Just Transition Fund: Council endorses the political deal with the Parliament

The EU has taken a major step on the path towards an effective and fair green transition that will lessen the costs for those communities across Europe who are heavily dependent on fossil fuels.

EU ambassadors today endorsed the provisional political agreement reached by the German Presidency of the Council and the European Parliament on the new €17.5 billion Just Transition Fund (JTF).

The Just Transition Fund is an affirmation of our solidarity and political will as a Union to tackle climate change together. It will help to reconcile economy and ecology. We cannot implement the European Green Deal without mitigating the consequences for those most affected by the decarbonisation of our economy.

Peter Altmaier, German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy

Member states will develop just transition plans to support territories facing serious socio-economic challenges as a result of the restructuring necessary to achieve the EU’s 2030 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55% and having a climate-neutral economy by 2050.

The fund is especially aimed at regions that need to phase out the production and use of coal, lignite, peat and oil shale, or to transform their carbon-intensive industries.

The resources will come from the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework (€7.5 billion) and the Next Generation EU instrument (€10 billion spread over three years).

Scope of financing

The JTF will support activities such as:

  • investment in SMEs, including microenterprises and start-ups
  • creation of new firms
  • research and innovation, including by universities and public research institutions
  • affordable clean energy
  • decarbonisation of local transport
  • digital innovation and connectivity
  • retraining of workers and job seekers so that they can acquire new skills

The JTF will not support any investment related to fossil fuels, including natural gas. Neither can the fund be used for the decommissioning or construction of nuclear power stations, or for the manufacture or processing of tobacco products.

Next steps

The text of the draft regulation on the Just Transition Fund will be finalised in the first months of 2021 under the Portuguese presidency.