J. David Tàbara, Diana Mangalagiu, Jérémie Fosse, Balbina Gluza-Czyczerska, Takeshi Takama, Rita Mergner, Ricardo Garcia Maria, Lukas Hermwille. Screenshot taking during COP 27 online side event.

On the margins of COP27 conference, which took place under the Presidency of Egypt in Sharm-el-Sheik from 7 to 18 November 2022, the European Union organised more than 120 Side Events on site at the European Pavillion and online.

The “Coal and Carbon Intensive Region in Transition(s) in Europe and Beyond” (CCIR) Side Event was jointly organized by the Horizon 2020 project ENTRANCES, along with its sister projects CINTRAN, TIPPING+ and TRACER and held virtually on 14 November 2022. The session was moderated by Diana Magalagiu, professor and researcher at Oxford University, Neoma Business School and the Global Climate Forum. ENTRANCES coordinator Ricardo Garcia Maria (Universidade de Coruña)participated in this Side Event along with Giovanni Caiati (Knowledge & Innovation) and Marcela Norena (Women Engage or a Common Future). The objective of this Side Event was to initiate a debate among key stakeholders, researchers, scientists and policymakers on just transition and decarbonization of CCIRs, while mitigating economic, environmental and societal risk and contributing to a sustainable development of the regions.

The Side Event allowed for a broad discussion on the processes of transition across Europe (and beyond), addressing their barriers, challenges, driver and emerging opportunities amid changing energy policies, geopolitical influence and environmental issues. Balbina Gluza-Czyczerska, a policy assistant at the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission (DG REGIO) and coordinator of the Just Transition Platform, emphasized the EC’s commitment to support a Just Transition for CCIRs and “leaving no one behind”, especially considering the increased calls for energy independency and need to speed up the process of clean energy transition.

ENTRANCES coordinator Ricardo Garcia Maria focused on the social aspect of transitions in CCIRs in his intervention at this Side Event, explaining to the audience how ENTRANCES seeked to develop a theoretically-based and empirically-fundamented understanding of cross-cutting issues associated with the processes of transition. This multidimensional approach encompasses, among other cross-cutting issues, the gender dimension and the comprehension of the region-specific energy-gender nexus.

The event ended with a Q&A session with questions from the audience, which included doubts about the meaning of just transition given the war in Ukraine, renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures.

Finally, the speakers exposed the key messages from their respective projects, focusing especially on stakeholder engagement and how innovation, knowledge integration and facilitation depends on cooperation between all stakeholders.

The full report and conclusions from this Side Event can be found on the ENTRANCES website. The report includes chapters dedicated to the following topics:

  • The EU commitment to the Just Transition
  • Going beyond carbon neutral through positive tipping point (J. David Tàbara, principal investigator of the TIPPING+ project)
  • The case of Indonesia and its energy transition (Takeshi Takama, CEO of su-re.co and formerly at the TIPPING+ project)
  • Implementing change and involving all stakeholders (Rita Mergner, coordinator of the TRACER project at WIP Renewable Energies)
  • “Justice” is elusive, but injustices are tangible (Lukas Hermwille, coordinator of the CINTRAN project)
  • Facilitating the transition in a co-creation context (Ricardo Garcia Mira, professor of Social Psychology at the University of A Coruña and coordinator of the ENTRANCES project)

You can also watch the full “Coal and Carbon Intensive Regions in Transition(s) in Europe and Beyond” Side Event on the EU Climate Action YouTube channel here.