ULIP lecturer Edouard Morena is co-directing a new project, the Just Transition Research Collaborative, drawing together twenty research professionals from North America, Europe, Australia and South Africa.
With strategic and financial support from the International Social Science Council, the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, and ULIP, the Just Transition Research Collaborative will be investigating the uses of the concept "just transition" in the climate debate.
Over the last twenty years the concept of "just transition" has grown in significance within debates on sustainable growth and the move towards a green economy. "Just transition" can be broadly understood as a framework for facilitating the smooth and fair transition - particularly for workers and communities - towards a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy. The term has been used by the trade union movement, particularly, to highlight the need for a range of interventions to provide stable jobs and livelihoods during this period of change and to ensure that a green economy can continue to create and maintain suitable employment opportunities. It has also been adopted more widely by inter-government agencies and researchers and is referenced in the Paris Climate Agreement.
The abundance of references to "just transition" found today reflects a welcome concern for the social consequences of the climate debate. It also requires further questioning as to how the term has evolved, who uses it, and what views and theories are associated with it. The Just Transition Research Collective aims to catalogue and categorise different uses of the term and to produce a series of case studies on "just transition" related initiatives.
The project will launch with the publication of a selection of think-pieces from researchers on various dimensions of "just transition" and it is hoped that it will create a space to continue the climate debate through a lens of social, as well as environmental, justice. Keep up to date with developments on their website.