Slovakia has secured €459 million (£396m) of funding from the EU to help phase out from coal extraction and coal-fired power generation by 2023.
The funds, provided by the European Commission from the Just Transition Fund (JTF), will support a “fair transition” for the country’s metals and chemicals industries in the Upper Nitra, Košice and Banská Bystrica regions towards climate neutrality.
Trenčín/Upper Nitra is the only mining region in Slovakia, with the mining of lignite and its burning at the Novaky Power Plant to be phased out by the end of next year.
The JFT is expected to help create new job opportunities for workers in the coal sector, their families and the young people who want to live and work in the region, in addition to supporting energy efficiency measures for public buildings and innovative solutions for renewable energy.
The Košice region heavily depends on industries responsible for very high emissions – the JFT will help in reskilling and upskilling around 2,400 workers in the steel industry and create new job opportunities in the green sectors, including renewable energy, energy storage and upgrading district heating networks.
Banská Bystrica is one of Slovakia’s least developed regions while several districts depend on industries with very high greenhouse gas emissions.
The funds will help increase the energy efficiency of public buildings and the use of geothermal energy resources, as well as lifelong learning for workers and support for vocational schools.
Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms said: “The Just Transition Fund will help implementing a just transition in Slovakia, supporting workers and their families while promoting energy savings and reducing energy dependence from Russia. It will support the reskilling of people and businesses, the diversification of the economy, sustainable mobility, digitisation and energy efficiency.
“The JTF programmes will ensure that, on the path to climate neutrality, no one is left behind.”