FacebookTwitterLinkedInCopy LinkEmailPrint
What is "Just Transition"?

Energy Transition in Mexico: The Social Dimension of Energy and the Politics of Climate Change

This report addresses the challenges and opportunities associated with Mexico’s climate change mitigation targets and offers recommendations to incorporate social and environmental dimensions into the policymaking process.


This report examines Mexico’s energy transition and its associated challenges and opportunities. The energy transition is largely driven by efforts to achieve the climate change mitigation targets outlined in Mexico’s nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement, reduce electricity-generation costs, and address the social and environmental inequalities of the current energy system. The authors seek to broaden the scope of the discourse on energy transitions and incorporate social and environmental dimensions in the decision-making process.

The paper urges policymakers to incorporate mechanisms for participation, consultation, and co-design of the policies. The authors criticize the lack of social inclusion in policy reforms so far and provide recommendations for future social inclusion through engagement with local governments. While acknowledging that the energy transition will inevitably result in winners and losers, the authors make a series of policy recommendations to help the Mexican government reach its climate change mitigation goals in a fair way, including by creating socially inclusive spaces to allow participation in the energy sector, especially at the local level.

Coal Transition in the Netherlands

This report presents the Netherlands’ successful attempt to exit coal and explains how the oil crisis in the 1970s subsequently led to an energy-mixed economy.


This case study examines the coal transition in the Netherlands from 1965 to 1990 in the region of Limburg and discusses the reasons for the transition as well as its socioeconomic impacts. Due to market competition from oil imports and the domestic discovery of natural gas, the country decided to reduce its economic dependence on coal in favor of other energy sources.

The authors focus on the factors that made the transition possible, including the cooperation of labor unions, the presence of alternative employment opportunities (such as in the chemical sector), and particularly the conservative view of then Prime Minister Joop den Uyl, who was convinced that mining was inhumane. The unions foresaw an unfavorable future for coal miners and reached an agreement with state-owned companies for alternative employment. The study analyzes the effect of the measures adopted to accompany the transition. The authors focus on the government’s redevelopment strategies—such as the restructuring of the coal sector, with major mining companies transforming into chemical companies—and the development of new businesses.

The last two sections of the study discuss the return of coal as an imported energy source in the mid-1970s due to the oil crisis, as well as the country’s current struggle to stop coal consumption, which accounts for 12% to 13% of national energy consumption.