Case Study

Supporting a Just Transition in Europe's Coal Regions

Guidehouse supports the design, development, and implementation of the ExchangeEU programme for coal regions in Europe


Recognizing that not all regions and countries in the European Union have the same starting point on the path to climate neutrality, the European Green Deal aims to enable a “just transition” to provide support to those most affected. This applies particularly to regions with ongoing coal and lignite mining activity as well as similar activities related to peat and oil shale extraction. In addition to ongoing initiatives (e.g., the Initiative for Coal Regions in Transition), the European Commission has identified the need to give European coal, lignite, peat and oil shale regions the possibility to engage in direct cooperation with their peers, to either work together on common issues at the cross-border level or to gather first-hand experience on a specific transition-related issue.

The European Commission (DG ENER) has contracted Guidehouse to design, develop, and implement the ExchangeEU programme for these regions in Europe. The overarching aim is for participating regions to benefit from the experience of their peers in order to implement a successful and just transition, compatible with EU energy and climate policies and to provide co-benefits to local communities in terms of new diversified, resilient economic models, new quality jobs, and improved environmental conditions and air quality.



Guidehouse is leading the consortium that will facilitate exchanges among European coal regions through different exchange formats, ranging from study tours and job shadowing to innovative cooperation approaches. Within the scope of the project, a total of 20 exchanges that could include up to 40 different regions will be implemented. Guidehouse will not only select and match regions but also prepare, implement, and follow up on the exchanges within a period of two years. The exchanges are supported by an online collaboration tool to allow continuous and increased exchange. Public communication and events will share best practice and results with the wider public.



The exchanges will provide participating stakeholders with the opportunity to take a deep-dive into specific issues that affect the transition to net-zero emissions, addressing technicalities of successful approaches and tailoring them to the situation in their own region. Thus, exchanges will create a working, reciprocal environment with peers from other affected regions across Europe. Participants will benefit from sharing their experience and knowledge, creating a facilitative environment. They will identify and work together on a specific topic that helps them initiate further activities and initiatives. In addition to this support, results that include best practices will be made available to promote a successful just transition, in line with EU climate and energy targets.

For more information, visit the European Commission website.

Moritz Schäfer, Associate Director

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