Czechia is receiving €1.64 billion (£1.5bn) in EU grants to support the country’s efforts to phase out coal-fired power by 2033 and ensure a “fair transition” to climate neutrality.
The European Commission’s Just Transition Fund (JTF) Programme will help the regions of Karlovarsky, Ústecky and Moravskoslezsky, where there is a high concentration of carbon-intensive industries with 21,000 jobs like to the coal and chemicals industry.
In Karlovarsky, more than 1,000 jobs are related to pollutant power generation activities and is said to be the least developed region in Czechia but with a potential for the development of SMEs.
In Ustecky, 80% of Czechia’s lignite – or brown coal – is extracted, with more than 5,000 coal-related jobs, four coal mines, the largest Czech coal fired power plants and a high concentration of chemical industry firms; while Moravskoslezsky is the biggest coal mining region in the country with 5,000 direct jobs in the sector.
The latter region also faces several challenges related to the environment, especially air pollution and groundwater contamination, due to industrial activities, according to the Commission.
The JTF, which supports the territories most affected by the climate-neutral transition, will support the three regions by helping to reskill and upskill workers, back renewable energy investments and invest in decontamination and energy storage and research.
Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal said: “Czechia is a country with a rich industrial tradition and a promising future. Together with the Modernisation Fund, the Czech Just Transition Plan will help deliver a fair transition to climate neutrality, especially for the people in Karlovasky, Ustecky and Moravskoslezky regions.
“The European Commission is on Czechia’s side to work for a healthy, green, and fair future for the country.”