The country’s administration is assembling a government council to be tasked with preparing a Just Transition Plan for Greece’s lignite-dependent areas needing support to offset the effects of the government’s planned withdrawal of all coal generators by 2028, including all existing units by 2023.
A Council of Ministers Act enabling the establishment and operation of the government council, to be headed by energy minister Costis Hatzidakis, has just been approved.
The west Macedonia region in Greece’s north as well as the Megalopoli area in the Peloponnese, both lignite-dependent local economies, will need support while adjusting to the post-lignite era.
The government council to work on the Just Transition Plan will be comprised of top officials from a number of ministries, which, besides the environment and energy ministry, include the finance, interior, development and investments, as well as agricultural development and food ministries.
“Ending the economy’s dependence on polluting lignite fuel is a key energy policy priority,” noted energy minister Costis Hatzidakis. “However, the withdrawal of all lignite units by 2028 must be done in a coordinated and responsible manner. The government’s top priority is to make the transition to the post-lignite era a fair one for western Macedonia and Megalopoli with claims of all necessary funds from Brussels,” he added.
A comprehensive, multidimensional and forward-looking plan will be presented by the new government council in mid-2020, the minister said.
Besides national and private funding, Greece will also seek EU support funds, including from the Just Transition Fund.