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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.