The path to net zero must be fossil-free and just: TJTP recommendations letter to EU

The path to net zero must be fossil-free and just: TJTP recommendations letter to EU

Ten organisations including Solar Heat Europe have sent a joint letter to the European Commission on September 3rd with recommendations addressing the Territorial Just Transition Plans (TJTPs) prepared by the Members States as applications for the EU’s €17.5 billion Just Transition Fund (JTF).

Based on an analysis of WWF, the letter highlights that nine of the plans submitted do not commit to ending fossil gas use by 2035, and eight will not have ended coal or oil shale use by 2030. This contradicts the commitments made in the Paris Agreement to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5℃. While some of the assessed plans – which come from eight Member States – showed promise, for example on circular economy, none were an outstanding example of good just transition practice.

In its analysis of the 14 Territorial Just Transition Plans (TJTPs), WWF also found:

  • While plans generally recognise the EU target of climate neutrality by 2050, the 2030 targets at the EU and national levels are not considered in all cases, and actions are not always aligned with the updated 2030 target (or the suggested 2030 targets for energy efficiency and renewables.
  • Investment in new fossil fuel infrastructure is included in four of the plans.
  • Three of the plans foresee potential new waste incineration capacity, although eight plans include measures to actively increase the circular economy.
  • Only eight of the plans set out clearly how they will support SMEs, while six of the plans indicate excessive or unjustified support for large enterprises
  • None of the plans establish how the Polluter Pays Principle will be respected when making investment decisions.
  • Only three plans actively promote measures to tackle gender inequality in employment

While the organisations acknowledge the JTF Regulation and support the development of local level plans to access this support, they also share observations and recommendations on the process and the content of the plans being developed, to improve the likelihood that the TJTPs will deliver a real and just transition.

The letter and recommendations sent to the European Commission can be found at the following link. More information on the WWF analysis can be found here.

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