von Alina Pogoda, Polish Green Network

Polish Government forwards appeal of the PGN to coal regions

Polish Green Network (PGN) called for wider participation of social organizations in the Monitoring Committees of the Just Transition Fund. The ministry made an appeal to the regions with a request to consider our demands.

On September 9, Polish Green Network, together with thirty local governments and social organizations, sent an appeal to the Minister of Funds and Regional Policy, Grzegorz Puda, to create additional places in Monitoring Committees (MC) and to establish working groups for just transition.

In response to the appeal, Polish Green Network received a letter from the head of the Department of Regional Programs of the Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy, Piotr Zygadło. In a letter addressed to voivodeships supported by the Just Transition Fund, the Ministry presents our demands and asks the regions to consider them. In addition, the ministry informed in a letter that in order to ensure an appropriate system of coordination of the just transition process at the national level, the ministry is currently working on establishing the Just Transition Council, which will act as a subcommittee within the Partnership Agreement Committee. The work of the Council will include, inter alia, representatives of voivodship self-governments of regions that are beneficiaries of the JTF together with the indicated representatives of mining communes, representatives of environmental organizations and trade unions.

Polish Green Network appreciates that the Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy has forwarded our demands to the coal regions. We hope that there will be a large representation of people and institutions involved in the just transition process in the Monitoring Committees, and that working groups for just transition will be established.

Local government officials and social activists believe that in order to effectively use the support from the fund, Polish coal regions must write good, ambitious projects that will respond to the challenges of social and economic transformation. Therefore, both the monitoring committees and the just transition working groups should include institutions and people who have been working on the provisions of the Territorial Just Transition Plans (TJTP) for the last two years, thanks to which it is possible to obtain funds from the JTF at all. Extensive experience and commitment of people and institutions that have worked on TJTPs so far will guarantee that the Monitoring Committee will present appropriate project selection criteria. Consequently, the JTF will finance projects that will help coal regions create a new, alternative economy that is friendly to the local community and the natural environment.

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