Image: LIFE-IP North-HU-TRANS celebrating the 30th anniversary of the LIFE programme with their colleagues in the Herman Ottó Institute who work on LIFE-IP Grassland.

The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. Integrated projects such as LIFE IP Peatlands and People are strategic projects supporting EU Member States to achieve full implementation of Strategies or Action Plans required by the EU environmental and climate legislation. LIFE-IP North-HU-Trans is another project funded under the 2020 Climate Action Sub-Programme that aims to facilitate decarbonisation and deliver a just transition in the largest coal region in Hungary.

  • Full title: Secure and start to implement an effective roadmap for the low-carbon transition of the single largest coal region in Hungary (LIFE-IP North-HU-Trans)
  • Project duration: September 2020 – October 2029 (9 years)
  • Consortium: 22 partners from government, industry, academia, regulatory bodies, trade unions and civil society
  • Total budget: €14.88 million
    • EU co-financing: €8.93 million (60%)
    • Project contribution: €5.95 million (40%).

The project’s overall objective is to enhance the implementation of Hungary’s National Energy and Climate Plan 2016-2030 (NECP), which aims for a 40% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030.

LIFE-IP North-HU-Trans will focus on achieving the sustainable and just decarbonisation and transition of the Mátra Power Plant (MPP) and its region, which was responsible for 9% of gross Hungarian GHG emissions and 11% of power generation in 2019. The power plant has great economic and social importance for the region, where GDP per capita is 49% of the EU average.

Key actions include substituting lignite with clean energy in domestic heating, diversifying the region’s economy and labour market to achieve a just transition through training and capacity building, raising awareness and overcoming legal barriers.

The project has had positive reactions and support from the affected communities and industries to date, and expects the following results in the fields of:

Decarbonisation

  • First implementation of 100% industrial coal phase-out in Eastern-Europe (2030)
  • Nearly 6.5 million tonnes CO2 emission reduction (50% of total domestic CO2 emissions from power generation)
  • Innovative prototypes to replace coal-fired technology
  • Toolkit of innovative technologies for the protection of weather-dependent renewable infrastructures
  • An innovative prototype of combined energy community and households’ energy efficiency to replace residential lignite use and reduce energy poverty

Just Transition

  • Establishment and operation of a national Coal Commission
  • Contribution to the development and implementation of Territorial Just Transition Plans for Heves and B-A-Z counties
  • Trainings and knowledge sharing for 500 workers and miners of the MPP
  • 250 affiliated and supply chain companies of MPP will enter new markets and supply chains and find new clients and customers.

For more information on the project, please visit: https://igazsagosatmenet.eu/en/introduction/