The ENTRANCES project partners are delighted to see that the Upper Styria case study has recently been published in the Austrian newspaper “Der Standard”.
The article reflects how the shift away from CO2-intensive economies, such as the local steel industry in Upper Styria, is bringing about major changes for the region. The 13 case studies of the project are mentioned, along with the distinction between coal-intensive and carbon-intensive regions, and how the methodological approaches put in place in ENTRANCES aim to create comparable findings across all of the 13 case studies.
The article also addresses a number of challenges specific to the Upper Styria region, such as a decline in an already ageing population and an image problem of the industry that originated in the 1980s, which stands in contrast to the reality of a flourishing industrial sector with a growing demand for human resources.
Please find the full article and more information on the Upper Styria case study here
On 13 October 2021, Smart Citizens for Decarbonisation, an online webinar was successfully held. Aiming at reflecting on the social effects of decarbonisation policies, several interesting experiences from mature European carbon-intensive territories were shared in the event.
On 13 October 2021, Smart Citizens for Decarbonisation, an online webinar was successfully held. Aiming at reflecting on the social effects of decarbonisation policies, several interesting experiences from mature European carbon-intensive territories were shared in the event. Participants made presentations about the role of regional and local government in promoting inclusiveness and citizen’s engagement when combatting the undesired effects of decarbonisation.
Professor Garcia-Mira from University of A Coruña was the keynote speaker of the event. In his presentation, Professor Garcia-Mira showed us a conceptual approach to integrate the socio-economic-psychological change of the energy transition into the regional innovation planning process by introducing the concept of engaging citizens. He gave answers to several questions in his speech such as what engaging citizens are and what incentives the governments and society could provide to booster citizen engagement. A change in the governance of the system which requires informed and responsible citizens alongside laws that regulate citizens’ participation, are, from his view, what is needed in order to engage citizens. One specific project called ENTRANCES can be a perfect example of how to involve citizens. It is a project that requires a set of co-creation scenarios to achieve the transition of clean energy in the social aspects. The project has different objectives in many aspects of society hence, it requires a multidimensional and interdisciplinary perspective to resolve the problem. He elaborated on how they will bring together different members involved in the project across regions. In the end, he presented an interesting case about coal mining regions and carbon-intensive regions, illustrating how different countries, regions, industries and organizations can work together to cope with challenges.
Through this, people got to know more about the real experience of conducting projects. One story was presented by Jan Sienkiewicz who has been working for the Regional Development Agency in Bielsko-Biała for 17 years. In his sharing, he introduced his tasks and initiatives in relation to sustainable development and low emissions that have been carried out in the agency. Furthermore, he showed us how the city cooperates with different regions and agencies by joining the Covenant of Mayors. Several interesting environment-related projects that local governments and citizens are currently taking part of were presented as well by Jan Sienkiewicz.
What cannot be ignored when we analyse regional economy and innovation is the power of the youth. In this section, Mr Kostas Karamarkos, co-founder of Just Transition Institute Greece, made a presentation about views on decarbonization. The context is that by 2028, all ignite power plants will cease to operate in Greece resulting in the loss of many jobs in this industry as well as adverse impact on regional economy. He expanded this issue to the role that the youth may play. He said that despite the financial crisis and the fact that many young people are leaving their hometown, young people are still the main driver for innovation and thus should be the target of actions and funds. The society should invest on the youth via universities. He explained how Just Transition Funds can help and support the youth to overcome the structural changes that are happening now.
Another story shared to participants is about decarbonization and employment in which Ms Émeline Beaume encouraged the audience to live a green life and governments to offer citizens more carbonized services. She also introduced a training course that has been set up since last July named “Biogas Maintenance Technician,” which is about ecological transition aimed at giving people job opportunities. It is of great importance for everyone in their own territory as she emphasizes, to take actions about employment in the context of ecological transition. Ms Natasa Djordjevic, the Assistant Director of the Regional Agency for economic development of Sumadija in Serbia, also addressed and expanded the topics of skills and employment and talked about resolutions of her agency in dealing with the issue. The event ended with a question-and-answer portion with the panelists.
Coal regions in the Western Balkans, Ukraine and the EU are invited to join an exchange programme to accelerate just local energy transitions. The programme is an opportunity for regions to start direct, one-to-one dialogues, connect with different stakeholders, learn from each other, and transfer knowledge.
The call for applicants who wish to join the peer exchange programme was launched at the initiative’s annual meeting on 24 June 2021. Coal regions in the EU, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo[*], Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Ukraine are invited to participate in the exchange programme. EU regions that are former coal regions, or are frontrunners in relevant fields (e.g. renewable energy technology, smart specialisation) are also welcome to apply.
Participating regions will be paired based on their interests and expertise, and will select topics relevant to coal phase-out to be explored in-depth. Priority will be given to forming pairs made up of one coal regions from the Western Balkans or Ukraine and one coal region from the EU. However, this is flexible and needs-based.
All participating regions will benefit from funded study visits, knowledge exchange, and expert support. In addition to tailored expert support, regions will access advice from their peers through hands-on learning opportunities, and will gain access to tools and support to help them reflect on and evaluate their transitions so far, and map out their next steps.
Interested applicants are invited to apply by 15 September 2021. Information on eligibility and application process is available at the programme’s webpage.
The co-creation meeting promoted by ENTRANCES Horizon 2020 Project will take place next 10th of June from 11h00 to 15h30 (CET).
The main objective of this meeting is to trigger and help drive dialogue to ensure that the results of the ENTRANCES project support EU policies, produce policy recommendations to tackle the multiple challenges faced by communities and contribute to bridging the current knowledge gap for supporting the re-territorialisation of regions and territories that risk stay left behind in the transition towards clean energy.
It is divided into the morning session, where the recent impacts of the EU policies and the ENTRANCES project will be discussed; and the afternoon session, which will be focused on the exchange of experiences among European and International coal and carbon-intensive regions in transition and among European research projects focused on these issues.
Representatives of the European Commission, EU Coal Regions in Transitions Initiative, European and International coal and carbon-intensive regions, other related Horizon 2020 projects, and European researchers and academics will participate and share their ideas and thoughts.
The event also gathered several distinguished individuals including Dirk Beckers (Director of INEA), Aleksandra Tomczak (Member of Cabinet of the Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans at the European Commission), and Peter Berkowitz (Head of Unit, DG REGIO – Smart and Sustainable Growth). The concept of Just Transition regions and the Just Transition Mechanism were explained by the EC representatives including aspects of the Just Transition Fund implementation and the platform.
Following the know-how sharing and development sessions, the projects got the opportunity to present and showcase the key challenges undertaken by each in the context of Clean Energy Transition. Towards the end of the workshop, a dedicated session on coordinating dissemination actions between all four projects was held in which the projects jointly presented how they are cooperating on grounds of website management and updates, newsletter development, social media cross-dissemination, among others.
With the objective of extending the visibility of ENTRANCES outside European boundaries, European Association of Development Agencies (EURADA) is conducting a call for mirroring regions outside of Europe that are facing similar issues when dealing with decarbonisation policies.
Purpose of the call and involvement
The call has been organised to select three organisations (to be identified as “Peers Regional Organisations”) from coal mining and carbon-intensive regions of Africa, America, and Asia. These organisations will be involved in the co-creation process of ENTRANCES, in order to discuss the policy recommendations that the project will produce. The chosen organisations will also be invited to participate in the following meetings:
First meeting of the project in Brussels (May 2021) and the last meeting of the project in Brussels as well (April 2023) (alternatively, online in the event of travel restrictions or other similar circumstances); and
The co-creation meetings that will take place in the pilot territories of the project (online if necessary).
The organisations will be committed to disseminating the project results among their networks and internationally, as well as actively participating in the co-creation process of the outputs mentioned above.
Requisites of the organisation
The organisation should have a regional working scope.
The organisation should be dealing with issues related to the coal or carbon-intensive nature of the region.
The organisation should have a practical approach to the matter.
The organisation should play a relevant role in the decarbonisation process, or in the coal-mining and/or carbon-intensive activities.
The offers will be selected according to the following criteria and scoring:
Their belonging to a region characterised for the coal and/or carbon-intensive activities.
How closely the organisation is dealing with issues and process that emanate from these activities (decarbonisation process, technical support for economic transition, unemployment derived from these transitions, etc.)
The capacity of the organisation to propose a person, or a group of people, with remarkable expertise in the field. This is to say, capacity to communicate and to disseminate among other people the knowledge acquired during the co-creation meeting, and to transfer the experience and knowledge from the region to the co-creation meetings.
In order to facilitate enhanced dissemination of the results of ENTRANCES in other European coal mining and carbon-intensive regions beyond those already involved, project partner EURADA is building a Board of Regional Stakeholders. The Board will be composed of experts working hands-on to support implementation of the green transition. European Association of Development Agencies (EURADA) is looking for regional actors and policy makers from regions in transition, who can share with the ENTRANCES consortium their experiences, best practices, action plans, and views on their specific challenges and opportunities. This is aimed at creating significant added value for the project.
During the lifetime of the project, the experts from the Board of Regional Stakeholders will be invited to the below project meetings:
One methodological workshop
13 regional co-creation meetings
One EU policy co-creation meeting
Several virtual follow-up meetings
The experts will have the opportunity to present their respective case including insights on how they are coping with the de-carbonisation process and its social impacts, such as de-territorialisation. In this way the overall scope of the project will grow further paving way for collection of perspectives of additional regions and stakeholders. At the same time, participation in these activities will keep the regions participating in the Board up to date with the project findings and developments.
If you are interested in being part of the Board of Regional Stakeholders, please contact email@example.com.
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.
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