Just transition

The transition to a low-carbon economy is necessary and inevitable if we are to avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis. However, the related economic and social burdens must be fairly distributed both within and between countries. In particular, workers and communities attached to carbon-intensive economic activities stand to lose out in the short term as the sectors need to change drastically and jobs might disappear or need workers with different skills.

The concept of “Just Transition” refers to a shift to a low-carbon economy that is not only sustainable but also fair to people that might lose out. It requires the society, including trade unions and lawmakers, to take bold steps to embrace the modern employment opportunities that a sustainable economy brings.

As part of the EU Green Deal, the European Commission plans to mobilise more than 1 trillion EUR over the next 10 years to support a just transition to carbon neutrality in Europe. In response to the pandemic, the EU has also agreed on a EUR672.5 billion recovery fund to be disbursed to the EU member states to help them rebuild their virus-hit economies.

Carbon Market Watch calls for the EU to ensure that the Green Deal investment plan and the recovery fund support a clean transition and recovery from the pandemic and benefit people over corporations. Furthermore, the EU ETS revenues should be used to support workers and regions most impacted by Europe’s efforts to reach climate neutrality.