NUI Galway studies local initiatives for Europe’s green transition

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Galway daily news Day of Action for Palestine

NUI Galway has joined a new European project to investigate how local initiatives can help meet climate change targets.

The five-year Shared Green Deal will see researchers working with families in fuel poverty, schools, housing associations and businesses to slash carbon emissions.

The overall project involves 24 separate social experiments – taking place in neighbourhoods across Europe – looking at how organisations and individuals can work together to make daily lives more sustainable.

The research is intended to assist the EU in reaching the target of carbon neutrality by 2050 and to create change at the local level.

Researchers in Geography at NUI Galway are leading the Clean Energy strand of the research, working with communities in four locations across the continent to develop community visions for desirable energy futures.

The NUI Galway research team is led by Professor Frances Fahy, a leading scholar and international researcher in social science and sustainability.

“Over the next five years we will be working alongside communities and local authorities to gain a deeper understanding of what local stakeholders want and expect for the future of energy and what EU energy targets can be most beneficial to local communities,” said Professor Fahy.

Under Shared Green Deal, 22 partner institutions across Europe will work together to examine the role social sciences can play in helping countries, communities and neighbourhoods to dramatically reduce carbon emissions.

Professor Fahy added: “Much of the recent focus on tackling climate change has centred on green technology development.

“However aspects of social justice and exploring how communities can respond at a local level are key pieces in the jigsaw of climate action.

“This new Shared Green Deal project provides more social scientists in NUI Galway with valuable opportunities to build on our existing significant sustainability research profile and more importantly, to work with our communities on the transition toward sustainable futures.”

As part of the project, skill-sharing workshops, toolkits for other local networks, and accessible training videos will be developed which especially focus on sharing energy-saving know-how between generations.

Diversity and inclusivity will be a key priority in Shared Green Deal, to ensure disadvantaged and vulnerable social groups are supported with the changes.