Participant Information Sheet

Carbon Intensive Regions in Transition - Unravelling the Challenges of Structural Change (CINTRAN) You are invited to take part in a research project, called the CINTRAN study (Carbon Intensive Regions in Transition - Unravelling the Challenges of Structural Change). Before deciding whether or not to take part, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please take time to read this information sheet carefully. May 2021

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE STUDY?

Regions that economically depend on fossil fuel extraction or energy-intensive industries will be disproportionately affected by the decarbonisation of industry and the economy. The overarching CINTRAN project studies the complex patterns and dynamics of structural change in carbon-intensive regions. It examines the pace of transformation and the capacity of regions to cope and adapt proactively. The project works with actors involved in and affected by coal transitions around the world, with a specific focus on regional stakeholders in four highly fossil-fuel dependent regions: Western Macedonia (Greece), Silesia (Poland), Ida-Virumaa (Estonia) and the Rhenish mining area (Germany).

As part of this work, we are trying to track and categorise the different strategies that people and organisations use to cope with changes to due to decarbonisation. Another part of the work is to discuss how elite-level actors are changing and impacting low carbon transitions. We at the University of Sussex are doing this in collaboration with colleagues from the European chapter of Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), the Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin) in Germany, and the Wuppertal Institute in Germany.

Categorisation of coping strategies will help us to understand possible responses to decarbonisation, and inform more effective, just and inclusive governance of regional transformations. Understanding patterns of elite-level actions will help us to understand who is shaping the success of decarbonisation efforts, and to what ends. The project started in May 2020 and will run for four years.

WHY HAVE I BEEN ASKED TO PARTICIPATE?

The study uses qualitative research methods. For the questionnaire, you are asked to participate because you have relevant knowledge of coping strategies. For the study of elites, two of these methods are semistructured interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders. For these, we would like to ask you some questions about the impact of decarbonisation efforts in your area, and how you, or others, are responding to them. The interview and focus group data will be used to inform our analysis.

DO I HAVE TO TAKE PART?

It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you do decide to take part you will be given this Information Sheet to keep. For the questionnaire, filling in the online form indicates consent. For interviews and focus groups, you will be asked to sign a Consent Form. If you decide to take part you are still free to withdraw at any time and without giving a reason.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ME IF I TAKE PART?

For the questionnaire, you will fill in an online survey. The separate interviews and focus groups will be semi-structured whereby the researcher will ask you questions around certain topics, rather than using a pre-defined questionnaire. Interview will last approximately 30-60 minutes and will be recorded on your consent. Focus groups will last 30-90 minutes and will be recorded with the consent of all parties present. There will be no costs associated with the interview other than time. The audio recording will be kept securely and be used confidentially. If you permit recording, then the file will be destroyed at the end of the project. With your permission, an anonymised written transcript will be kept in the University’s open data archive after the project, so that others may benefit from the information. Information about the University data archives is available here:
https://www.sussex.ac.uk/library/researchdatamanagement/findandshare/sure  The consent form for your participation in our research gives you options for specifying how much or how little of the information you give us can be used and shared.

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE BENEFITS OF TAKING PART?

Taking part in the questionnaire or interviews will give you an opportunity to provide your views and aid our analysis of how people are coping with decarbonisation. Your participation provides a valuable source of information and evidence. The interview data will be used to analyse the implications of different coping strategies. The results of the research will contribute to open and informed debate about how to support communities undergoing rapid decarbonisation.

WILL MY INFORMATION IN THIS STUDY BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL?

Yes. All exchanges we have with you, and the information you provide us, will be treated confidentially by the research team at Sussex University. That means we will not share your information with anyone else. Interviewees will only be identified using unique codes and all interview materials will be stored securely on password protected computers and servers of the University. Consistent with data protection legislation, the personal data we hold about you will be destroyed at the end of the project. On your permission, the research may want to further illustrate a research finding or a key point by using specific statements made in the interviewee. You have the option to either agree or not agree to this in the Consent Form.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I WANT TO TAKE PART?

By filling in the questionnaire, you will be participating. By signing the Consent Form for interviews or focus groups, you agree to take part in an interview or focus group.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE RESULTS OF THE RESEARCH STUDY?

The results of our analysis will be communicated in conference papers, seminar presentations, and written papers. We will also communicate the research through blog posts and social media. In the past, our research has helped inform policy developments locally, nationally and internationally. More information about our engaged research activity can be found here:
http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/research/themes/sussexenergygroup

WHO IS FUNDING THE RESEARCH?

The work at Sussex University is funded by the European Commission through the Horizon2020 funding initiative. The Sussex research has been approved by the Social Sciences & Arts Cross-Schools Research Ethics Committee (C-REC). The ethical review number of the study is ER/MCB43/2. The University of Sussex has insurance in place to cover its legal liabilities in respect of this study.

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

For further information about CINTRAN you should contact the researcher who approached you, or the work package team leader at Sussex, Dr. Marie Claire Brisbois (m.c.brisbois@sussex.ac.uk). If you have any concerns regarding the way the research is conducted, then you should contact the Chair of the Social Sciences & Arts Cross-Schools Research Ethics Committee, Dr Ruth Stirton (R.Stirton@sussex.ac.uk). If you have concerns about data management for CINTRAN, please contact Mr. Christian Radtke (datenschutzbeauftragter@wupperinst.org).


Thank you for taking the time to read this information sheet

 

Carbon Intensive Regions in Transition (CINTRAN)
Information Sheet, version 2. May 2021