Channelling the resources of the Just Transition Fund towards renewable, smart and electric-based solutions to deliver a green recovery and fair transition.
Europeans support ambitious climate action and a clean energy transition which leaves no country and no citizen behind. The Just Transition Fund (JTF) is a key pillar of the Green Deal to address the disproportionate effects that the energy transition may have on some regions, jobs and economic activities in the EU.
In particular, the JTF offers a lifeline to Europe’s most vulnerable regions and is essential to support those with a different starting point in the decarbonisation journey. To be an instrument of solidarity, the Fund must accelerate the deployment of clean solutions that deliver decarbonisation, are cost-effective and create the jobs and skills of the future in coal regions and across the EU.
These solutions include smart electric based solutions and related infrastructure (1), renewables, circular economy and environmental remediation. For instance, up to €23 billion could be saved on energy bills with breakthrough levels of smart electrification and deep buildings efficiency, leading to the net creation of potentially 1.8 million jobs in Europe (2).
The JTF should create the necessary regional synergies between economic activities compatible with the decarbonisation ambition of the EU and job creation. By offering concrete support to phase out fossil fuel-based energy intensive activities in favour of investments in network infrastructure, renewable, smart, and electrified solutions, the JTF will have the strongest impact on the regions that need it most. Renewable electricity technologies generate twice as many jobs as fossil fuel with 1,2 million jobs in the EU in 2018 (IRENA), and together with a smart and modernised grid they provide cost-competitive energy to businesses.
The window of opportunity to tackle climate change is closing. We can no longer afford to channel EU funds into activities that delay the move to climate neutrality or create lock-in effects. This is what would happen if projects aiming at prolonging the use of fossil fuels or at installing new fossil infrastructure become eligible for the JTF. The European Parliament’s position will be central to Europe’s ability to deliver ambitious EU climate & energy policies towards climate neutrality by 2050.
The members of the Electrification Alliance call on the European Parliament to ensure that the JTF supports the deployment of renewable, smart and electric-based solutions rather than any unsustainable continued use of fossil fuels, including natural gas.
For more information about the Electrification Alliance: electrification-alliance.eu/
1 The scope should be electric and thermal energy grids.
2 Element Energy and Cambridge Econometrics (2019). Towards Fossil-free Energy in 2050