Researchers part of EU project to engage citizens on the green agenda

University of Glasgow researchers part of EU project to engage citizens on the green agenda

The University of Glasgow is part of a consortium of 13 institutions involved in a ground-breaking project to look at how best to engage citizens on sustainability and the climate emergency.

Glasgow will work alongside research partners from Switzerland, The Netherlands, Ireland, Austria, France, Belgium, North Macedonia, Romania, Greece, Canada.

Led by ETH Zürich, the ¤3.1 million EU Horizon 2020 project Energy Citizens for Inclusive Decarbonisation (ENCLUDE) aims to share new knowledge and motivate the broadest possible population of "energy citizens" to help the EU to fulfil its promise of a just and inclusive decarbonisation pathway.

Energy citizenship refers to people’s active participation in working individually or collaboratively for a more sustainable future. In the transformation of the energy system, citizens are becoming increasingly important as engaged, involved and shaping participants.

The work in Glasgow is being led by the University of Glasgow’s Professor Gioia Falcone and Dr. Anastasia Ioannou, with the support of Glasgow City Council, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and Energy Action Scotland. The news of the ENCLUDE project launch comes ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), which is being held in Glasgow in November 2021.

Professor Falcone, the Rankine Chair of Energy Engineering at the University’s James Watt School of Engineering and Associate Director of the Centre for Sustainable Solutions, said: "We are delighted to be part of this Horizon 2020 project, which is fully aligned with the University’s Sustainability Strategy and Action Plan, and with its vision to advance towards sustainable solutions across all sectors.

"Our research team at the University of Glasgow will focus on clustering algorithms and data-driven machine learning methods for the identification of strategic groups of citizens ("clusters for decarbonisation") at multiple scales of analysis and in different contexts."

Leader of Glasgow City Council, Cllr Susan Aitken, said: "The Glasgow City Government has made a commitment for Glasgow to be one of the most sustainable cities in Europe over the next 20 years and has set an ambitious target of becoming a carbon neutral city by 2030.

"The University of Glasgow’s participation in the ENCLUDE project will feed significantly into our work on how best to engage our citizens on sustainability and the climate emergency, especially in the year in which we host COP26."

In offering support for the project, Scott Foster, Director of UNECE’s Sustainable Energy Division, stated "UNECE is pleased to be part of this timely and important project. We are eager to continue cooperating with the University of Glasgow on catalysing the transition to smart and sustainable cities in our region."

The transdisciplinary ENCLUDE project will create a typology of the energy citizenship concept for diverse communities of citizens by investigating on-the-ground case studies of existing decarbonisation activities.

For the first time, insights about who is affected by energy citizenship and how this concept might affect decarbonisation pathways will be incorporated into agent-based models and integrated assessment models. The research aims to operationalise the energy citizenship concept at multiple scales of policy and decision making.

Through the creation of the ENCLUDE Academy for Energy Citizen Leadership, new knowledge about energy citizenship, opportunities for the energy transition, along with strategies for collaborative decision making and joint problem framing will be shared with citizens and NGOs across the EU. The aim is to help mobilize actions for decarbonisation, including communities who normally do not or are not able to participate in these civic processes.

ENCLUDE is just one of the University of Glasgow’s many projects taking place across Glasgow to support the city in building a sustainable future through education, research and partnership.

Learn more about the Horizon 2020: Energy Citizens for Inclusive Decarbonization

The ENCLUDE project seeks to provide guidance to local government and other actors on the effective implementation of the European vision for reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.

ENCLUDE will investigate the role of individuals, households, communities, and institutions in energy transition and represents an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of citizen engagement in tackling the climate emergency.

ENCLUDE also seeks to examine the role of societal acceptance and uptake of green technologies, as well as the decarbonisation potential of shifting lifestyle patterns.

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