We believe the transition to a low-carbon future needs to be just. For everyone. That’s why we dialogue with stakeholders affected—like our employees at facilities scheduled for closure or repurposing as well as people in nearby communities. We want them to understand that we’ve made plans for the future.
To be committed to a just transition of our operations and sites through effective dialogue and stakeholder engagement to support our people and communities affected by transition; to develop sustainable economic strategies for our sites and to foster diverse, inclusive, and decent work.
Exiting coal in Europe
A key facet of Uniper’s decarbonization plan is exiting coal in Europe. We’ve therefore designed masterplans for all coal sites scheduled for closure to ensure that they have a viable future in a greener energy world. We want decarbonization to create value and safeguarding as many jobs as possible.
Our former coal-fired power plant in Wilhelmshaven in northwest Germany is a great example. We intend to transform it into a green hydrogen hub that will help reduce the need for imported natural gas. We also plan to set up a training and development center there, not only for Uniper but also for companies in the region. The aim is to create prospects for qualified workers.
Engaging with coal-mining regions
Lower demand for, and production of, coal will have significant implications for employment, public revenues, and local economies in coal-mining regions. Through our membership in Bettercoal, a nonprofit initiative to enhance sustainability alone the coal supply chain, we support an economic diversification program in Colombia. The project’s objectives are to bring together different stakeholders (government, companies, trade unions, and local communities) to design and implement projects and to create a funding structure to help stimulate alternative economic development.
At Uniper, we do not want to wait until the time has come and the plants have been decommissioned. Instead, we want to actively develop sites in advance and involve the responsible parties in the cities and communities in the process.
Arne Bayer, Head of Asset Development Uniper Kraftwerke GmbH