This brief discusses the challenges of a just transition in the context of the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals and, more specifically, provides recommendations for labor unions and workers’ organizations. It promotes the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) guidelines as a comprehensive set of principles for both climate change action and sustainable development. It then provides various examples of past just transition efforts from different levels of government and for different levels of economic development. These practical examples illustrate the role of actors, country-specific challenges, and potential models of success under various conditions.
The brief concludes with lessons learned, which tend to emphasize the importance of cooperation—for example, among labor and environmental groups or among different levels of government—and of formulating strategies with clear objectives and targets. The authors provide further recommendations specific to trade unions and workers’ organizations.