This working paper on challenges in high-carbon industry regions explains basic assumptions and develops guiding hypothesis for the Flagship based on a mix of scientific results, direct experiences of the consortium members with regional stakeholders and reasoned arguments. Based on literature reviews, experiences from previous research and implementation projects in coal and industry regions, as well as on interactions with stakeholders in the two regions  Silesia in Poland and North-Rhine Westphalia in Germany. The paper compiles a list of regional challenges determine to play a significant role in the transition of high-carbon industry regions to low-carbon industry regions. Thus, the working paper adds more pieces to this puzzle of low-carbon development in currently high-carbon industry regions. Each challenge or problem is not equally relevant in all regions, but the focus lies on three different but intertwined challenges perceived to be of importance in high-carbon industry regions:

  • low levels of low-carbon oriented Innovation activities in high-Carbon industries
  • low capacities of high-Carbon Industry regions to drive low-carbon transitions, and
  • lack of political will to drive low-carbon transitions

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