Empowering local communities through SITRANS local C&D desks: pioneering the just energy transition in coal regions

Local Communication and Dissemination Desks for a just energy transition

The European Union is facing significant challenges related to climate change, energy security, public acceptance, competitiveness, and energy poverty. Addressing these issues requires a transformative approach, particularly in regions heavily reliant on coal. Our project SITRANS is spearheading this transformation by promoting place-based governance and tailor-made policies to ensure a just transition.

SITRANS: a pathway to decarbonisation

In SITRANS we adopt a meso-level approach to explore factors affecting governance, socio-economic impact, and poverty elimination, aiming to achieve the decarbonisation of the energy system. The project focuses on areas experiencing intense coal phase-out, assessing the socio-economic impact and developing an effective governance model based on the principle of “leaving no one behind.” This model will culminate in the creation of the Just Energy Transition Observatory (JETO), designed to host and monitor evaluation models based on predefined indicators and criteria.

Local C&D desks: catalysts for change

A crucial component of SITRANS is the establishment of local Communication and Dissemination (C&D) desks. These desks are pivotal in ensuring the project’s objectives are effectively communicated and disseminated within the target regions. With the local C&D desks, we will:

  1. Develop tailored communication strategies: craft and distribute materials such as brochures, newsletters, press releases, and social media content to raise awareness about the project’s goals and progress.
  2. Organize local events: facilitate workshops, seminars, and conferences to engage local communities, stakeholders, and media, ensuring widespread dissemination of information.
  3. Foster local engagement: build relationships with local media, organizations, educational institutions, and businesses to promote active participation in the transition process.
  4. Monitor and evaluate: continuously assess the impact of communication activities, gathering feedback to refine strategies and ensure effective dissemination.

SITRANS’ demo-sites: real impact

SITRANS is implemented in key regions across Europe, each facing unique challenges and opportunities in the energy transition:

  • Bulgaria (Stara Zagora): known as the energy heart of Bulgaria, Stara Zagora’s transition affects around 100,000 people. The local C&D desk will address economic diversification and social mitigation challenges, promoting public awareness and stakeholder involvement.
  • Italy (Sardinia): with coal phase-out expected by 2025, Sardinia’s conversion plans include renewable energy and biomass, aiming to create jobs and ensure energy stability. The local C&D desk will focus on public engagement and operator requalification.
  • Greece (Western Macedonia): ss Greece phases out lignite by 2030, Western Macedonia faces the challenge of rapid transition. The local C&D desk will support community involvement and promote sustainable economic models.
  • Poland (Silesia): with a significant portion of the economy based on coal, Silesia’s transition will reshape its socio-economic landscape. The local C&D desk will emphasize stakeholder communication and support for affected workers.

Towards a sustainable future

By establishing local C&D desks, we will ensure that the energy transition process is inclusive, transparent, and effective. These desks will play a vital role in communicating the project’s progress, engaging local communities, and disseminating knowledge to support a just and sustainable energy transition across Europe.