23 Jan 2024, 09:35
  • Milou
    Milou Dirkx is Journalism Network Manager at Clean Energy Wire. She is the first point of contact for the members of the CLEW Journalism Network, and develops events and other opportunities for climate and energy reporters to engage.

Leaving no one behind: CLEW’s grant winners go cross-border to cover just transition stories

How can Europe reach climate neutrality and ensure that no one gets left behind? Clean Energy Wire invited journalists from around the world to collaborate and submit cross-border pitches for just transition stories in the run-up to the 2024 EU elections. We are happy to present the three winning teams with reporters from seven different countries who will collaborate and tell the stories of women rebuilding their lives in a post-coal economy in India and Germany; railway investments in Albania and what Europe's green hydrogen ambitions will mean for the Maghreb region.

It is clear that there are many just transition stories to tell, as CLEW received grant entries from all over the world, ranging from Mexico to India. The three winning teams were in the end selected by our jury, consisting of Irene Baños Ruiz – a Spanish multimedia journalist specialised in climate communication – and Marta Schulte-Fischedick – energy consultant in the Green Deal Unit at the Energy Community Secretariat in Vienna. Read more about the pitches below and stay tuned for the publications in spring.

Women’s struggles in the Indian and German coal belts

By reporters Flavia Lopes (Germany) and Shuchita Jha (India)

Coal mines closing in Anuppur, India, and Lusatia, Germany, are changing lives, not least those of women. In Anuppur, girls and women face having their education cut short, being married off at a young age, and being forced to take on household chores. In Lusatia, women face financial insecurities while supporting their families. Reporters Flavia and Shuchita will tell the stories of women rebuilding their lives in the post-coal economy by exploring the challenges they face, as well as the opportunities offered by Lusatia-based ventures like Foxies Family and Nagola Re. Their investigation will focus on the issues in Anuppur and Lusatia, the similarities found in both locations, and the lessons to be learned.

The jury found the human-centred approach of the pitch very strong and welcomed the constructive angle. They also felt that important lessons could be drawn by comparing two similar situations in different contexts.    

The railway road to a green transition

By reporters Arlis Alikaj (Albania) and Jeta Selmonaj Muji (Kosovo)

Both Albania and Kosovo urgently need to invest in developing their infrastructure for the transition to a green economy. Originally built after World War II, Albania’s rail network lacks international connections, so the 36.9 million euro investment loan offered by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is a welcome move to revamping the country’s rail infrastructure. Reporters Arlis and Jeta will examine how improved rail infrastructure will impact accessibility, pollution, and local communities in the region, and whether the project will put Albania on a stronger trajectory to join the European Union.

The jury appreciated the green transport angle of the pitch and liked that it was a strong national story with regional and international implications.

European green hydrogen ambitions in the Maghreb region a fair transition?

By reporters Weilian Zhu (France), Ghassan Waïl El Karmouni (Morocco) and Achref Chibani (Tunisia)

 The Maghreb region, with its significant renewable energy potential, will play an important role in Europe's ambitious green hydrogen plans. By 2030, 40 gigawatts of electrolysis capacity is to be installed by the EU, mainly in North Africa. Reporters Weilian, Ghassan and Achrif will look at the economic and social implications of the technology, and investigate how countries like Morocco and Tunisia will finance the necessary infrastructure, keep prices competitive, and what green hydrogen exports will mean for the region's own energy needs.    

The jury felt that the three reporters had chosen a topic that was timely, with a solid cross-border perspective that addresses the question: fair for who?

Journalism for the energy transition

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