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The forum will take place in four languages simultaneously: Bulgarian, Polish, English and Greek

Coal mayors gather in Stara Zagora to discuss sustainable energy transition

Coal mayors gather in Stara Zagora to discuss sustainable energy transition

The fourth ‘Forum of Mayors on Just Transition’ started in Stara Zagora and 70 mayors from 11 countries showed up in a bid to push for a more sustainable future away from coal

Today, 70 mayors from 11 European countries gathered at the fourth ‘Forum of Mayors on Just Transition’ in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. All the mayors are from coal-mining communities and they have one major thing in common – they have all signed a declaration in support of a sustainable, zero-carbon future. Among them, there are mayors from Poland, Greece, Germany, the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and the Western Balkans.

The forum, organised by WWF with local support from the organisation's branch in Bulgaria, will take place on 29 and 30 September. EU Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans, as well as mayors from coal regions with experience on the ground in implementing green solutions, will speak at the event, in the hopes of fostering a community sharing tried and true methods to achieve Europe’s climate goals.

mapsA map of the participating local authorities,
Source:  Regions Beyond Coal, WWF

A timely meeting

The meeting of the coal-dependent mayors' forum could not be more timely, considering the current energy shortage across the European Union, related to the skyrocketing price of natural gas. At the same time, the EU is currently working on developing a series of climate and energy laws for 2030, while local communities are scrambling to find funding to help a socially fair shift towards climate neutrality.

This is a crucial opportunity for all stakeholders in the field, to take part in shaping a substantial chunk of Europe’s coal agenda.

The forum will feature panels on implementing research and innovation, the future of coal regions in terms of job opportunity and demographic retention of qualified workers and youth, as well as the new energy mix and the economic alternatives for fossil fuel-dependent regions.

On the second day of the forum in Stara Zagora, EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova and experts from the EU Commission Elodie Duran, Manon Brunel, Sabine Vandermotten and Clement Hertofert will present guidelines for financing sustainable projects through public-private investment at the ‘Financing a fair transition’ panel.

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