DeCarb project approved for an additional year within 5th call

DeCarb consortium is happy to announce that DeCarb project was the only 3rd call project that was approved for additional activities within INTERREG Europe's 5th call. Thus, DeCarb team gathered on 14th December 2021 to kick off the additional project year.

Within the additional activities, the project consortium will come up with important deliverables, such as COVID-19 impact &new opportunities joint study, online workshop on synergies for digital & green economic diversification, onsite workshop on risk management in decarbonization planning & Resilient transitions through energy citizenship alongside with a series of stakeholders meetings. 

The DeCarb consortium is looking forward to starting the envisaged activities supporting the clean energy transition of coal-intensive EU regions! Stay tuned!

Stara Zagora Hosted Fourth Forum of Mayors Engaged in Just Energy Transition

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Dozens of city leaders discussed in Stara Zagora the need for a just energy transition

Mayors from 5 Central and Eastern European countries took part in the 4th Forum of Mayors on a Just Energy Transition. The conference, entitled "New energy mix: social policy dialogue", was held in a hybrid format, in line with all the counter-emergency measures in place. The official host of the meeting was the city of Stara Zagora, but due to the restrictions imposed, many of the guests participated virtually. On the Bulgarian side this year, mayors and experts from the five coal municipalities in the country participated. 

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The forum is a result of the joint work between the Stara Zagora Regional Economic Development Agency, WWF Bulgaria and the Black Sea Energy Research Centre. The three ongoing DeCarb, EUKI and TRACER projects share a common goal of a shared vision for the EU's coal regions in transition for their further sustainable development based on clean technologies and industries.

On the first day of the event, the leadership of the Forum of Mayors was symbolically handed over by Mariusz Volosz - Mayor of Bytom, Poland to Yordan Nikolov - Deputy Mayor of Stara Zagora.

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The thematic panel on Territorial Plans for a Just Transition discussed the plans of the Bulgarian coal mining regions: Stara Zagora, Pernik and Kyustendil, as well as the tool for assessing their potential impact with the participation of representatives from Price-WaterhouseCoopers and representatives of WWF Bulgaria.

The panel, dedicated to the social aspect of just transition, presented the views of Iliana Tsanova, Deputy Director General, Directorate General Budget, European Commission, Atanaska Nikolova, Economic and Social Council of the Republic of Bulgaria, as well as representatives of local and national youth organizations.

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The session Research and Innovation was led by representatives of academia and business in the person of prof. Daria Vladikova, Bulgarian Association for Hydrogen Storage, Fuel Cells and Energy; Institute for Sustainable Transition and Development/Traki University, Dr. Rumyana Grozeva, Executive Director - SZ REDA, as Managing Coordinator of the European Digital Information Hub Zagore, prof. Zhivka Ovcharova, Research Institute of Informatics in Karlsruhe and Assoc. Evgeni Evgeniev, First Secretary, Science Sector, Permanent Representation of Bulgaria to the EU. The aim of this panel was to discuss different perspectives on how research and innovation policies/projects can support the regional economy in the coming years of implementing a fair energy transition and the period beyond.

The final panel for the first day of the Forum, The New Energy Mix, presented the vision of Yuliyan Popov, Policy Advisor, European Climate Foundation, Kostadin Sirlestov, Managing Partner CMS Sofia and Head of EPC in CEE at CMS, Bulgaria and Chairman of the Association for Production, Storage and Trade of Electricity, Nikola Gazdov, Chairman of the Association for Production, Storage and Trade of Electricity and Ivelin Panchov, Member of the European Digital Information Hub Zagore.

The main conclusion that was drawn after the event was that the need for an indicative date and plan for the transformation of coal-fired capacities is increasingly evident at local, regional and national level. The forum emerged as an important development opportunity for communities traditionally reliant on fossil fuels, as well as for anyone concerned with just transition.

The Forum concluded with a site visit by participants to the Maritsa East Mine and Maritsa East 2 Thermal Power Plant. 

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More about the speakers, programme and sessions can be found here

25 June 2021 - Discussion on "The Just Transition Fund and the Bulgarian Coal Regions",

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The European Parliament Liaison Office in Bulgaria and Europe Direct Stara Zagora are pleased to invite you to a hybrid discussion on "The Just Transition Fund and the Bulgarian Coal Regions", which will be held with a limited number of live participants in Stara Zagora on June 25, 2021, Friday. , from 13.00 to 14.30 and will be broadcast live online.

Details of the way the Just Transition Fund will function and its potential impact on Bulgarian coal regions will be presented at the forum. The main topics of discussion will focus on the measures provided for in the Just Transition Regulation, the type of investments and structural changes that need to be undertaken by countries and regions to facilitate the transition to a green economy and the aspects of the Regulation has not yet been agreed.

The event will start with a panel discussion with Manolis Kefalogiannis (EPP / Greece), Member of the European Parliament and Rapporteur on the Just Transition Regulation, Tsvetelina Penkova (S&D), Member of the European Parliament, and the Committee on Regional Development, Elodie Duran, Program Manager, Department E3, DG Regional and Settlement Policy of the European Commission and Kostadin Sirleshtov, Managing Partner at CMS Sofia and Head of the Energy and Climate Change Department for Central and Eastern Europe.

The panel discussion will be followed by a discussion with the audience, and the moderator of the event will be Dr. Rumyana Grozeva, Executive Director of the Regional Economic Development Agency in Stara Zagora, the host organization of Europe Direct Stara Zagora.

The event will be broadcast on the Zoom platform. The working languages will be Bulgarian and English with two-way simultaneous translation for the participants in the Zoom meeting. The discussion will be broadcast live only in Bulgarian on the Facebook page of the European Parliament Liaison Office in Bulgaria.

Send your questions to the participant using slido with #JTF. During the event, you shall ask your question using the chat function in the Zoom platform and Facebook chat.

Event's AGENDA 

Coal regions in the Western Balkans, Ukraine and the EU are invited to join an exchange programme to accelerate just local energy transitions

Coal regions exchange programme ENGCoal regions in the Western Balkans, Ukraine and the EU are invited to join an exchange programme to accelerate just local energy transitions. The programme is an opportunity for regions to start direct, one-to-one dialogues, connect with different stakeholders, learn from each other, and transfer knowledge.  

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6th meeting of the working group on DeCarb projects, funded by Interreg Europe and TRACER, funded by Horizon2020


On 11/02/2021 (Thursday) from 10:00 to 14:30 in the hall "Zelenika" in the complex, Green Hill SZREDA together with the Black Sea Energy Research Center hosted the 6th meeting of the DeCarb design working group, funded by Interreg Europe and TRACER, implemented by BSERC and funded by Horizon2020.

The meeting was held with great interest in a hybrid version - online and live. There were over 50 participants.

The focus of that meeting was put over started preparation of Territorial Just Transition Plans in Bulgaria – Stara Zagora, Pernik, and Kyustendil.

The experience of other EU coal regions that are going through similar processes was represented. The stakeholders were able to get to know interregional experience, lessons learned, and good practices to be implemented in our region.

Territorial Just Transition Plans will be prepared for the first time and their purpose is to ensure a smooth transition to low-carbon industries/services/productions of a regional economy heavily dependent on fossil fuel. 

For Stara Zagora Region preparation of Territorial Just Transition Plans is a key moment. Development of the region is depending on this document: workplaces, investments, standard, and quality of life. The efforts of the SZREDA team are aimed at ensuring of information and experience of other regions, organizations, and institutions which to be maximum used for the regional level.

We would like to express special thanks to our panels Angel Nikolaev, Dr. Lefteris Topaloglou, NikoNatek, Brieuc Posnic Desislava Kraleva, Sebastian Hyzyk, Assoc. Prof. Nelly Grozeva, Karel Tichý, Tomas Burdych, Prof. Hristo Vassilev and Julian Popov for their great contribution in the dialogue on decarbonization, fair transition, and territorial plans for fair transition.


presentations in English:

1. Territorial Just Transition Plan in the Czech Republic - Tomas Burdych, Usti Region 

2. Financing Just Transition Project - Sebastian Hyzyk, EIB

3. European green Deal And Just Transition - Brieuc Posnic - DG Energy

4. Territorial Plans for Just Transition Influencing the energy transition of the Savinjsko-šaleška coal intensive region, dipl. eng. Niko Natek

 5. Good practices TRACER - Angel Nikolaev 


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