To reach the ambitious challenges of the European Union’s Green Deal and the Paris Agreement – to make Europe the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050 – while also driving innovation and job growth, swift action is needed, and it should involve a broad range of actors. Since the 2009 commitment to creating an internal Energy Union, the EU and its member states have made significant progress with the digitalization of the energy sector, the advancement of energy innovation and technologies, energy efficiency uptake, and the continuous shift toward renewable energy sources. The Clean Energy for all Europeans Package (CEP) acknowledges the important role of citizens’ active participation in this ongoing transition, and the perspective of a just and inclusive transition, spreading its costs and benefits equitably. The IPCC Global Warming of 1.5 °C reports also emphasizes the need for citizen engagement and transformative change at a societal level.
Within this wider challenge of energy transition and climate neutrality, DIALOGUES sees energy citizenship research as an opportunity to link the Energy Union’s strategic objectives and the various contributions of citizens under one conceptual framework, focussing on broad trends in citizen engagement with energy topics, awareness of GHG impacts of their choices, equity, and justice.
DIALOGUES will operationalise, contextualize, measure, and support the framework environments, policies and institutions that allow deep, inclusive energy citizenship to emerge. Thereby, DIALOGUES aims to elaborate the knowledge needed to harness the concept of energy citizenship for targeted policymaking, and to strengthen the role and efficacy of energy citizenship as a contributor to the strategic priorities of the sustainable energy transition. Rather than focusing on specific behavioural changes or new technologies, our project recognizes that transformative energy system changes must become embedded in people’s daily decisions. Citizens evaluate trade-offs between competing goals and co-benefits, and thus it is important that organic citizen-driven innovation, investment, lifestyle changes, and collective action are able to manifest in many different ways within the household/community, municipal/regional, and national/supra-national contexts.
Author: Dra. Andrea Kollmann (Energieinstitut at the Johannes Kepler University Linz)
Dra. Andrea Kollmann
Energieinstitut at the Johannes Kepler University Linz