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What is "Just Transition"?

UN FCCC Just Transition of the Workforce, and the Creation of Decent Work and Quality Jobs

This technical paper is intended to assist and guide signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change through the just transition of their national workforces with regard to climate change mitigation policies.


This technical paper was conducted as a part of a United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) work program focused on the impact of climate response measures. It is intended to inform and guide parties, especially in developing countries, through a just transition of their national workforces and the creation of decent work and quality jobs in relation to climate mitigation policies.

The paper synthesizes the conceptual understandings of a just transition in relation to climate change mitigation measures. It summarizes the major existing works to date, including the guiding principles, drivers, and objectives of a just transition as outlined by the International Labor Organization (ILO). It explores the potential impact of climate change mitigation policies on the quantity and quality of the workforce through job creation, substitution, elimination, and transformation.

It then provides a sequential framework for a national just transition, from including consideration of employment in the planning stages to preparing for the transition of the workforce, implementing the transition, and assessing its effects. The authors explore each of these phases in detail, providing specific guidance and examples from case studies. However, little research is available on best practices for analyzing the effects of a just transition.


Guidelines for a Just Transition towards Environmentally Sustainable Economies and Societies for All

These guidelines, developed through tripartite dialogue, provide a general policy framework for governments and social partners seeking a just transition to sustainable development.


These guidelines were developed through tripartite dialogue. They provide general guidance on how to formulate, implement, and monitor a just transition in accordance with national circumstances and priorities. It is a commonly referenced document in the just transitions discourse and, in many respects, outlines the foundational elements of just transitions in the context of climate action.

This document briefly summarizes the vision, opportunities and challenges, and guiding principles of a just transition, which were first outlined in conclusions by the 102nd session of the International Labor Conference in 2013. It then builds on these conclusions to outline the elements of a basic framework for a just transition. These elements include institutional arrangements and key policy areas that serve to mainstream and promote environmental, economic, and social sustainability. The guidance is directed at both governments and social partners, which have an active and significant role to play in the transition.