INDUSTRIAL LEGACY CITIES
AND THE JUST TRANSITION
Panel Discussion at COP24
JUST TRANSITION AWAY FROM COAL:
FUTURE-PROOFING THE ENERGY SHIFT
IN CITIES AND REGIONS
8 December 2018
UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland
How can industrial legacy cities ensure that transitions away from fossil fuels provide equitable and inclusive outcomes for local communities?
The transition out of coal as an energy source is a key step to tackle climate change and improve human and environmental health. Recognizing the urgent need for change, frontrunner cities and regions across the globe are driving the coal phase out forward. However, the socio-economic consequences need to be understood and considered seriously. With jobs and livelihoods at risk, targeted social and labor policies are needed to create a safety net and provide new opportunities for individuals and communities affected by this transition.
Originating in the trade union movement, the topic of Just Transition was was one of the key focus themes of UN Climate Change Conference COP24 in Katowice. Recognizing the International Labour Organization’s “Guidelines for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all”, the Polish Presidency announced an official Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia Declaration. The “Just Transition” concept emphasizes the need for decent work and equitable development while accelerating the transition towards low-carbon economies.
The conversations around the social impacts of climate policies are far from new: Across the globe, cities with an industrial legacy – Urban Transitions Alliance cities like Pittsburgh, Essen, Katowice and Shijiazhuang – have been dealing with similar challenges for decades.
Sabine Drees, Senior Advisor, International Affairs, German Association of Cities
Daniel Wolny, Head of Energy Management Office, Environment Department, City of Katowice, Poland
Sebastian Schlecht, Project Manager European Green Capital – Essen 2017,City of Essen, Germany
Ang Ye, Team Leader, Sino-German Eco-City Cooperation, Energy-Efficient Buildings China, dena – German Energy Agency
Takeshi Shimotsuma, General Director of Global Environment and Energy, Environment Policy Bureau, City of Kyoto, Japan
Ronan Dantec, Senator of Loire-Altantique in France, UCLG spokesperson on Climate, President of Climate Chance Association
Roman Mendle, Smart Cities Program Manager, ICLEI World Secretariat