Energ’Ethic Podcast – 50 – Growing the Roots of Energy Citizenship – Edina Vadovics

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Welcome to a new episode of the Energ' Ethic podcast, where we explore the cultivation of community involvement in sustainability efforts and the harvesting of its benefits for a greener future.In today’s discussion, Edina Vadovics, Director of Researc...

Welcome to a new episode of the Energ’ Ethic podcast, where we explore the cultivation of community involvement in sustainability efforts and the harvesting of its benefits for a greener future.

In today’s discussion, Edina Vadovics, Director of Research at GreenDependent Institute and President of GreenDependent Association, sheds light on how environmental awareness and social connections within communities act as seeds that grow into robust networks, driving the collective momentum needed for effective climate action.

Edina champions the transformation of energy users into proactive agents in the energy system. She emphasizes the importance of nurturing energy-saving practices and advocating for green policies and technologies to cultivate an inclusive and democratic energy landscape. This shift involves planting deeper engagement of communities in the sustainability transition beyond mere conservation.

Addressing challenges, Edina notes the infrastructural and policy barriers that may stunt growth in certain regions and underscores the necessity of a ‘creative rebellion’ to fertilize these grounds with innovative solutions. She highlights continuous education as key to germinating new skills and adapting to the impacts of climate change.

The conversation also covers the EU-funded EnergyPROSPECTS Project, which offers fresh insights into evolving energy systems in small towns and cities to better meet resident needs. This project unites various stakeholders—from activists and scientists to policymakers and citizens—encouraging a collective ownership of energy resources and inspiring communities to meaningfully participate in harvesting Europe’s climate goals.

Edina discusses initiatives where local groups, supported by experts, learn to conduct home energy audits and adjust their energy use, achieving significant savings and promoting energy efficiency without major lifestyle changes.

Furthermore, Edina explores the expansion of energy ‘neighbours’ groups, who are broadening their focus from energy savings to other sustainability areas like waste management and mobility, showing how these groups have grown from saplings into mature forces for broader environmental change.

Marine and Edina also touch on the resistance faced by energy communities, particularly from techno-regulatory perspectives, but how these challenges have spurred creative solutions, resilience, and economic advantages, much like trees that grow stronger from withstanding storms.

The episode wraps up with our speakers emphasizing that energy citizenship is more than a practice—it’s a lifestyle that integrates sustainability into daily routines and policies, aiming for a greener and more equitable future.

Join us as we explore these intricate dynamics and celebrate the individuals and communities driving the energy transition, nurturing the seeds of change towards sustainable living.

This episode is brought to you with the generous support of the EnergyPROSPECTS project (EU Horizon 2020 Grant agreement 101022492)

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Reach out to Marine Cornelis via Twitter @MarineCornelis or LinkedIn
Music: I Need You Here – Kamarius
Edition: Podcast Media Factory 

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