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Tracking Progress Towards a Just Transition

As countries look toward implementing ambitious climate objectives, some difficult questions emerge for national governments and social partners. How do they uplift people and communities in the transition to a low emissions economy? How do they ensure that the poorest and most vulnerable do not get left behind? How do they continue to solve development challenges (e.g., inequality, poverty, and unemployment)? In short, how do they ensure a just and equitable transition?

Many countries are actively building in just transition principles and practices into their climate policy and planning. South Africa and Scotland, for example, have established independent advisory bodies to facilitate and oversee a just transition. Spain has developed a just transition strategy and engaged in participatory process to develop just transition agreements with 14 regions. Germany undertook a proactive planning process to support the transition away from coal in the Ruhr region, leading to a thriving economy, and has developed a national just transition strategy and funding to enable a coal phase-out in the 2030s. Overall, however, the “just transition agenda” is nascent in most countries, and predominately still in the planning phase.

As more countries develop just transition plans and activities, it becomes important to track progress towards a just and equitable transition over time. Since the just transition agenda is new—particularly when compared with other development/climate policy spheres—tracking progress towards just transitions (along with associated metrics and
links with existing monitoring and evaluation systems) are not yet well defined. There also hasn’t been “benchmark setting” or many national goals for achieving just transitions, making it difficult to define common indicators and track progress.

This event will bring together international experts, government representatives, and community representatives for a discussion on what it means to track a just transition— and how the outcomes of the tracking work can spur positive change.

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