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Bulgarian unions take action for a Just Transition

17 August, 2023Bulgarian CITUB unions, including IndustriALL affiliates, have taken a proactive approach regarding Just Transition in the country. There is an urgent need for government to make critical decisions in the next two months on key documents to address the social and economic consequences of the transition to a low-carbon economy. Unions have made clear their position on the urgent solutions that are needed to deliver a just transition.

The national recovery and sustainability plan (NRSP) is in revision process and agrees with the National Assembly’s decision to drop the requirement for a 40% reduction in carbon emissions from the energy sector in 2026 compared to 2019. Unions reiterate that the drop of this requirement from the plan is crucial to maintaining the country's energy security and insist that government has dialogue with social partners on the exact proposals, procedures, and projects when planning the renegotiation of the plan.
Regarding the territorial Just Transition plans, which are an essential tool in industrial transformation in coal mining regions and should be carried out within the framework of an overall concept and general planning approval. Unions have suggested that this plan should focus on and develop on mapping the skills of the affected workforce, supporting the creation of industrial parks for clean technologies (with zero emissions), developing a scheme to support the integrated use of green hydrogen-large-scale integrated projects and an energy strategy.
Tsvetelina Milchalieva president of the Light Industry Federation, says:

“We believe that the government should make every effort to provide funds for the immediate launch of a skills mapping project, so that social support and support for employment can be provided. We insist that assistance under the just transition fund cover the large enterprises that have potential to spread their growth to other local companies based on vertical and horizontal links and create jobs. We also demand concrete proposals for initiatives developed by industrial federations together with the confederation are aimed at implementing the principle: create a job before laying off a worker. Nothing about us without us.” 

“Unions and workers need to be part of the Just Transition conversation; it is the only way to ensure that workers are protected and that they have support. We applaud the unions for being active in these discussions and making concrete proposals,”

says IndustriALL assistant general secretary Kan Matsuzaki.