Lead authors: Rob Macquarie and Fergus Green
Contributing authors: Toby Kenward, Hana Müllerová, Monika Feigerlová and Eva Balounová

The transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions needs to be socially just and politically robust if it is to succeed. This report presents a framework to guide national policymakers to prepare a coherent programme for such a transition, with a principal focus on Europe.

Theoretically grounded and practically oriented, the report collects resources on national policy and law applicable to specific sectors and to the whole economy, synthesising examples of best practice highlighted by leading research. Its guidance is aimed at governments but also non-governmental organisations, labour unions, firms, international organisations and financial institutions. While the report’s focus is on Europe, the tools and guidance are generally applicable and should be of wider interest. 

The framework can be applied to multiple sectors and reflects the wide variety of roles for people and groups in the transition. However, it also covers many aspects of a just transition that do not fit neatly into sectoral or spatial frames, such as fiscal policy, citizens’ participation in policy processes, and national climate laws and institutions.

The report is designed to be a modular reference resource, with advice grouped into chapters reflecting five phases of the policy cycle:

  • Phase 1. Planning and analysis
  • Phase 2. Participation and deliberation
  • Phase 3. Policy design for transitional assistance
  • Phase 4. Implementation and accountability
  • Phase 5. Monitoring and evaluation

Each chapter provides concepts and definitions of essential terms used to guide thinking about activities in each phase; guidance for policymakers to consider when applying these concepts; approaches they can take, with a comparison of features, strengths and weaknesses and signposting to further resources; and case studies demonstrating the use of these approaches in various countries and contexts across Europe, with suggested lessons for others to follow.

All of the chapters contain actions that should be undertaken by multiple government ministries, emphasising that a whole-of-government approach is needed for a just transition, with each ministry taking responsibility for aspects linked to its remit.

The report was produced by a consortium of research institutions from the UK, Norway, Czechia and Austria: University College London, the London School of Economics and Political Science, the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO), the Czech Academy of Sciences, and the University of Graz. It is an output of the three-year JUSTDECARB project (2020–2023).

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