© Joan Sullivan / Climate Visuals Countdown
Just transition
To tackle climate change we need to move on from fossil fuels to a renewables-based power sector, and green our industries. This rapid transformation of key sectors of the economy can have a negative social impact on workers and communities. 

WWF believes that environmental and social objectives should be considered together in order to achieve a sustainable and socially fair transition.

Why it matters

Use of coal and other carbon-intense energy sources (e.g. peat) must give way to renewable energy sources, and industry must be decarbonised, in order to halt climate change and stop pollution which harms humans and the environment.  

This requires tailored local solutions to ensure communities anchored in these industries do not pay an unacceptable price for the transition we all need. Support is needed for economic diversification, reskilling and social protection.  A social-economic transition which only benefits a minority is not fair and will never be sustainable. 

The EU has a Just Transition Fund to assist specific regions to reach climate neutrality. Just Transition must address inequalities, support climate ambition, drive the shift from fossil fuels to renewables and be based in participatory processes.

Energy price increases and the rising cost of living crisis also makes it imperative to ensure fair transition measures in the wider context of climate and energy policy.  Most vulnerable households and small businesses should not carry the heaviest burden of implementing Europe’s Green Deal. The EU’s response to energy costs and its efforts towards a greener economy must not result in increased inequalities in our society. 

What WWF is doing

WWF is working to ensure socially fair Just Transition plans are properly implemented and reach their clean energy transition, decarbonisation and social transformation objectives. Our assessment of plans gives visibility on where improvements are needed for a truly Just Transition.

WWF promotes synergies between social and climate goals in EU policies and plans,  including integration of effective just transition measures into National Energy and Climate Plans and future Social Climate Plans. 


© iStock

The Fair Way Forward

Opportunities for all through an EU Just Transition

The transition to a low-carbon economy in the EU requires change at an unprecedented pace.

While most citizens will find new opportunities in the clean economy and all will ultimately benefit from improved well-being in a secure and sustainable society, significant segments of the population risk being disadvantaged during the transition. Ensuring a just transition is therefore critical.

This publication examines the elements already in place to support a just transition in the EU, and presents recommendations for a strengthened just transition policy framework.

Read the report