SITRANS – a new project to support energy transition in coal regions
Press Release -
Transitions towards low-carbon energy systems and net-zero economies have started to be comprehensive and demanding, requiring substantial public support, new business models and new governance practices. In this context, Coal regions are the ones, where the Energy Transition is strongly linked to risks and potentially negative economic impacts for municipalities, regions, companies and individual workers.
SITRANS is an EU funded project which aims at promoting a “Just Transition Process” (based on the principle “leaving no one behind”) through the assessment of the economic and social impact of the energy transition at the regional and intra-regional level and the development of an effective model of governance of just transition which incorporates a place-based approach.
In particular, the project will promote a place-based governance approach and tailor-made transformative policies in areas that are intensely experiencing the process of coal phase out.
It is estimated to enhance public and citizens’ engagement and the legitimacy of policies in the perception of citizens who suffer the consequences of the success or failure of these strategies through deliberative democratic practices.
SITRANS aims at the proper use of the resources of the Just Transition Mechanism and other sources of public and private funding through an effective governance model which is important to be accompanied by an effective mechanism for scientific monitoring, analysis, evaluation and formulation of evidence-based policy proposals. An important stake in the project is to lay the foundations for the creation of an independent Just Energy Transition Observatory (JETO). The JETO will host and monitor evaluation models based on predefined indicators and criteria that will be jointly defined in the context of public consultation
To test and validate SITRANS’ models and approaches, 4 European areas that have coal-intensive economies (Western Macedonia, Silesia, Stara Zagora, and Sardinia) will participate as demo sites to test capacity-building activities, socio-economic challenges, and specific just-transition issues.
SITRANS started on November 1st, 2022 under the coordination of the University of Western Macedonia and the participation of 6 other European partners: Agentsiya Regionalno Ikonomichesko Razvitie (Bulgaria), Fondazione ICONS (Italy), Flexiwatt Idiotiki Kefalaiouchiki Etaireia (Greece), Etaireia Meleton Ypiresion Kai Logismikou Geochorikis Pliroforias I.K.E. (Greece), Agenzia regionale per l’attuazione dei programmi regionali in campo agricolo e per lo sviluppo rurale – LAORE (Italy), Instytut Gospodarki Surowcami Mineralnymi I Energia Pan (Poland). For the upcoming 30 months they will work together at this new challenge to promote a smooth transition in coal sensitive regions.
“SITRANS is an ambitious project that will support energy transition in coal regions, guiding local authorities and citizens towards this challenging route and promoting their active engagement in the phase out process. Within the project, ICONS will coordinate WP6 on Communication & Dissemination with the aim of designing and implementing an impact-driven, multi-stakeholder and multi-channel Communication, Engagement and Dissemination strategy. ICONS will collaborate with the other partners for the promotion of the project and its results, for the citizens and public engagement and to foster knowledge transfer and dialogue among stakeholders”
(Ilaria Bonetti, ICONS’ PM responsible for SITRANS)