The new social contract: Implementing a ‘Just Transition’

Unlocking the politics of climate change.

Climate change is as much an economic restructuring dilemma as it is an environmental catastrophe. Effective solutions are based on a balancing act between systemically deconstructing fossil fuels whilst building clean and sustainable regions and ensuring no one is left behind in the transition. For this to happen, a new social contract is required between polluters, victims of the pollution, future generations and the regions in which they are located ensuring that the needed transition happens in a civil and just way to avoid a violent break with past ways of living.

Change Partnership, with the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), launched their report on the New Social Contract: A Just Transition on 28th September, 2016. For further information click on images below to access the slide deck, report and Vice-President Šefčovič’s speech.

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Presentation made to at the European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition (ERCST) on 30 October, 2017

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Integrating the Just Transition in EU industrial, climate and energy policy

Read our proposals on why and how the Just Transition needs to be at the heart of competition, energy and climate policy below:




The five pillars of the Just Transition

    • Consultation between representatives from trade unions, business, government, regional bodies and voluntary organisations, on the shift to a green, low carbon economy, from the workplace to national government.
    • Green and Decent Jobs: Investing in technologies and infrastructure to meet the sustainability challenges for a low carbon, resource-efficient future while creating quality jobs.
    • Green Skills: Government-led investments in education/training and skills programmes, from the workplace to national levels, to equip students and the workforce with the skills for a low carbon, resource-efficient economy. Promoting individual worker rights to training to ensure access for all workers.
    • Respect for labour & human rights: Democratic decision-making and respect for human and labour rights are essential in order to ensure the fair representation of workers’ and communities’ interests. Strengthening worker information, consultation and participation rights to matters concerning sustainable development.
    • Social protection: Strong and efficient social protection systems in the transition to a low carbon economy

Regional industrialisation – Energy Cities and the Covenant of Mayors

Claire Roumet from Energy Cities outlines regional political drivers for clean, long-term industrial transformation that is taking place all over Europe. The Covenant of Mayors allows local and regional governments to commit to investing in sustainable energy and transport systems. Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) outlined detailed investment plans which are a key source for industrial demand, jobs and prosperity for all.



Further information

Presentation to the EU Social Dialogue on 13 May, 2015. Sanjeev Kumar presented ideas on turning the Just Transition into a workable concept to advance discussions between workers, employers and the European Commission to speed up the process of decarbonisation.