Enlit Europe - The Guide: Season 3 June 2021 - A Just Transition - Page 20

A just transition is a process of achieving a balance writes Marine Cornelis

FIT FOR PURPOSE MEANS FAIR BY DESIGN

A just transition is a process of achieving a balance writes Marine Cornelis

It is not an Eden , but a strategy . It is not an illusion , but a project . Justice is a goal , but like any goal , without a plan and a strategy , it will remain a dream .
This transition concerns us all , whether you are a young engineering student and climate activist ; an old conservative politician ; an exile who arrived by boat ; a farmer , footballer , stay-athome parent or teacher .
But we must never forget that this transition is in essence a journey – it ’ s a transformation . It is a journey towards a more equitable and respectful world , a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see change happen , but at last without clashes , without a war . But for these changes to happen as peacefully as possible , we need to listen and reflect together .
To me , a just transition is a process that respects the individual . It respects their circumstances , background , needs , and also their expectations .
It is a path that allows everyone to grow . It ’ s a journey that takes everyone ’ s opinion into account and gives everyone the opportunity to express themselves . It is a strategy that puts people , as inhabitants of the planet Earth , shared with other living beings , at the centre .
To move forward , we need legs , but also toes and arms to find balance ; lungs to breathe ; a head to guide us and a heart to make this whole beautiful machine work .
That ’ s the just transition : don ’ t forget that each element , each organ , each person , has its place to take and its role to play . But that if we don ’ t put some heart into it , we won ’ t be able to progress .
The vibrant heart of our democracies is its citizens . This means that it is up to politicians to engage them more , through dedicated discussion platforms . But it also means that businesses ( which , let ’ s not forget , are run by the people they employ ) must listen to them and take their needs into account .
I sincerely believe that the era of top-down imposed decisions is over : people want to become actors of change and citizens vote with their wallet .
Energy companies understand that their role is changing . Law-making and regulation must therefore accompany these changes and encourage porosity and exchange between sectors . The transition must be 100 per cent fair by design – or it will not happen .
Marine Cornelis is Founder and Executive Director at Next Energy Consumer
Catch up with Marine Cornelis in this webcast : The Role of Energy Efficiency & Renovation
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