Just Transition: How to manage the social and economic aspects towards more sustainability


Without effective leadership, accountability and management, the transition to sustainability is likely to face considerable resistance from communities and regions that are fearful of disruption change as well as the perception of a loss of livelihoods in a low-carbon future. These emotions have to be managed if we are to tackle climate change within in the next 30 years if humanity is to remain below the 2 degrees threshold.

Building a new sustainable socio-fabric is vital but equally important is ensuring workers, communities and future generations have access to it. This requires much greater attention to how the change is managed rather than current policy-makers fixation on development of new technologies. Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, alluded to this when introducing the deep transformation the new Energy Union framework would bring and that it “[W]ill not be easy and require trust, respect and cooperation”.

Identifying a transferable governance architecture which encapsulates joint accountability, ownership and management of change will help breed an environment of trust, cooperation and inclusive participation which is essential to the success of the transformation. The key is to integrate industrial policy with energy transition and social harmony.

This round-table aims to gather policy-makers, politicians, trade union representatives, education, workers from industry, business representatives etc.

Key questions to address in the discussions:

How to encourage joint accountability, ownership and management of change?

How can we create an environment of trust, cooperation and inclusive participation to work towards common goals?

Social dialogue will be a key part of the change, who, how and what should this involve?

In what ways will a changing energy policy affect industrial policy?

What institutional or governance architecture will be needed to secure these changes effectively?

What is the role of local, regional, national, European governments and Trade Unions in a Just Transition?

You can find out more information related to this topic on FEPS project ‘Managing the Just Transition’