Bankwatch Romania in partnership with 2Celsius Association launches the project “The challenges of the energy transition in Romania” through which the two organizations aim to involve civil society and encourage democratic participation in the transformation process of the energy system. The project is carried out with the financial support of Active Citizens Fund Romania, a program funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants 2014-2021.
The project has three main objectives: improving public policies on renewable energy, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reduction through advocacy and watchdog activities; promoting a participatory and inclusive regional development model in Gorj County leading to a strategy for phasing out coal use in the energy sector and a just transition, with as little social impact as possible on workers and their communities, and ensuring proper implementation of environmental protection legislation applicable in the energy sector, by monitoring violations of legislation, informing communities about their rights and training at least 20 future and current lawyers or magistrates in this field.
“In Romania, 66% of greenhouse gas emissions are produced by the energy system. In order to reduce the climate change effects that we feel more intense in our life, we need a fundamental transformation of the way we produce and consume energy. This transformation must be carried out with special attention to the social and environmental implications. It is a challenge for the entire society, that is why we intend to collaborate with authorities and civil society members through advocacy activities and promote a participatory and inclusive regional development model. Citizens have the right to be informed and consulted on projects that have an impact on the environment or which bring about a profound change in society. We must go beyond the barriers of formal consultations, find time and space for the voices of society to contribute to decision-making, for environmental legislation to be truly enforced, for the well-being of citizens to become a priority”, said Ioana Ciută, President of Bankwatch Romania.
During the 36 months of the project, the two organizations aim to bring together the civil society in Gorj County in a coalition to actively participate in the process of just transition, to establish a legal clinic for environmental law in order to train professionals to fight the negative environmental effects of energy projects and to inform the general public about public policies developed by the authorities for the renewable energy progress, energy efficiency and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.