Carbon Intensive Regions in Transition – Unravelling the Challenges of Structural Change (CINTRAN)

Client/Funding Institution

European Commission, Horizon 2020


In order to meet the climate change mitigation objectives of the European Union as well as the objectives of the Paris Agreement, it is inevitable that the European Union phases out fossil fuel consumption in the power sector and decarbonizes fossil-fuel dependent industries. However, if not managed well, such a structural change may cause serious economic impacts, societal upheaval, aggravated social inequalities and hardship. To minimize such consequences it is necessary to better understand the patterns and dynamics of structural change in response to decarbonization at the regional level, to understand which parameters determine the pace of transformation as well as the capacity of regional actors to adapt and pro-actively create alternative structures. This project aims to enable these activities through highly integrated, inter- and transdisciplinary research working in close collaboration with regional stakeholders. It combines quantitative model-based research with qualitative in-depth analysis. The qualitative research will focus on four highly fossil-fuel dependent regions: Western Macedonia (Greece), Silesia (Poland), Ida-Virumaa (Estonia) and the Rhenish mining area (Germany). The diversity of these regions will enable the project to derive generalizable insights about the patterns and dynamics of decarbonization and the corresponding structural adjustments that hold relevance for all carbon-intensive regions in the EU and its neighbouring countries.


May 2020 - April 2024


wiiw team Leader

Roman Römisch

wiiw Staff

Nadya Heger, Veronika Janyrova, Stefan Jestl, Sebastian Leitner, Isilda Mara, Ambre Maucorps, Monika Schwarzhappel

Project Partners

E3 Modelling, Estonian Environmental Research Centre, Chalmers tekniska högskola, ICLEI - European Secretariat GmbH, Ida-Virumaa Omavalitsuste Liit, Innovationsregion Rheinisches Revier GmbH, Regional Development Fund of Western Macedonia, Technische Universität Berlin, Universitetet i Bergen, University of Sussex, WiseEuropa, Wuppertal Institute (Coordinator).


External Publications

Downscaling or upskilling in carbon-intensive regions? Socio-economic challenges in the transition to climate-neutrality by Sebastian Leitner and Hermine Vidovic (wiiw), CINTRAN Policy Brief, June 2023

Countries covered: EU27

Research Areas: Regional Development