World Resource Institute

About Just Transition and Equitable Climate Action

Addressing climate change and achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement requires transitioning to a net-zero economy. While this is an essential task that can provide significant economic and social benefits, it can also pose significant challenges for countries and communities that are still dependent on fossil fuels and other emissions-intensive sectors.

Achieving a just transition requires tackling the challenges faced by communities and workers as they shift toward sustainable livelihoods, while also ensuring that the benefits of the zero-carbon and resilient economy are shared fairly.

About the Resource Center

The Just Transition and Equitable Climate Action Resource Center showcases snapshots of steps that countries, communities and companies are taking to transition industries and economies in a fair, inclusive way. These initiatives vary from country to country, including phasing out coal power and closing coal mines; removing fossil fuel subsidies; shutting down polluting power plants; and installing solar and wind farms.

Spanning six continents, the snapshots highlighted here can help us understand what’s working — and sometimes what is not — and provide insights and lessons that can guide countries and communities through the task ahead: building a zero-carbon future by proactively engaging with affected workers and communities and enabling them to thrive by creating new economic opportunities. Over time, WRI will add additional sectors, types of initiatives and geographies to the Resource Center.

What Does a Just Transition Look Like?

According to the International Labour Organization, keeping global warming below 2 degrees C could create 18 million net jobs worldwide. However, the transition away from fossil fuels could also result in the loss of 6 million gross jobs by 2030, overwhelmingly in the energy sector.

A just transition means equitably distributing the costs and benefits of climate action, ensuring that:

  • Social dialogue and stakeholder engagement takes place among workers, employers, governments, communities and civil society.
  • Affected workers and communities receive the support, social protection and investments they need to work and thrive in a zero-carbon future.
  • Revenue streams that governments currently receive from fossil fuel production will be replaced in equitable ways.
  • Companies create decent jobs and contribute to economic growth while taking positive action on climate change.

Contact Us

Please contact Leah Lazer with feedback or suggestions for the Resource Center.

David Waskow
Director, International Climate Initiative


Leah Lazer
Research Analyst


Ulka Kelkar
Director – Climate, WRI India


Devashree Saha
Senior Associate

 

Acknowledgments

The Just Transition and Equitable Climate Action Resource Center was produced by Leah Lazer, David Waskow, Devashree Saha, Jillian Neuberger, Mathilde Bouyé, Juan Carlos Altamirano, Delfina Grinspan, Alexander Tankou, Uttara Narayan, and Henrieke Jonker, with communications support from Molly Bergen, Liza LePage, Wil Thomas, Rhys Gerholdt, Sadof Alexander, Bill Dugan, Rocio Lower, Romain Warnault, and Rosie Ettenheim, and additional substantive guidance from Ulka Kelkar, Andrés Flores, Avelina Ruiz, Samantha Lopez, Michelle Manion, and Marion Davis.

World Resources Institute is grateful for the contributions of the following external reviewers: Bert de Wel, International Trade Union Confederation; the International Labour Office; Philipp Litz, Agora Energiewende; Jan Frankowski, Institute for Structural Research; Tomáš Burdych, Department of RE:START Strategy, Ministry of Regional Development of the Czech Republic; and Elke Dahlbeck, Institute for Work and Technology.

The contents of the Just Transition and Equitable Climate Action Resource Center do not necessarily reflect the views, policies or positions of any of these contributors, reviewers or organizations.