Starting this year, the European project „GreenTecLab (GTL): Empowerment for green start-ups to foster climate protection and sustainability has started simultaneously in Greece, Slovakia, Germany and Spain. Its goal is to encourage and accompany young people in developing entrepreneurial activities in the green economy that at the same time can secure their economic life. The project is part of the „European Climate Initiative (EUKI)“, and is financed by the German Ministry for the Environment.

In Andalusia, this project faces both a great challenge and a promising opportunity.

– One of the great challenges is the extreme youth unemployment in Andalusia. At the end of 2019, 41% of Andalusian youth under the age of 25 were unemployed, and a high percentage of them did not find a place in vocational training. At the beginning of the year 2021 and as a consequence of the pandemic the percentage of youth unemployment has risen to 52,2%.

– The opportunity is the „European Green Deal“,, approved by the European Parliament in summer 2020, and its transfer into the national programme “ España Puede (Spain, Yes We Can) / Recovery and Transformation Plan“ approved in autumn 2020. Under „España Puede“, investments of €73 billion are planned for the years 2021-2023 to revive the economy. And as one of the three pillars of this programme, 37% of the total is planned for a green transformation of the economy and the country.

With our project we want to motivate young people who are currently in risk of social and economic exclusion, to use the opportunity offered by the programme at regional, provincial and local level and to seek their professional life in the green economy. With this goal in mind, between March 19th and April 9th, we will organize motivational workshops for young people in the villages of La Janda with the title:

Green economy – a future for young people in La Janda?

Due to the current situation , the conferences will take place digitally. They will be announced by local print and digital media and by social networks. Altogether we are going to offer 10 conferences. In each of them the speakers will explain an existing ecological activity or project in the province and discuss the economical potential. In this way the participants get a feeling for what is already existing in the green economy and what could offer promising results and perspectives. After each talk or presentation, we will discuss with the young people whether they are interested to develop their own ideas for possible green projects, perhaps together in cooperatives.

The focus will be on these topics:

– The history of environmentalism in the province of La Janda

– The activities of the City of Cadiz regarding energy change.

– How to form cooperatives in solar self-consumption?

– More solar energy and less energy consumption in our schools.

– Cooling houses by water evaporation and ventilation

– Green roofs for a more pleasant local climate?

– How to make the industry in the Bay of Cadiz greener?

– Recycling and treatment of biowaste in our villages

– Bio-agriculture and local consumption in the province of La Janda.

– Giving life and more nature to the „cañadas reales“ (= the traditional cattle tracks in Spain) and  to the countryside.

– Protecting nature in the coastal area.

– Examples of ecological tourism

At the end of the conferences we will offer meetings and networks on specific topics with experts, to help the young people to transform their ideas into real activities, companies, cooperatives, projects within the recovery programmes offered by the Spanish government, the regional government („la Junta“) of Andalusia and the provincial government („la Diputación“). In summer 2021 the projects have the opportunity to present their ideas to an international jury. The jury will decide which projects will be supported during the project to develop sustainable start-up activities.

Hartwig (Juan) Berger

Marisol Valle Macías

Silke Steinberg