On the occasion of its 5th anniversary, the European Climate Initiative (EUKI) is publishing an interactive e-paper. The previous achievements and future orientation of the initiative are clearly listed in words and figures.

Guidebook Living Streets


Guidebook Living Streets

European cities today are confronted with complex issues in urban planning and other societal issues, such as climate change or migration. Thus, municipalities, companies and residents should work together to find creative solutions to meet these challenges.

As an inspiration to rethink public space in cities, the EUKI project Living Streets by Energy Cities created the guide “Living Streets – From Citizen Engagement To Citizen Ownership: A Guidebook For Municipalities”. It gives step-by-step guidance to identify and create living urban spaces together with the various stakeholders and animates with colorful success stories

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Living Streets

Stakeholder dialogue in practice: Just Transition in the European car industry

Just Transition in the Car Industry

From the community



Stakeholder dialogue in practice: Just Transition in the European car industry

by Gloria Koepke and Leah Sinsel, NELA. Next Economy Lab

On May 12, 2022, the conference “Just Transition: Where is the European car industry heading?” was held in Brussels. It was part of the EUKI project “Just Transition in the car industry” and organised by NELA. Next Economy Lab with the support of six partner organisations from Croatia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Germany. The co-creative conference placed great emphasis on bringing together different stakeholders to enable and facilitate dialogue. Representatives at the conference included various different stakeholder groups: industry, environmental NGOs, academia, trade unions from Central and Eastern Europe, as well as policy makers from the European Commission and Parliament.


Asking the right questions

Since change is inevitable in the European automotive industry due to environmental regulations, international competition and technological shifts, many questions arise. How can we create new pathways for the automotive industry within the context of sustainable mobility in Europe? How to foster a Just Transition in one of our most symbolic industries? How to best manage the conflicting needs, priorities, and expectations of stakeholders? How to ensure that this transition is fair for the workers and regions directly affected? How can we account for the disparities between Eastern and Western Europe? And finally: How to enable Eastern European stakeholders to actively shape the transition?

Woman on a stage (Sarah Mewes) giving a presentation on the Just Transition in the European car industry project.

Sarah Mewes (NELA) is presenting the findings of the country reports on the topic of a Just Transition in the European Car Industry. Photo: Just Transition in the Car Industry

What problems do we need to address first, and how?

The conference opened with keynote speeches and then moved into an interactive, co-creative format. The first keynote speaker Frank Siebern-Thomas from the European Commission’s DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion stressed the need for policy to realise the potential of transition while addressing the risks through labour market policies, re-skilling, investment and mitigating regressive effects. Benjamin Denis, senior policy advisor at the European trade union IndustriALL, gave the second keynote. He particularly emphasised the importance of social dialogue in accelerating the emissions reduction in the EU.

Afterwards, transformation expert Janna Aljets provided critical commentary on the keynotes, with a particular focus on climate and global justice. “What kind of economy can we not only afford but which economy can bring wellbeing without destroying our common basis of life? How do we understand an economy that is not based on the over-exploitation of resources and people, especially in the Global South?”

Two men in the foreground discuss a topic. The man on the right gestures. In the back, pairs of men and women are also engaged in discussions.

Discussing some main issues in the field of a Just Transition in the European car industry. Photo: Just Transition in the Car Industry

Finding solutions – co-creatively

The new insights, controversies and open questions served as the basis for co-creative workshops on four topics: Stakeholder participation and social dialogue, Electrification, Reskilling and Just Transition in the Central and Eastern European car industry. In the workshops diverse stakeholder groups came together to identify key questions that urgently need to be answered together. Through lively, face-to-face discussions, the co-creative format of the workshops enabled an understanding of various perspectives on the transition. We used deep listening exercises to familiarise participants with conflicting positions of other stakeholders and enable the development of initial solutions.

A blurred woman on the right corner (moderator Jacki Davis) is speaking to Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg during the panel discussion.

Sigrid de Vries, Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg, Balázs Bábel, Jacki Davis (left to right), Photo: Just Transition in the Car Industry

At last, the conference concluded with a multi-stakeholder panel discussion. Panelists were Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg (MEP Greens/EFA), Tommaso Pardi (Director GERPISA, Research Group on the Automobile Industry and its Employees), Sigrid de Vries (Secretary General CLEPA, European Association of Automotive Suppliers) and Balázs Bábel (Vice-President VASAS, Hungarian Metalworkers’ Federation).


Summary

Sometimes it is not easy to engage in dialogue, especially when it is almost inevitable to be confronted with conflicting views and positions of various stakeholders. However, this conference chose to jump straight into the deep end and acknowledge opposing positions, different values and lived experiences. The numerous positive feedbacks from the participants showed once again that dialogue is worthwhile. Stakeholder participation and social dialogue is crucial for a Just Transition. When well facilitated, it creates ownership of change among all people and regions affected. Listening to views beyond our own allows us to come together and join forces for a sustainable future for all.


Videos

man sitting Károly György

Interview with Károly György on the impact of a Just Transition on regions in Hungary


Monika Benedekova

Interview with Monika Benedekova on Just Transition in collective bargaining agreements


Michal Hrubý

Interview with Michal Hrubý on the opportunities and risks of electrification in the Czech Republic


Frank Siebern-Thomas

Interview with Frank Siebern-Thomas on the triple dividend of a green transition

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CLIMASUM

Advancing low-carbon transport through the promotion of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia.

Cyclurban Lessons Learned Success Story

Pedalling against Climate Change

15 organisations from Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia each developed 5-11 national and municipal policy recommendations for climate-friendly cycling policies as part of the Cyclurban project. All recommendations were accepted by the national authorities in the partner countries. The project has shown that despite common elements in the respective strategies, cities need to adapt existing methods and measures at the local level to make cycling a main pillar of climate-friendly mobility.

The European Railway Summit: living up to citizens’ expectations? 

European Rail Renaissance

The ‘Europe On Rail’ project reflects on the hybrid European Railway Summit event that took place 21st of February 2022 and brought European actors of the rail sector together to discuss how rail can be the driver for greener and more innovative transport.

Promoting Bike-to-Public-Transport Intermodality

The Hinge project promotes the intermodality of cycling with public transport in Italy, Hungary and Romania.

This study by Forum Energii analyses several scenarios for the development of electromobility and the impact of their implementation on national distribution grids.

Three4Climate inspires zero emission trip across Europe

Three Presidencies for Climate: Think European – Act Local

From the community



Three4Climate inspires zero emission trip across Europe

by Jens Ohlemeyer, Friedrich-v. Bodelschwingh Grammar School in Bielefeld/Bethel, Three4Climate

How can you cover a distance of nearly 3,000 kilometers without local emissions to join a work exchange at the Algarve in the context of a climate protection project of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment? Right at the beginning of the Three4Climate project “Think European – Act local“, initiated by the three successive EU presidencies of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia, Tobias Dewald and Jens Ohlemeyer, the participating teachers from Friedrich-v. Bodelschwingh Grammar School in Bielefeld/Bethel, only had a vague idea of what kind of a challenge the answer to this question would be. Taking the European objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 very seriously, the two teachers from Bielefeld considered any kind of conventional travelling as inadequate and were convinced that they needed a wholistic and innovative approach for this trip. So they developed the challenging plan to undertake this long-distance journey with three different kinds of locally emission free means of transport: an electric car, the train and electric bicycles.


The idea

The first 2,300 kilometers from Bielefeld (Germany) to the project partner school in Braga (Portugal) should be covered by travelling in an electric car (Mercedes-Benz EQV), having enough space to carry the two teachers and their school e-bikes. To go from Braga to Lisbon and then to Beja (another 500 kilometers), the train should be taken and finally from Beja to Loulé two of the electric bicycles from the Friedrich-v. Bodelschwingh Grammar School e-bike sharing scheme would be the final means of transport for the last 150 kilometers. The teachers linked the trip to the e-CROSS GERMANY mobility project which was started at Friedrich-v. Bodelschwingh Grammer School in 2010. With Three4Climate and e-CROSS GERMANY, the school participates in the programme “School of the Future” of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

From Bielefeld to Braga via electric car

On Friday, October 1st at 04.00 a.m., Tobias Dewald and Jens Ohlemeyer started the electric road trip in Bielefeld. They needed to stick to a very strict plan of accessing the available hyper power charging stations on their way to reach Braga in Portugal in time on Sunday. Fortunately all the HPCs (hyper charging stations) in Germany, Belgium and France worked flawlessly and recharged the battery from 10% to 100% in 45 to 60 minutes. In Brussels, Tobias Dewald and Jens Ohlemeyer, met with Katerina Fortun from the Climate Pact Secretary of the European Commission to hand over urgent demands of the Three4Climate students for more climate action by the European Union.

From Braga to Beja by train

On Sunday morning, October 3rd, the two teachers were welcomed from the partner school in Braga, and continued their journey by train to Porto and Lisbon, taking their e-bikes with them. On the comfortable train to Lisbon, they could also recharge their personal batteries after two days of travelling without much sleep.

From Beja to Loulé by e-bike

On the final day of the journey, Monday, October 4th, the teacher team took the train from Lisbon to Beja and cycled 50 kilometers from Beja to Aljustrel/Messejana to visit a large 13.9 MWp solar power plant (electricity for about 8,000 households) to show and communicate where our energy should come from and that our future is electric and emission free. From there it was another 100
kilometers by e-bike to Loulé at the Algarve coast. Due to the very hilly terrain at the Algarve and quite some luggage, the last part of the journey was rather exhausting despite the electric support of the bicycles. On top of that, 23 kilometers before the destination of Loulé, the first of the e-bike batteries went offline and 10 kilometers before Loulé, the second e-bike battery was empty.
Hungry and exhausted, but absolutely determined to reach their aim in the intended way by bicycle, the two teachers pushed their bikes with heavy luggage on the last 10 kilometers up the ascents of the Algarve hilly topography and arrived in Loulé at around 11 pm just before midnight.

Cooperation to continue beyond the Three4Climate project

Very happy with the successful emission free journey, Tobias Dewald and Jens Ohlemeyer were welcomed by the partner school in Loulé on Wednesday, October 6th, and worked together with the teachers from Braga on projects to reach climate neutrality in the EU by 2050. Vitor Aleixo, the mayor of Loulé/Salir, invited the mayor of Bielefeld, Pit Clausen, to Portugal to continue exchange
programs with young people from both countries and cities.

The project schools of Braga, Loulé and Bielefeld will also continue their school cooperation beyond the Three4Climate project with official school partnerships for future projects, as the Three4Climate project was a huge success. A lot of inspiring ideas for effective climate protection measures were created with the call for expanding education for a sustainable development in schools. Strengthening the bonds between the participating three countries Portugal, Slovenia and Germany was another very important aspect of the project since new friendships across Europe developed and thrived.


Copyrights for pictures above: Jens Ohlemeyer

Responsible for the content of this page is the named author / organisation:

The publication was published under the framework of EUKI project Int-E-Grid: Powering Electromobility in Poland and Germany and introduces strategies and appropriate measures for the implementation of effective policies to reduce emissions from transport through e-mobility.