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What is "Just Transition"?

Mapping Just Transition(s) to a Low-carbon World

This paper defines just transitions and emphasizes the term’s roots in social and environmental justice, especially for those in the climate sphere who are less familiar with these underpinnings.


This paper helps define just transitions, emphasizing the origins of the concept in the labor movement and in social and environmental justice. The paper includes a schematic of the approaches of various groups to just transitions, mapping the views of various stakeholders and broadly grouping them under four approaches: status quo maintenance, managerial reform, structural reform, and transformative reform.

The authors review the origins of the concept of just transitions in the U.S. labor movement in the 1970s and discuss how it spread in the 2000s, largely under the rubric of climate policy and with more support from UN agencies and the International Labor Organization (ILO). The authors also explore the evolution of the just transition concept through case studies of six countries: Brazil, Canada, Germany, Kenya, South Africa, and the United States.

Towards a Socially Just Energy Transition in Vietnam: Challenges and Opportunities

This study examines whether it is possible to achieve social and political support for a shift to greater energy efficiency and renewable energy in Vietnam.


“This study analyzes the social aspects and political feasibility of an energy transition in Vietnam, identifies four main barriers to the country’s progress toward a socially just energy transition, and provides recommendations for how to achieve this.

The authors note Vietnam’s vulnerability to climate change and the opportunities and challenges involved in reaching its climate goals through a just energy transition. Vietnam’s progress toward energy efficiency has seen numerous institutional challenges, including insufficient and ineffective policies, complex procedures for investing in renewable energy, economic and financial barriers, and poor human capacity in the energy sector. Each of these obstacles harms public perceptions of renewable energy.

To address these challenges, the authors suggest various energy sector reforms: draft a new long-term energy vision, shift investment focus, improve state-owned enterprises’ transparency and regulations, and adopt new fiscal policies that promote renewable energy. To improve public perceptions, they also suggest conducting more capacity building, community outreach, and policy dialogues.”