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Structural change in Lausitz

Kathrin Schneider

Effective climate action is a task that can be addressed only in a global and supranational context; however, it should not be forgotten that the impact of policy decisions taken is particularly evident at regional and municipal levels.

For example, Germany's phasing out of brown coal-fired power generation by 2038 means that the three German mining regions affected will no longer have a structurally determining industry with existing regional value chains and very high productivity, as well as a historical cultural identity as a mining and energy region.

“we are focusing on a transformation process that can serve as a model for change in other parts of Brandenburg and beyond

For the two mining regions in eastern Germany in particular, this is - after German reunification - the second drastic event to significantly alter the regional structure. It is, therefore, all the more important that political measures that decisively contribute to a change in the regional economy have a strong focus on ecological and social criteria.

In Lausitz, we are focusing on a transformation process that can serve as a model for change in other parts of Brandenburg and beyond. This process will be determined by the region and have a strong participatory character. To this end, we are counting on the further development of functioning regional structures in municipalities. The Lander regulations are primarily intended to ensure connectivity with Lander-policy strategies and thus facilitate the smart interaction of various funding instruments.

The central national funding instrument is the Structural Consolidation Act, which provides financial assistance to the Lander concerned, as well as targeted measures at the federal level to create new economic structures in the coal-mining regions.

“by 2038 the three German mining regions affected will no longer have a structurally determining industry

We are creating new development paths for Lausitz, for example in the context of energy and mobility transition and healthcare. To this end, we are committed to coordinated policy action by improving links with metropolitan regions through transport policy measures and by creating the appropriate conditions for [companies to establish themselves through investments in business-related infrastructure.

Further development of the Lausitz scientific landscape increases regional innovation potential, promotes the use of modern technologies and allows training of the necessary specialised personnel.

Concrete location projects such as the expansion of the Deutsche Bahn repair plant and forward-looking projects such as the further development of the largest Brandenburg clinic into a digital lead hospital and development of a reference power plant for the use of key energy transition technologies form the core of new regional value-added potential.

This article appears in the A regional geography of COVID-19 Issue of TerritoriALL

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This article appears in the A regional geography of COVID-19 Issue of TerritoriALL