The ENTRANCES project conducted its kick-off meeting from May 5th to 7th, 2020 with a high scientific and institutional participation, and taking on the challenge of modeling the social impact of the energy transition. Due to the pandemic COVID-19 crisis, the meeting was decided to be held virtually.
The opening session was attended by Mrs Laura Martín, member of the Office of the Vice-Presidency of the Government of Spain, Professor Amparo Casares, Vice-Chancellor for Sustainability of the University of A Coruna (Spain), host of the coordination team, Gerd Schonwalder, Policy Officer of the ‘SSH aspects of energy transition’ within the DG of Research and Innovation of the EC, Manuela Conconi, Project Officer at the INEA, EC, as well as more than 50 researchers connected from 14 European research organizations in 12 European countries.
In a globalised context, many European regions are exposed to the deep and sometimes painful transformation of their social, economic and cultural life. The clean energy transition, if not properly managed, may become an additional and decisive factor of “deterritorialisation” for those regions that are still heavily dependent on fossil-fuel-based industries or the extraction of fossil fuels themselves, i.e. coal and carbon-intensive regions.
A new 3-year project, ENTRANCES, will investigate the challenges facing carbon-intensive regions in transition – hinging on the idea that the transition to clean energy should not be considered only as a technological change or an industrial shift but also a socio-economic-psychological process that affects the daily life of local communities. The project will integrate, in a single research framework and in a cross European study focused on 13 coal and carbon-intensive regions, socio-economic factors, political dynamics and deep territorial transformations linked to the energy transition. The project follows the European strategy to reduce emissions by up to 40% from 1990 levels and pursues the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, as a frame of reference. It will analyze processes of de-territorialization and re-territorialization in 13 European mining regions from a socio-economic, socio-technical, socio-cultural, socio-politcal, socio-ecological, socio-psychological and gender perspective. It will develop understanding from scientific evidence and knowledge based on interdisciplinary and inter-organizational dialogue, in which more than 3,000 people will participate, including scientists, organizations and stakeholders from all over Europe. The ENTRANCES consortium is formed by 14 high quality groups with excellent theoretical and methodological expertise, as well as an International Scientific Advisory Board for specific expert advice.