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What is "Just Transition"?

Jobs in a Net-Zero Emissions Future in Latin America and the Caribbean

The report details a decarbonization pathway for Latin America and the Caribbean region, identifies expected labor changes in various sectors, and focuses on equity considerations needed in each of the affected sectors.


This report takes a detailed look at decarbonization pathways in the Latin America and the Caribbean region and highlights the potential to create 15 million net jobs in sectors, such as sustainable agriculture, forestry, solar and wind power, manufacturing, and construction during such a transition. The report suggests that, with adequately-designed measures to ensure that these jobs are decent and that those who lose out in the transition are protected and supported, recovery plans can create climate benefits, while also boosting growth, tackling inequality, and making progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

This report is based on an input-output analysis using a Global Trade Analysis Project Power database, a commonly employed tool for assessing the direct and indirect environmental and socioeconomic impacts of decarbonization efforts. The study finds that only three sectors would shrink in the transition to a decarbonized economy: 1) fossil-fuel based electricity, with about 80,000 jobs lost, or more than half of the current number; 2) fossil-fuel extraction, with almost a third of the current number, or 280,000 jobs eliminated; and 3) animal-based food production systems, with five percent of current jobs lost, representing half a million jobs.

The report provides a sectoral overview of the region and highlights how it is still struggling with gender and ethnic inequalities, skills gaps, insufficient social protection, and a large informal sector, despite more than a decade of steady progress. Prevailing decent work deficits, inequalities, and dependence on fossil fuel exports are expected to make Latin America and the Caribbean particularly susceptible to the social and economic impacts of climate change. The report also identifies the critical need for fairness in this transition and devotes a chapter to identifying the sector-wise equity and justice considerations needed to allow a successful transition in sectors that include energy, agriculture, forestry, waste management, tourism, transport, and construction.

Just Transition for All: Analytical Evidence

This brief includes nine short essays on a range of issues related to just transitions, including summaries of various tools and strategies and brief regional case studies.


This brief consists of short papers prepared for a breakout session of the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) in March 2018. The papers examine various just transitions efforts around the world, including different approaches to green transitions, a case study of distributional impacts in Germany, and a summary of green coalitions and movements in the United States.

Several of the authors emphasize implementing social protections and promoting inclusion to ensure a just transition to a low-carbon economy. The document calls on countries to take urgent action to train workers in the skills needed for a greener economy and to provide them with social protections to facilitate the transition to new jobs. One author argues that a truly just transition cannot focus solely on unionized coal miners but must consider informal workers or service providers as well. Another essay classifies just transitions approaches in terms of their inclusiveness and ambition, offering a useful taxonomy for assessing them. Another author argues in favor of a “systems approach” to just transitions that would use not only sectoral data but also microeconomic, demographic, and social survey data to create a more holistic view of societies in transition.