While structural transition poses considerable challenges for German lignite regions, it also offers opportunities to create long-term economically, ecologically and socially sustainable change. For some years now, the issue of structural change in coal regions has been linked more closely with the development of climate protection strategies. The aim is to combine structural change in the economic system with ambitious climate policy as well as social participation and social justice.
Following the EU's New Green Deal and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), outlined in the Agenda 2030, the project aims to promote the integration of structural and sustainability policy at the municipal level in four German coal regions: Lausitz, Rheinisches Revier, Mitteldeutsches Revier und Helmstedter Revier.
Based on content and stakeholder analyses, workshops with stakeholders and qualitative interviews, the following central questions will be answered:
How can we ensure that regional development supported by structural funding not only focuses on economic stabilisation, but also addresses synergies with ecological and social sustainability goals? What conditions must be created in order to achieve this? Which actors need to be mobilised? How can conflicts of aims be resolved?
A group of experts, including key stakeholders from the economic, social and political sectors will accompany the project. As part of the research project, recommendations for federal, state and local authorities will be developed, and technical brochures on sustainable structural change will be produced.
The project consortium is led by the Wuppertal Institute and consists of the ifo Institute, Dresden and the Institute for Transformation, Housing and Socio-Spatial Development at the University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Görlitz (TRAWOS).