The Role of Identity in Coal Phase-out Transitions: For the German cases of Lusatia and North Rhine-Westphalia
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This research aims to address the role of identity in the coal phase-out in the German regions North Rhine-Westphalia and Lusatia. It does so by using the framework as provided by Sanz-Hernández (2020) as a guide. Interviews were conducted with eleven regional experts, among which scientists, a mining employee, and a mayor. To complement the data gathered through these interviews, news articles were consulted in a structured way. This data was analyzed with NVIVO. As a result, it was found that especially economic; territorial; social, emotional and cultural dependence; and injustice played a significant role. Additionally, the attributes of identity do not function independently, and influence each other in different ways. These insights can provide useful for future research, and help build the body of literature about sustainable energy transitions. Further research could point out to what extent the results are generalizable and may complement the findings with other identity attributes from other frameworks.