Glossary term

Just Transition

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Number of definitions:


Definition 1

Just Transition means that before implementing Mitigation Measures, [the Company OR Party] will do all of the following:

(a) conduct a risk assessment of the proposed measure(s) on affected stakeholders, including its employees, value chain partners and their workers, and communities impacted by its business activities

(b) consult the affected stakeholders

(c) implement measures that will avoid, or if not possible, mitigate any negative outcomes caused by the Mitigation Measures.

Definition 2

Just Transition of the Workforce means addressing existing and potential social and economic inequalities that affect a workforce as an organisation decarbonises. This can include one or more of the following:

(a) consulting employees and/or trade unions to understand their concerns and priorities

(b) training employees in new skills and work practices

(c) providing financial compensation for job losses or other inequalities that may arise

(d) helping employees relocate to access replacement work.

Definition 3

Transition Finance means financial assistance (such as loans or other financial products) that supports the just transition of organisations in carbon-intensive sectors or sectors that face high decarbonisation costs.

Drafting notes and guidance

Just transition means the shift to a decarbonised and climate resilient global economy in a manner that is fair, equitable and inclusive for all involved, including by creating quality jobs, facilitating social inclusion and aiming to eradicate poverty.

Just transition litigation Just transition litigation includes cases that rely in whole or in part on human rights arguments to question the distribution of the benefits and burdens of the transition away from fossil fuels and towards net-zero emissions. For example, States and companies are being sued for allowing the building of renewable energy infrastructure on land traditionally owned by indigenous peoples or land over which traditional people have cultural rights.

Option 3 - Transition finance

Transition finance may be needed where decarbonisation costs are high. This includes sectors that lack decarbonised technological solutions or where the cost of the transition is significantly higher than current technologies. These sectors are often described as hard-to-abate. They include heavy industry (cement, steel, chemicals and aluminium) and heavy duty transport (shipping, long-distance haulage and aviation), which together account for nearly one-third of global CO2 emissions.

Examples of transition finance include:

  • The Just Transition Fund Mechanism is a key tool to ensure the transition towards a climate-neutral economy in a fair way. It mobilises 55bn EUR of targeted support from 2021 to 2027. EU regulation (EU 2021/1229) creates a public sector loan facility to provide grants to regions that are the most carbon-intensive or with the most people working in fossil fuels.
  • The Scottish Oil and Gas Transition Training Fund was established to provide grants to workers in the oil and gas sector. This is to ensure they can undertake training and re-skilling to help them transition to employment in more in-demand green sectors.
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