Enlit Europe - The Guide: Season 3 June 2021 - A Just Transition - Page 11

The amounts have varied over the past few years and have become supplemented by national examples of such financing in Scotland , Germany and Poland as notable examples .

This has not been without controversy . Terms and conditions have been in question . For me , the controversy plays a secondary role to the embeddedness of a simplified view of the just transition .
One that could do more harm than good . It remains focused on compensating its most carbon intensive territories , rather than financing new spaces of low carbon technology initiatives or considering its external power to achieve more radical global change . The financing of just transition is a nice start but needs to reorient in a more meaningful way .
BUSINESS AND TRADE UNIONS WORKING TOGETHER Additional signs of hope emerge from trade unions . ‘ Just transition ’ emerged directly from coal mining disputes in the US in the 1980s . A central part of the term is about replacing jobs lost by the move away from carbon intensive industries .
The contemporary refocus on future renewable sector employment is welcome . They designed such progressive campaigns to engage all sections of our existing carbon intensive societies in a new vision for the future . This is of course even more prominent considering the pandemic .
Businesses and trade union interests need to work together to achieve a just transition . The technological revolution means that the nature of work is due to undergo its most radical transformation in generations .
Just transition means that such organisations , and the employees in the middle , deserve proper work in this reconfigured low carbon world . One in which technology enables human development in a more meaningful way than previous industrial revolutions .
The interplay between such interests and the urgency of the climate transition is the key component to reconfiguring financial mechanisms and strategies for a just transition .
Environmental organisations such as Friends of the Earth , backed by grassroots networks of community initiatives and informal groupings , are central forces for sustainable transformations such as that demanded by a just transition .
Work here is urgently required to enable comparable societal forces beyond its dominant Anglo-American or European presence today . A just transition is one in which bottom-up societal forces drive new processes of decision-making in both the virtual and physical worlds .
If we want global action more thought is needed as to what this looks like in China , India or Brazil , for example . We must therefore support community action through just transition financial mechanisms with a more pronounced global scale reflection point .
MITIGATING NEW INEQUALITIES In conclusion , a just transition involves a wholesale re-imagination of where burdens and benefits will be shared , what type of new decision-making processes are possible and how we mitigate new inequalities that may emerge from the transition away from fossil fuels .
It enables the achievement of climate change targets through the collective support of each section of society . This will need translated into contextually sensitive reformulated social contracts between government , business , third sector organisations and citizens .
It ultimately must lead to a transformational approach to justice that is driven by the low carbon technological revolution . This means that prohibitive and affirmative principles of justice need to be complemented with more transformative thinking .
This is most urgently needed in existing and planned financial mechanisms on just transition .
Practically , this involves targeting areas of renewable growth , not just fossil fuel demise . It is disrupting the current carbon intensive global system and its political power constellations .
Professor Darren McCauley is Chair in the Management of International Social Challenges at Erasmus University Rotterdam
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