Changing the political and public narrative in Central and Eastern European countries, providing positive perspectives on the opportunities of the energy transformation.
The project contributes to more ambitious and effective climate and energy policies in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), focussing on Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Latvia, and Hungary. It encourages climate-progressive voices to raise awareness on the socio-economic benefits of the energy transformation. It provides strategic support to local stakeholders, thus supporting them in making their voices heard by decision-makers and in carrying out direct advocacy with EU institutions. By creating a space for communication, the project opens the narrative to different perspectives and creates an environment for policy change.
Study Trip Bankwatch; Foto: Berber Verpoest
It consists of communication, advocacy, and networking actions. Thus, three work packages will be implemented over1.5 years: first, a communication campaign to target decision-makers, second, joint advocacy work to influence policies, and third, joint activities to support CEE stakeholders in networking and mutual learning. There will be publications that provide political analysis and practical guidelines on implementing the energy transformation and Just Transition as well as meetings in coal regions, workshops for energy transformation stakeholders in target countries, international networking events, and webseminars.
The project builds on the previous project “Accelerating the CEE Energy Transformation and Learning from the German Experience” that targeted the same countries. It is aware that ambitious climate policies have been traditionally challenging to implement in CEE countries, as the low-carbon transition is mostly discussed as a problem rather than an opportunity.
Thus, the Just Transition approach offers a positive change to the narrative, cutting across the “climate vs. jobs” divide by stressing that the low-carbon transition needs to be just and fair for affected workers and regions. The approach has already shown positive effects in CEE countries.
Study Trip Project; Foto: Katerina Davidova
There is a growing pro-transformation movement, evidenced by the targeted activity of civil society, initial shifts in the public debate regarding climate and energy, and local stakeholders calling for a Just Transition. It is relevant to further mobilise government officials, mayors, academics, businesses, and local stakeholders to foster ambitious climate policy as the EU’s climate and energy targets cannot be reached without support by CEE.
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The European Climate Initiative (EUKI):
This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.