Public discussion increasingly refers to “just transition” as the process of decarbonising industry while simultaneously promoting social inclusion to ensure no one is left behind.
The social dimension is a fundamental aspect to just transition. It is essential to ensure that the transition to a net-zero carbon economy will not contribute towards increasing the number of people in difficulty: on the contrary, it should create an opportunity for improving the living and working conditions of an increasing number of people
The debate on just transition has become an integral part of Europe’s overall objective of becoming the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.
This report commissioned by C40 and co-authored by Eutropian highlights the opportunities that cities can leverage and strategies that may be effective in shaping a stronger collective voice in pursuit of just transition in Europe. Cities are in a crucial position to shape just transition processes: they are already experiencing the economic and employment impacts of decarbonisation and deindustrialisation, possess an in-depth understanding of the local context, and are equipped with the tools to convene a wider range of stakeholders in an effort to give a voice to those affected. The active engagement of local stakeholders and inclusive multilevel governance can facilitate the creation of integrated strategies for decarbonisation and the diversification of the urban economy. Effective coordination with regional and national governments also presents significant opportunities for cities to benefit from the EU’s dedicated resources on just transition.
The report provides an overview of key concepts, themes, opportunities and challenges in relation to just transition in Europe, and highlights the opportunities that cities can leverage and strategies that may be effective in shaping a stronger collective voice in pursuit of just transition in Europe.
The findings in this paper are derived from a literature and media review, complemented by preliminary observations by the authors.
(1) provides a key resource for European cities to improve their understanding of their national contexts and key plans, policies and projects relating to just transition;
(2) emphasises the role of cities and their entry points to contribute towards the debate on a just transition;
(3) evaluates advocacy opportunities in global climate discussions;
(4) explains the range of regional stakeholders active in the just transition space;
(5) provides C40 with an up-to-date evidence base on the topic of just transition so that it can best support European and global cities to develop their climate actions.