Jessica Omukuti, Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre, University of York

Emphasis on just transitions to zero emissions is increasing in the run up to COP26. For countries in the global South, these transitions are expected to be just and equitable. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is critical to achieving this goal. Yet, the GCF is not doing enough to facilitate just transitions through its funded projects. This article outlines how and asks what this means for COP26.

Photo Credit: Friends of the Earth International, via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The focus on zero emissions and adaptation and resilience in the run-up to COP26 has elevated discussions on how countries, firms, and communities should go about transitioning to zero-carbon climate-resilient economies. Yet, discussions…


Sandeep Pai and Savannah Carr-Wilson

Informal coal mining is an important, yet often neglected, aspect of the just transition narrative in India and other developing countries. For many poor families living in coal regions of developing countries, informal coal mining provides their sole livelihood. This book excerpt shares the story of a coal-cycle wallah in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand and illustrates the need to think about people engaged in informal coal based work when planning for just transitions.

Photo credit: Environmental Change and Security Program, via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

With a population of 1.4 billion people, India’s energy demand is poised to double in the next two decades. Coal not only provides nearly half…


Avril De Torres, Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development

Over 13 million Filipinos have lost their jobs or livelihoods during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the middle of a recession, record-high unemployment, and one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in Southeast Asia, the Duterte Administration railroads the implementation of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program — a programme phasing out non-electric or non-Euro-4 compliant public utility vehicles starting with jeepneys. Tens of thousands of jeepney workers have been displaced since March 2020 as they were no longer allowed to operate if they did not have the capacity to modernize their vehicles. Many have resorted to begging or protesting on the…


Pablo Aránguiz Mesías, Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain and Núcleo Milenio Energía y Sociedad (NUMIES), Chile

Efforts for a transition towards a low-carbon economy in northern Patagonia play out in the context of a neoliberal model of extractivist development that marginalizes Indigenous peoples and harms both people and the planet. This piece introduces the struggle for socially just decarbonization in the case of Chiloé archipelago and analyses opportunities for change that arise both from recent mass mobilizations and policy commitments made for a just transition and which could present a new momentum for sustainable development in Chile.

Photo credit: Camilo Barría R. via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

September is usually a special month for the great majority of Chileans. We remember one of the darkest moments…


Sanna Markkanen, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

In the past four years, Paris has made the headlines in two very contradictory contexts. In 2015, the city hosted the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21), which culminated in the adoption of the Paris Agreement — a global commitment to keep global temperature rise well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels (and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C). …


Coal represents 28% of global energy consumption. However, meeting commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change requires a coal phase-out across the globe. In many coal-dependent countries, this raises significant political, social and economic issues.

Photo credit: Herbert2512 via Pixabay

Coal Transitions is an international research project led by Climate Strategies and IDDRI which aims to develop credible and feasible trajectories and policy guidance for deep transitions in the coal sector in six major coal using countries: China, India, Australia, South Africa, Germany and Poland.
In the context of this project, several case studies of major coal-consuming economies have been carried out. …


Mapping Just Transition(s) to a Low-Carbon World

Photo credit: Mark Dixon via Flickr (cropped, CC BY 2.0)

The Just Transition Research Collaborative is proud to announce the launch of its report “Mapping Just Transition(s) to a Low-Carbon Development”. The result of a collective mapping exercise, the report will be launched at COP24 in Katowice and is already available online at http://www.unrisd.org/jtrc-report2018.

Following the recognition that the growing popularity of the Just Transition has led to an expansion of meanings and interpretations of it, the report takes stock of the history and narratives of Just Transition and assesses different approaches and examples based on their ambition and inclusiveness.

With the report, we hope to provide readers with a…


Gareth Dale, Brunel University London

Len McCluskey, the leader of the Unite union, supported the vote for a third runway at Heathrow Airport and called for Labour MPs to vote with the Tories (Conservative and Unionist Party) and DUP (Democratic Unionist Party). Gareth Dale argues this was a setback for trade unionists the world over: “McCluskey appeals to the interests of Heathrow workers and their children and grandchildren. But what lives await them if global warming accelerates unchecked?”

Len McCluskey, leader of the Unite union, backed Heathrow III, photo credit: Garry Knight via Flickr (CC0 1.0)

The trade unions will be crucial to climate change mitigation and adaptation. But you wouldn’t know it from recent comments by their leaders in Britain. Take the…


Peter Newell, University of Sussex

Is it possible to accelerate transitions in inclusive ways? Can rapidity be squared with attending to questions of equity and social justice? The question here then is less whether transitions can be just, but can rapid transitions also be Just Transitions?

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

The need to increase the speed and depth of transitions to sustainability is every day more apparent. From the IPCC special report on 1.5˚C to concerns about mass biodiversity loss and the passing of planetary boundaries, the signs that the current system is not sustainable are clear for all to see.

Yet there is debate about whether by emphasizing…


Tadzio Müller, Senior Advisor for Climate Justice and Energy Democracy, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung

Rapid climate action is urgently needed to put the world on track for limiting global warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Leading scientists suggest that we need to bend the emissions curve significantly by 2020 if globally agreed temperature goals are to remain attainable. So is the Just Transition debate just a waste of time? This piece takes a critical look at pitfalls in the ongoing discussions.

Photo credit: Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung — New York Office, via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

1. “tck, tck, tck”

I was first confronted with one of those climate doomsday clocks during the mobilization towards COP15 in Copenhagen. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan had condensed the push for climate action into the phrase “tck…

Just Transition Research Collaborative

An initiative that maps different narratives of the Just Transition concept. Highlighting the importance of equity and justice in tackling climate change

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