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The next Entrances regional co-creation meetings are coming up

As the ENTRANCES project is approaching its end a new round of regional co-creation meetings, one in each case study region, will be held. This, in April 2023, 13 meetings will be organised by the case study leaders with the participation of local stakeholders. To that end five to eight local stakeholders from each region will be identified following the principle of the quintuple helix (researchers, companies, local authorities, citizens’ associations, and environmental activists) and invited to participate in these meetings.

During the meetings the participant stakeholders will be informed of the findings of the ENTRANCES project and the scenarios constructed by the researchers on the possible future trajectories of each region. The participants will help to validate the different scenarios and provide ideas on the strategies and approach to be adopted for regional development.

Additionally, the participants will also help researchers to identify the main obstacles and facilitators of any change in the region.

After the meetings the participants contributions will provide an important input for practical recommendations for regional development in the 13 regions.

ENTRANCES participation in the H2020 – Horizon Europe Contractors’ Workshop on SSH in the Energy Transition

CINEA (European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency) organised a Horizon Cluster Workshop on SSH in the Energy Transition on the past 24th January. The session had the participation of Ricardo García Mira, the ENTRANCES Coordinator and Douglas Thompson. They presented the goals, methods, planning, dissemination and the general state of the ENTRANCES project. Other consortia, in addition to ENTRANCES, are forming part of this cluster of energy projects: CINTRAN, TIPPINIG+, ADJUST, BOLSTER, TANDEM, SSH_CENTER. The objective is to promote the preparation of joint activities, including projects and products joint.

During the event, Ricardo García Mira underlined the fact that the success of the energy transition policies depends on the transformative capacity of coal and carbon regions in adapting to the ongoing shift. In the long term these areas should diminish their dependence on the monoculture industry. However, the job market also needs adaptation due to the lack of alternative positions and professional specialization in other sources of energy to provide proper workforce for a new clean scenario.

CINEA fosters decarbonisation and sustainable growth through supporting collaborative implementations of various EU programmes. The cluster meeting aimed above all to enhance cooperation between projects to share previous learnings from policy makers.

The gathering also contributed to the exchange of information on clean energy research data while considering synergies with the other EU projects of the cluster. The workshop succeeded in communicating results, overlaps and upcoming events that can support the transition to climate neutrality. The attendants’ knowledge sharing led to a cutting-edge state at the end of the reunion that creates space for future debates from a new point.

ENTRANCES at the Climate Change Summit - COP27

In the context of the COP27, the EU organised over 120 Side Events in person and virtually aligned with its goals. On 14th November 2022 the Horizon 2020 project ENTRANCES, along with its sister projects TIPPING+, CINTRAN and TRACER held the “Coal and Carbon Intensive Region in Transition(s) in Europe and Beyond” (CCIR) Side Event.

The ENTRANCES coordinator, Ricardo García Maria (University of A Coruña) participated of this meeting with Giovanni Caiati (Knowledge & Innovation) and Marcela Norena (Women Engage for a Common Future). The online side-event was moderated by the professor and researcher Diana Magalagiu (Oxford University), Neoma Business School and the Global Climate Forum. The main goal of the event was to develop a debate between different social actors in promoting a just and safe transition to decarbonise CCIRs while also stimulating local sustainable development. There were extensive discussions on the processes to push shifts in Europe and other areas. In the meantime, barriers but also opportunities when changing energy patterns in the face of different policies, geopolitical influence and environmental issues were considered.

Balbina Gluza-Czyczerska, a policy assistant at the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission (DG REGIO) and the coordinator of the Just Transition Platform, highlighted the EC’s commitment to support a Just Transition for CCIRs. ENTRANCES coordinator, Ricardo García Maria, shared the key messages of the project while stating that the analysis of challenges and coping strategies requires a multidimensional approach. He focused on energy transition broader impacts in CCIRs pointing out cross-cutting issues associated with the social aspects of the changes being implemented, such as the gender role in decision-making and the underrepresentation women have in this sense. According to Ricardo García Maria the transition to clean energy must be conducted in a co-creation context to facilitate empowering citizens equally and supporting social innovation in CCIRs. He added that the increasing vulnerability of the territories is not a direct consequence of the energy transition itself but is a long-lasting process with roots in globalisation and the states loss of power. The coordinator also explained the research has presented communities' high territorial attachment and resilience capacity. Above all, there is a critical need to identify how the energy transition might trigger or foster effective adjustments in territories.

The event ended with an open session for audience participation, in which they could interact with the speakers by making questions regarding energy transition issues in varied contexts. The last takeaways included the importance of public awareness, stakeholders’ engagement and integrated cooperation to succussed in accomplishing energetic shifts.

The Gender Analysis Report was released on ENTRANCES Website

To develop just recommendations for pushing European coal mining and carbon-intensive regions towards a safe energy transition, it is necessary to consider multi-dimensional perspectives. The path to clean energy should not be considered only a technological shift but a holistic change. For that reason, social aspects are among the priorities in the ENTRANCES scopes of research, and gender is an essential variable that integrates the Social Sciences and Humanities analysis adopted, providing crucial information on the societal implications of switching to clean energy.

In fact, the analysis of the gender variable and potential inequalities has provided a broader view of the social struggles in developing resilience in coal and carbon-intensive regions going through the Clean Energy Transition process. To that end, ENTRANCES has developed a specific Gender Analysis Report, which provides an overview of gender differences for each of the five ENTRANCES components and analyses challenges faced and coping strategies developed with a gender lens to identify potential differential risks, opportunities, and impacts. The report also covers an overview of relevant definitions and concepts and reviews key approaches of gender in energy transition research. Finally, the document points out final remarks and policy recommendations for substantial and coherent integration of gender in shaping the expected energy transition.

The gender analysis has found that common challenges in the studied regions might affect women and men differently and determine different opportunities or risks for them. However, the planned strategies to overcome the challenges rarely include gender as an aspect to be considered and vary widely in gender responsiveness. This is the case, for example, for emerging challenges related to changes in the composition of the population due to outmigration and population ageing. There is growing evidence of the links between gender and migration and the gendered differentiated risks that population ageing imposes, but policies and strategies frequently neglect these. Other challenges, such as the economic diversification of the regions or the transition governance processes, also demand analysis with a gender and intersectional lens. This is key to avoiding reinforcing existing inequalities and enhancing the active participation of all actors in achieving a just transition. In total, the analysis identified 12 gender-relevant challenges.

Based on the study’s findings, the task team identified four key messages, reflecting on different levels of exclusion of gender in the territorialisation processes of coal and carbon-intensive regions, that can serve as a basis for the elaboration of more inclusive decarbonisation policies and strategies. Those messages are related to the way in which gender neutrality in the societal interpretation of the transition, the exclusion of women from decision-making, the drain of women from the territory and biased territorial symbols define an adverse context for women to engage in the processes of territorial change.

In order to share an overview of challenges and coping strategies faced by the 13 coal and carbon intensive regions studied in Entrances two videos were developed and made available on the project’s website (Videos – ENTRANCES – Horizon 2020 (H2020) Project (entrancesproject.eu).

The 2 videos present the Carbon and Cal Regions, respectively, and were developed as shortcuts to understand the project goals and the different challenges each of these regions face while transitioning to clean energy.

The ENTRANCES | Case Studies - Carbon-intensive regions video presents 6 European carbon intensive regions: Brindisi (Italy), Kraków Metropolitan (Poland), As Pontes, A Coruña (Spain), Upper Styria (Austria), Stavanger (Norway) and South Wales (UK).

The ENTRANCES | Case Studies - Coal mining regions video covers 7 European coal mining regions: Silesia (Poland), Lusatia (Germany), Rhineland (Germany), Central Germany (Germany), Jiu Valley (Romania), Sulcis Iglesiente (Italy) and Upper Nitra (Slovakia).

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ENTRANCES project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement nº 883947. This newsletter represents the view of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility: it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA). The European Commission and the Agency do not accept responsibility for the use that may be made of the information it contains.

 

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