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Sussex Energy Group launches trio of Horizon 2020 projects

Marquee climate events such as COP 26 have been notably sidelined by this year’s dramatic public health emergency. However, research projects across the globe have persisted through the pandemic, continuing to conduct their necessary work tackling decarbonisation targets across the globe.

In the next two months, three more European Union Horizon 2020 projects will commence with the involvement of several Sussex Energy Group academics. Our researchers will contribute their expertise to help inform vital decisions on balancing emission reduction with social and economic goals, both within and beyond the EU.

CINTRAN (Carbon Intensive Regions in Transition – Unravelling the Challenges of Structural Change)

CINTRAN will investigate the effects of EU decarbonization efforts on coal-dependent regions. These regions are particularly vulnerable to the economic and social upheaval (and resultant inequality) that can be caused by the deep structural changes resulting from EU climate mitigation activities.

The project focuses on four of these fossil-fuel dependent regions: western Macedonia (Greece), Silesia (Poland), Ida-Virumaa (Estonia) and the Rhenish mining area (Germany). To minimise harmful consequences to these areas and others like them, it is necessary to understand:

  • Patterns and dynamics of structural change in response to decarbonization at the regional level
  • Parameters determining the pace of transformation
  • The capacity of regional actors to cope, adapt and pro-actively create alternative structures.

Better understanding of these areas will produce insights about the patterns and dynamics of decarbonisation and corresponding structural adjustments. These insights have relevance for all carbon-intensive regions in the EU and neighbouring countries.

JUSTNORTH (Toward Just, Ethical and Sustainable Arctic Economies, Environments and Societies)

The development of the Artic has been historically characterised by inequitable practices, further complicated today by the adverse effects of climate change. JUSTNORTH combines justice theories with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in order to evaluate the true viability of economic activities in the Artic regions.

JUSTNORTH will provide policy makers with insights from indigenous communities, local businesses, state government and NGOs of the social, economic and environmental complexities of the Arctic. The project will carry out 16 case studies, covering topics as diverse as Icelandic fisheries, polar tourism, wind farming, reindeer herding and employment. These activities will inform the creation of a “JUSTscore framework”, aiming to create transparency, documentation and standardisation for sustainable development across the Arctic, and even further into the EU.

LANDMARC (LAND-use based MitigAtion for Resilient Climate pathways)

The Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector  is responsible for about a quarter of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in a wide variety of ways, for example through deforestation, drained peatland, the application of manure or burning biomass.  Land use based mitigation technologies (LMTs) can contribute significantly  to the global efforts in climate change mitigation and meet the challenges of sustainable ecosystems management. Despite the presence of LMTs in  most of the  submitted Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, doubt remains on the effectiveness of mitigation measures in reducing emissions. This project will assess the potential effectiveness of Land-use based Mitigation Technologies (LMTs) as net sinks for greenhouse gases.

LANDMARC is an interdisciplinary global consortium bringing together 18 partners from agriculture, ecology, engineering, climate sciences, satellite earth observation sciences, economics, social sciences and more. The partners are based in the EU, Africa, Asia and the Americas, providing a global perspective on this far-reaching concern. The consortium will carry out eight work packages and 16 case studies in five continents, covering LMTs in different land use systems including agriculture, forestry, reforestation, agro-forestry and peat soils. The project will achieve this through the creation of a suite of modelling tools and a model system to inform decisions by private sector stakeholders and policymakers.


 

For updates on these projects as they progress over the next few years, and others like them currently running, you can follow the Sussex Energy Group on Twitter, see what researchers say about their projects on the Sussex Energy Group blog, and follow the Energy & Climate Seminar Series which runs weekly during term-time. 

The Sussex Energy Group, which is part of SPRU, is directed by Professor Benjamin K. Sovacool and co-directed by Dr Karoline Rogge and Dr Marie Claire Brisbois. It aims to understand and foster transitions towards sustainable, low-carbon energy systems.

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By: Francisco Dominguez
Last updated: Tuesday, 16 June 2020

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