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Just Transition

Regions, workers and communities in the transition to a net zero economy

The transition to a net zero economy in Europe is no longer a mere possibility: it is bound to happen if we want to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The choice societies are facing is whether they remain reactive, risking disruptive changes, or whether they proactively shape the transition.

Limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees will require rapid and deep decarbonisation of the global economy. The necessary transformation provides a large opportunity for a green economy, but also comes with significant social and economic challenges for affected communities.

A Just Transition seeks to jointly address these concerns.  The concept was first systematically used by trade unions and justice groups in North America to provide a framework for discussions on a shift to an economy that is not only sustainable but also fair for those who stand to lose out. While these discussions initially focused on the challenge of transforming economies from fossil-based energy system to decentralised renewable ones, E3G believes similar discussions and coherent transition strategies are needed in all affected areas of the real economy and finance.

In order to achieve a just shift to a net zero, climate-resilient economy, E3G seeks to further develop and concretize the concept, actively working towards its implementation.

At the global level, E3G aims to ensure all dimensions of a Just Transition are considered in political processes. This includes the negative and positive effects from decarbonisation policies as well as the impacts from delaying climate action which hit vulnerable communities and sectors hardest. We explore to what extent mutual learning on Just Transitions can be transferred to other contexts globally, linking our on-the-ground experience with other areas of work such as sustainable finance, the fossil transition and diplomacy.

At the European level, E3G works to strengthen the role of Just Transition in all EU climate legislation and finance, such as the EU long-term climate strategy, the next EU budget and National Energy and Climate Plans.

At the national and regional level, we identify good practices for transitions in high-carbon and coal regions. We, work with local partners, for example in Central and Eastern Europe, to engage key stakeholders such as governments, trade unions, businesses and civil society to shape a positive future for affected regions.

This project has received funding from the European Commission through a LIFE grant. The content of this section reflects only the authors' views. The Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.


This project has received funding from the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through an EUKI grant. The content of this section reflects only the authors' views. The German Government is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains

This project is run in collaboration with Change Partnership.

Funding the just transition to a net zero economy in Europe: opportunities in the next EU budget

Europe’s transition to a net zero carbon society implies a wide range of changes throughout its economy. New industries develop, creating new jobs requiring new skills and whole new sectors of activities. While this shift is primarily an economic opportunity, such deep changes will also have social consequences...