Just transition in Gorj County

About the activity

Just transition is an economic development model that consists of bottom-up public policies designed to create the conditions for fair income and a decent life for all workers and communities affected by decreasing industrial activity, including pollution reduction measures.

Gorj County will be one of the regions in Romania most affected by the energy transition. Oltenia Energy Complex, the largest coal-based energy producer in Romania, is also the largest economic operator in the county. The company owns a total of four lignite-based power plants and ten coal quarries, from which it produces approximately 20% of Romania’s electricity. In order for Romania to meet the commitments made as part of the Paris Agreement, we must phase out these assets by 2030.

Over 7,000 people in the county will be directly affected. The company’s restructuring plan envisages 4,000 employees in 2026, down from 12,200 at present, although it does not plan for substantial decarbonisation. To reduce the social impact of the energy transition, the European Commission established the Just Transition Fund, from which EUR 2 billion will go to Romania. The Fund will support the sustainable economic diversification of the affected regions and provide opportunities for reskilling.

In Gorj, a territorial just transition plan is currently being elaborated. We are involved in this and support the active participation of civil society to decide the future of the county and the elaboration of a plan for coal phase-out by 2030.

Through this project, we want to foster collaboration between local actors and support the formation of a coalition of civil society, authorities and the business environment which will be actively involved in a sustainable just transition and restore the right to a clean environment and a decent life to locals.