Energy Talks: how to bring citizens, businesses and policymakers together

Citizens, companies and policymakers have a decisive role in giving shape and carrying out the energy transition. They met recently in Bologna to start a path towards the draft of an Energy Citizenship Manifesto.

A two-day workshop organized by the University of Bologna was held on the 27 and 28th of May in the Pilastro-Roveri district, one of the six case studies of the GRETA project. The workshop was the final event of GRETA lab, a path to bring citizens closer to the issues of energy transition through three appointments dedicated to energy saving, environmental justice and the opportunities for the development of a renewable energy community. 

After almost two years of physical distancing measures due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the event has been an opportunity to get together and address an issue that affects all of us. The purpose of the workshop was to embark on a pathway that engages citizens, policymakers and companies in envisioning and agreeing on the necessary steps to achieve a just energy transition in that area.

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Envisioning the energy transition: the importance of active energy citizenship 

One of the main assumptions of GRETA is that active citizenship participation is essential to achieve a just energy transition. In this regard, the workshop aimed to pave the way for the acknowledgement of energy citizens’ role in shaping and implementing the transition towards a low-carbon society. 

The first part of the event was dedicated to the collection of participants’ needs and the drafting of visions for an energy transition in places where they live, work and care about each other.

In a second step, this data allowed us to pioneer the methodology of community transition pathways considered crucial to design the Energy Citizenship Manifesto and to allow citizens, stakeholders and policy-makers to agree on their responsibilities and shared goals. 

The general debate revealed how the energy transition and people’s daily lives are interlinked, but it also underlined the need for a cultural change and greater accountability by the institutions. 

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Making the transition just: next steps towards the drafting of a Manifesto for a fair transition 

 The path towards an Energy Citizenship Manifesto has just begun! The workshop was only the beginning of a path that the GRETA project wants to undertake together with the community living and working in the Pilastro – Roveri area.

The workshop report was shared with all participants who were asked to freely contribute with comments, suggestions and changes to the text. The next step will be to move towards the collaborative definition of the Manifesto. 

The road to the active participation of citizenship in the just transition is long, but the activities that took place in Bologna show that people have a lot of energy that they are willing to share for a common goal.

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Join the community

Are you taking part in GRETA’s case studies? Join the GRETA Community on Facebook! In the community, you can share your experiences and best energy-related practises, learn from other community members, participate in the co-design of GRETA’s processes and keep up to date on our project news.

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