Just Transition in Silesia

From coal-centric to coal-exit development pathways


  • Maciej Bukowski
  • Alkesander Śniegocki
  • Zofia Wetmańska




Just Transition, Coal-Exit, Silesia, Mining, Energy Transformation


The history of coal in the Silesian region reaches the XVIII century. Given that coal mining has shaped both the economic development of the region and local identity of Silesia for several centuries, it is understandable that transformation of the region and the process of decoupling its growth from coal is a contentious topic. The restructuring of the Silesian economy is a long-term process which has started in the 1990s. It includes not only a gradual phase-out of coal mining but also much broader sectoral realignment from traditional industries towards modern manufacturing and services, in line with a broader transition which Poland has been undergoing since abandoning centrally planned economy and launching the process of integrating with the European Union. Today, these processes are already advanced, but significant challenges remain. 2021 is a crucial year for charting further transition pathways for the region, as two stakeholder processes are set to conclude in the coming months. The first one is the preparation of Territorial Just Transition Plan, and the second is developing mining restructuring strategy.