1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Environmental and Climate Justice, Social Dimensions of Sustainable Development

Just Transition Research Collaborative (Phase III): Working Towards Transformative Change and Climate Justice for All

  • Project from: 2020 to 2020

This project aims to support the Just Transition Research Collaborative in enhancing its online collaboration and strengthen stakeholder engagement in discussions of different aspects and case studies of Just Transition that can contribute to more progressive understandings of Just Transition and foster transformative change and climate justice for all.

The project is run jointly by UNRISD, Edouard Morena (University of London Institute in Paris) and Dimitris Stevis (Colorado State University) and supported by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung.

See also:
Just Transition Research Collaborative (Phase I): Mapping Just Transition(s) to a Low-Carbon World
Just Transition Research Collaborative (Phase II): Cities in Transition—Urban Struggles for Just Transition(s)

The Research Issue in Context

The Just Transition Research Collaborative (JTRC) was created as a space for exchange and discussion that brings together a range of experts from academia and civil society to collectively map and analyse the different understandings and narratives of "Just Transition" underpinning the concept’s growing popularity and uptake. The project provides an important contribution to the science-policy dialogue around Just Transition and offers policy recommendations on how the approach can be used to foster the transition to equitable low-carbon development.

So far, the JTRC has contributed two reports and an online forum to the debate. The first report mapped out and unpacked the history of the Just Transition concept and the different understandings, narratives and framings of Just Transition, illustrating case studies of how Just Transition is—or is not—being mobilized on the ground to call for a progressive interpretation of Just Transition to promote transformative change and climate justice for all. The second report analysed urban and local-level approaches to Just Transition, exploring the role of cities in implementing progressive and transformative Just Transition strategies and plans in order to contribute to a better understanding of the potential of local-level Just Transition policies and frameworks to influence higher level policy change. The online forum complements the report with additional stories on Just Transition, showcasing case studies and approaches and their implications for equity and social justice.

Objectives and Scope

Building on both the outputs and network of the JTRC, the project seeks to strengthen online collaboration and enhance the use and uptake of JTRC resources while simultaneously addressing new initiatives and narratives of Just Transition. To this end, it will produce a webinar and think piece series that presents key JTRC thinking and findings and puts it in discussion with current developments and approaches promoting a Just Transition. It will condense its discussions and the highlights of its work in a policy brief to be launched before the end of the year.

Project Activities and Deliverables

  • Strengthen JTRC online collaboration (monthly meetings)
To ensure continued exchange and collaboration among JTRC members, monthly virtual meetings will be organized to inform webinar discussions and facilitate the exchange of latest developments and initiatives on Just Transition. The meetings will also be used to discuss arising issues and content for the policy brief that is planned to synthesize JTRC key ideas.
  • Webinar series: Justice in Low-Carbon Transitions
Based on the work conducted by the JTRC so far, in particular the publication of two policy reports, in 2018 (Mapping Just Transition(s) to a Low-Carbon World) and 2019 (Climate Justice from Below—Local Struggles for Just Transition(s)), we will conceptualize and conduct a series of six webinars to strengthen the discussion of progressive approaches to Just Transition and broaden the reach of our work. Each webinar will focus on either a specific thematic aspect of Just Transition or a particular regional or local case study in order to assess the continued proliferation of Just Transition approaches in the respective socio-political context. The series aim to bring together a combination of researchers, activists and policy makers to discuss both the equity and justice norms underlying different concepts of Just Transitions and illustrating specific case studies. The webinar titles are:

Or access recordings of all the webinars in one place on our YouTube playlist.
  • Think piece series
Based on the webinar discussions as well as expertise of JTRC members, we will invite a number of think pieces for the JTRC online forum Just Transition(s) to a Low-Carbon World in order to reflect on recent initiatives, policies or plans for a Just Transition. We will select, review and publish five pieces.
  • Communications and outreach
To make the project a success, effective communications and outreach are key in order to engage stakeholders and make a contribution to the current discussions of Just Transition. In addition to communications and outreach in support of each webinar and think piece, we will engage with the UNFCCC process and other multilateral efforts to promote a Just Transition, for example the Climate Action for Jobs Initiative. More specifically, we will discuss the 2018 and 2019 JTRC reports through our webinars, and will condense project highlights and findings into a policy brief to be launched and presented before the end of the year.


The project is funded by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung.