The University of Szeged (SZTE) is the only Central and Eastern European institution to participate in an international research project on responses to climate change and the energy crisis, the Public Relations Directorate of the higher education institution informed the state news agency MTI.
According to the press release, the European Union's Phoenix project is investigating how we can respond to the challenges posed by climate change and the energy crisis. The only participant in the nine-country initiative in the Central and Eastern European region is SZTE, which is conducting research in Szeged and the Lake Balaton region.
The Phoenix project aims to assess and map the interests and attitudes of all stakeholders. The research will explore the openness of the region's residents, decision-makers and economic actors to the changes that are expected in the context of the energy crisis and climate change. With a consortium of nine EU countries in eleven regions, the study gathers views on a range of issues and makes recommendations for the future.
The first phase of the research will look at the potential of the natural environment, the perception of natural assets, their vulnerability and their uses. The work started with a questionnaire survey that can be filled in by anyone, and targeted interviews.
The researchers are exploring the directions in which local societies in each country would like to see energy, the environment and sustainability in general develop. In the sample areas in Hungary, two focal points have been identified: energy, geothermal energy and alternative heating methods in Szeged, and local food production and supply in the Lake Balaton region.
The aim is a sustainable future, decarbonization, energy transition with more renewables and less fossil energy, and a more reliable and predictable system. At the end of the multi-phase project, the researchers will present a summative assessment to EU decision-makers in January 2024, which can be used for a concrete action plan.
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