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Working Together for a “Just Transition” in the Wider Midlands Region

EMERGE is a new training and mentoring programme designed to empower communities in the wider Midlands region to meet the challenges posed by Ireland’s transition to a climate-proofed economy and resilient society.

Drawing on the region's unique heritage and resources, the programme will help the impacted communities take ownership of the new opportunities created by climate action, access funding, and own the economic, social and environmental future of the wider Midlands region.

EMERGE is rooted in the idea of a “Just Transition”, which seeks to ensure that the benefits of the move to a climate–proofed economy are widely shared, while those most affected by the challenges are supported. The programme will empower communities to take charge of the Just Transition and, above all, ensure that no one is left behind.

The programme is being delivered by Eastern and Midlands CARO, Urban Foresight and The Wheel and the Government of Ireland is funding the programme through the Just Transition Fund and the Carbon Tax Fund.

The EMERGE programme will run from December 2022 to October 2023.

Who can take part?
EMERGE is for everyone. The programme is open to individuals, community and voluntary organisations, local authorities, employers and statutory bodies, or indeed anyone who wants to contribute to building a brighter future for the impacted communities of the wider Midlands (Just Transition) region. Whatever your background, education, identity or heritage, you are invited to get involved.

Which areas are covered?
The EMERGE programme will engage with impacted communities in East Galway, Kildare, Laois, Longford, North Tipperary, Offaly, Roscommon and Westmeath. The later phases of the programme will focus on specific communities in the region.

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How does it work?
EMERGE will offer training and mentoring opportunities to impact communities in the wider Midlands region. The programme will help the participants take ownership of the challenges and opportunities posed by climate action. It will achieve this by offering them the following opportunities:
 
  1. Webinars will examine Ireland's climate policy and National Climate Neutrality Objectives, as well as the Midlands Just Transition Framework and the opportunities they signpost for local transition. In some communities plans and actions may already be in place and in other  communities groups may just be getting started. The EMERGE programme is designed to provide guidance and mentoring to expand potential choices and pathways, build networks and identify relevant local and national opportunities. In all of these sessions, EMERGE will encourage communities to build mutually supportive relationships.
  2. Face-to-face Community Transition Dialogues and Mentoring Workshops will help communities to identify their current needs, opportunities and priorities.
  3. Community Activation Planning Toolkits called ‘living toolkits’ will help participants to turn their ideas, insights and actions into practical projects and realities. The living toolkit approach supports the many communities that already have community climate/transition plans or local action plans in place and works to support the realisation of community-led actions.
  4. Activation Plans will be developed for participating communities. Using the ‘living toolkit’, the training and mentoring programme will trigger community-led actions and support the delivery of new opportunities and projects.
When will this happen?
The programme will be rolled out in four phases between December 2022 and October 2023.
 
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How do I/we get involved?
Take the first step by registering for the Launch Webinar on 14 December 2022. This session will explain the concept of making a “Just Transition” as well as outline key trends which are impacting communities. We will preview the upcoming programme of work that the EMERGE team will be doing to help communities develop actions that will capture the emerging social and economic opportunities created by moving to a low-carbon economy. Finally, there will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions about the project and understand how you can get more involved.

You can also register your interest by contacting suzie@wheel.ie.

Our national, regional and local partners can support the programme by sharing information about EMERGE with communities and other key stakeholders in the wider Midlands region.

Follow our story at #EmergeMidlands

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