

Eastern Wielkopolska is an undisputed leader of energy transition in Poland. It was the first of the six coal regions in Poland to start systematic planning for equitable transformation. The regional authorities involved all local government officials, NGOs and experts and scientists, industry organizations and employers, as well as the social side and government representatives in the transformation planning process. Together, these groups have been focusing for more than two years on developing alternatives to coal mining and new, decent jobs for ZE PAK employees, as well as planning activities for business development in the subregion. The Regional Development Agency S.A. in Konin, as the leader of this process, has selected, through a public procurement procedure, an advisor – Instrat Foundation, which will support the region in the preparation of “Economic analysis of the WW region in terms of realization of the just transition process, including energy transition, covering the years 2021-2031”. This analysis will be an important input to the Territorial Plan for Just Transition (TPST). The development of the analysis will be co-financed by the project “BRAND BUILDING AND PROMOTION: WIELKOPOLSKA DOLINA ENERGII”, within the framework of the Wielkopolska Regional Operational Programme 2014-2020 (WRPO), Sub-measure 1.4.2 “Economic promotion of the region.”

The Memorandum of Understanding for Just Energy Transformation of Eastern Wielkopolska from the beginning of 2019 became the foundation for the establishment of working groups by the Regional Development Agency S.A. in Konin in 2020, which conduct work on the formulation of guidelines for the Territorial Plan for Just Transformation. Between June and October of this year, 20 meetings were held in an open format, attended by NGOs and experts, local employers, local government officials and representatives of government administration and the social side. The recommendations developed by the working groups will be included in the Territorial Plan for Just Transformation.

The result of the working groups’ work are defined guidelines and priority directions of actions consisting, among others, in diversification of the region’s economic structure and shifting the economy to modern and green technologies, especially in the field of energy, whose infrastructure and generated competencies in the labor market are unquestionably the region’s strength.

Based on the guidelines developed during the public consultations and the “green” development strategy adopted by ZE PAK, the ARR S.A. in Konin will present the first version of the Territorial Plan for Equitable Transformation at the turn of November and December this year. The TPST will be developed in accordance with the guidelines of the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the Fund for Just Transition (COM/2020/22 final). It is assumed that, as required, the document will be submitted to the European Commission after consultations by the end of this year.

The ARR Konin and regional authorities will develop the TPST with the support of experts from Instrat Foundation, a think-tank providing advice on public policies, in particular on energy transition and the labour market. The scope of cooperation will include, among others, analysis of the Just Transition Concept, a document developed at the Regional Development Agency S.A. in Konin, determination of the steps in the short and long term necessary to ensure sustainable and balanced economic growth of the region, determination of the potential for creating new jobs, e.g. in low-emission sectors of the economy, and identification of potential sources of financing for the transformation with particular focus on the Just Transition Mechanism.

Thanks to decisive and dynamic actions, Eastern Wielkopolska has a chance to become the first coal region in Poland, which will abandon coal before 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2040, i.e. a decade earlier than the EU target. These directions were described in the Concept for Just Transition, which is the basis for both the Plan (TPST) and the Strategy, which will be prepared in a further step by the regional authorities. This decision was well received by Polish (link) and European (link) NGOs as well as by the European Commission itself (link).

As part of the work on the TPST, we would like to invite all interested parties to a meeting organized by the Secretariat of the Platform of Carbon Regions in Transition (link) on 16-19 November 2020. The opening theme of this meeting will be to highlight the importance of stakeholder engagement in shaping a just transition.

Contact:

Maciej SYTEK
President of the Board of the Regional Development Agency S.A. in Konin, Plenipotentiary of the Board of the Wielkopolska Region for restructuring of Eastern Wielkopolska
E-mail: maciej.sytek@arrkonin.org.pl, tel. +48 63 245 30 95

Michał HETMAŃSKI
Member of the Board, Instrat Foundation, expert on just transition
E-mail: michal.hetmanski@instrat.pl, tel. +48 513 748 019

Regional Development Agency S.A. in Konin has been operating since January 1992. The premise for establishing the Agency was the need to have a non-governmental organization working for regional development (restructuring of economy and development of small and medium enterprises sector), specialized in the implementation of governmental and international regional policy programs for local governments. Regional Development Agency S.A. in Konin has extensive experience in the implementation of a number of services supporting the creation and development of mainly micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. The President of ARR Konin is at the same time plenipotentiary of the Board of Wielkopolskie Voivodeship for restructuring of Eastern Wielkopolska.

Instrat Foundation is a progressive think tank providing advice on public policies. Instrat’s research programs include energy and environment, labor market and inequality, sustainable finance and digital economy. A team of experts in the fields of law, economics, energy and IT supports local and central administration and NGOs in the process of changes in line with the public interest.