Vice-President Ribera reports on the Government of Spain's plans for Just Transition within the scope of the European presidency

News - 2023.9.11

The Monitoring Committee of the Framework Agreement for a Just Transition of Coal Mining and Sustainable Development of the Mining Regions for the period 2019-2027 has held a new meeting to analyse the progress and degree of compliance with the commitments contained in this Agreement and to learn about the Government of Spain's plans for a Just Transition.

The meeting was chaired by Teresa Ribera, Third Vice-President of the Government and Acting Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITECO), and was attended by Laura Martín, Director of the Institute for Just Transition (ITJ) - an autonomous body of MITECO - and the trade unions Comisiones Obreras (CCOO de Industria), Unión General de los Trabajadores (UGT-FICA) and Unión Sindical Obrera (USO), as well as the National Federation of Coal Mine Entrepreneurs (Carbunión).

At the end of the Monitoring Committee, the Vice-President said that "the just transition process that we started at the end of 2018 by signing this Agreement is already delivering good results in terms of new investments. These are the result of the high level of compliance with the commitments made." And she announced that "Just Transition is a priority for the Government of Spain at the European level as well; that is why we have invited important specialists in energy transition and social justice to an event that will take place in Ponferrada as part of the European Presidency at the end of October. And in our agenda there will be a relevant space to celebrate the fifth anniversary of our agreement being signed."

Teresa Ribera ended her speech by thanking "the trade unions and the other entities involved in achieving the good results presented at our meeting today for the work they have carried out".

In turn, Laura Martín also referred to the near future, announcing that "at the ITJ, we are working to launch new lines of aid worth 69 million euros, which will allow us to finance municipal infrastructure projects and local business initiatives that were left out in previous calls for proposals. At the Institute, we are continuing to closely monitor the projects underway and analyse the needs of the Just Transition territories in order to adapt the support available to their specific needs".

European Event and 5th Anniversary of the Agreement

The Vice-President announced the organisation of a high-level event on Just Transition in Ponferrada (León) at the end of October as part of the European Presidency. It will be the setting chosen by the Government of Spain to celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the Agreement being signed.

The event is conceived as a forum for sharing experiences and fostering an open dialogue on the process of clean energy transition while ensuring social justice. It will identify opportunities and monitor the effects of Just Transition policies in Europe.

The meeting will be attended by heads of EU institutions, members of European governments, representatives of towns and regions involved in this process, companies, trade union and social organisations. Interlocutors from other countries in the Americas embarking on a similar path to the EU in terms of climate ambition and Just Transition will also participate.

Support for workers: social plan, employment and training

The Social Plan included in the Framework Agreement, designed to cover direct mining workers who were leaving the mining industry, has enabled 327 workers to access early retirement benefits and 36 people to take compensated leave.

The creation of an employment exchange for direct workers and also for subcontractors has allowed their recruitment to be prioritised in the case of mine restoration works and as part of the business initiatives supported by the ITJ. Data presented to the Commission indicate that 90 per cent of those registered as able to work are currently in employment.

The training and job search assistance service contracted by the ITJ has been one of the key elements for this recruitment rate. The ITJ is currently working to strengthen the lines of support for the 20 or so people who are still unemployed.

Coal mine restoration and employment

The ongoing coal mine restoration plan, which includes, among other projects, 7 major works, is funded through the Recovery Plan - Component 10, Just Transition and Component 4, Conservation and Restoration of Ecosystems and their Biodiversity - and with national funds through aid to mining companies or the Regional Governments.

In total, over 4,000 hectares of areas affected by coal activity will be reclaimed with an investment of around 220 million euros. 54% of the people in the stock exchange are employed in these tasks.

Support for business activity

Since 2019, the ITJ has called for grants worth 45 million euros focused on business initiatives and small investment projects in mining areas that will create jobs or help maintain existing jobs. The result to date is 279 supported projects, which are estimated to create 1,400 new jobs and mobilise over 340 million euros in investment in mining towns.

Before the end of the year, it is foreseen that the current grants (Order TED/1240/2022 and TED/1239/2022), with a budget of 50 million euros for all the areas of Just Transition, will be resolved, in addition to the launch of two new calls for proposals with a budget of 27 million euros for mining areas. It is estimated that the sum of all the aid will result in an overall commitment to create 2,800 jobs in mining towns.

Aid for municipal infrastructure

The Just Transition towns belonging to the mining districts have received 49 million in aid, financed through the Recovery Plan and aimed at creating social, environmental and digital infrastructures.

The ITJ is working to launch an additional call for aid with 25 million euros from the Recovery Plan for social, environmental and digital infrastructures, of which an estimated 14 million will go to mining towns.

Recovery of aid under the 2013-2018 Framework

In May 2023, the Council of Ministers approved the extension of the deadline and budget for the 104 municipal infrastructure agreements belonging to the Action Framework for Coal Mining and Mining Regions 2013-2018, which could not be implemented in that period for various reasons, including the increase in costs caused by the pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine.

Thanks to these extensions, 54 projects for improvements in industrial estates, energy efficiency, green infrastructure and social services can be implemented, which would not have been possible without this regulatory amendment.

Framework Agreement Monitoring Committee

On 24 October 2018, the Ministry of Ecological Transition, the UGT-FICA trade union centre, the CCOO Industry Federation, the USO Industry Federation and the employers' association for the sector, Carbunión, signed the 'Framework Agreement for a Just Transition of Coal Mining and Sustainable Development of the Mining Regions for the period 2019-2027'.

The Agreement lays the foundations for a Just Transition of the mining sector with a focus on social protection of workers and support for territories. The Institute for Just Transition is responsible for implementing the measures contained therein.

Within the framework of the Agreement, a Monitoring Commission was set up to regularly analyse progress with implementing the commitments made, such as the one held today in person at the headquarters of the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge.

The full report and the presentation used at this meeting of the Monitoring Commission will be available at

Non official translation