Climate Change | Analysis and New Insights

Strengthening Just Transition Policies in International Climate Governance

Anabella Rosemberg | April 2017


Following the emission reductions pathway agreed to in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement implies major societal transformations, including in the world of work and employment. Understanding those impacts and anticipating situations of hardship is critical for building support for climate action and avoiding political backlash by communities that are disproportionately affected.

The concept of just transition—as a strategy aimed at protecting those whose jobs, incomes, and livelihoods are at risk as a consequence of climate policies—presents the advantage of engaging with workers and communities most affected, giving them an active role in rethinking their future. It breaks down the narrative that erroneously pits growth and employment against ambitious climate policies, and it examines where climate policies must consider the livelihoods of workers and their communities.

This policy analysis brief examines how the just transition concept can be further incorporated into the international climate change context, including through the development of nationally determined contributions (NDCs), the adoption of common just transition guidelines, and an emphasis on the link between Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 on decent work for all and SDG 13 on climate action, among other recommendations.