Published on July 1, 2024

Civil society’s position on the just transition of Ukraine’s coal regions

Considering the toll of destroyed and damaged thermal power generation in Ukraine due to russian attacks, the inevitable end of the coal era is near. The support for coal communities is even more essential despite the wartime challenges, considering that some communities have more opportunities to work on just transition right now, while others still can learn from them, implement soft projects, and envision their transition for the times when it will be possible considering the safety situation. It’s important for the European Commission to continue its support for Ukrainian coal regions throughout the ongoing war so that coal communities are not left behind, while the coal phase-out in electricity generation is still expected before 2035, and Ukraine is driving closer towards being a member of the European Union.

  • Energy security issues should be solved not only by rebuilding infrastructure but also by shifting the focus to low-carbon and energy-efficient technologies, with the development of distributed generation from renewable energy sources.
  • Solving issues of environmental and technogenic safety should involve overcoming the problems that arose both as a result of the coal industry’s functioning in previous years and the destruction caused by the military actions, as well as taking into account the impact on the health and quality of life of the population.
  • Economic recovery and development of coal communities should include economic diversification, take into account their key characteristics and state of their resource potential, and promote sustainable development.
  • Repurposing the infrastructure of coal enterprises to create industrial parks, production centres, and logistics centres should be seen as a means of creating green jobs and solving the socio-economic problems of coal towns and communities.
  • The restoration of coal communities should include reforming the education system, career guidance, professional retraining, bridging the digital divide and ensuring the qualifications of people of different age groups.
  • When implementing the necessary structural changes, it is important to consider the need to mitigate social consequences and to include gender equality and barrier-free access to employment, education, social services, public spaces, etc.


In October 2023, representatives of the Ministry of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development announced a revival of the development of the State Target Programme for the Just Transition of Coal Regions until 2030, following the relevant Concept adopted on 21 September 2021. This position outlines the civil society’s vision of the measures to be envisaged by the programme.

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