Just Transition - A Global Perspective
Volume XXXIX • Issue 3/4 • 2023

Just transition is a concept used by various actors with conflicting interests, from trade unions and NGOs to governments and companies. Confronted with the problem of defining and achieving justice in the context of the ecological crisis and the connected transformation, this special issue contributes to developing a ‘global perspective’ on just transition, advocating for a comprehensive approach that both addresses transnational labour solidarity and reduces global inequalities. The diverse contributions in this volume shed light on the challenges, solutions, struggles, and competing interpretations of (un)just transition(s), and are based on case studies from the United States, Mexico, Ecuador, Europe’s peripheries and beyond, while examining the impact of transitioning on workers, communities, and global inequalities.

 

 

Schwerpunktredaktion: Eder, Julia; Kreinin, Halliki; Wukovitsch, Florian 

Print ISSN: 0258-2384│Online ISSN: 2414-3197

 

 

Open Access gefördert durch:

 

 

 

 

 

       

 

 

      

 

 

 

      

 

 

 

Inhalt dieser Ausgabe
Julia Eder, Halliki Kreinin, Florian Wukovitsch

Introduction: Just Transition – A Global Perspective

Sprache: EnglischSeiten: 4-14https://doi.org/10.20446/JEP-2414-3197-39-3-4
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Stevis, Dimitris/Felli, Romain (2015): Global Labour Unions and Just Transition to a Green Economy. In: International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 15(1), 29–43. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10784-014-9266-1

 

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Zografos, Christos/Robbins, Paul (2020): Green Sacrifice Zones, or Why a Green New Deal Cannot Ignore the Cost Shifts of Just Transitions. In: One Earth 3(5), 543–546. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2020.10.012 

Dimitris Stevis, J. Mijin Cha, Vivian Price, Todd E. Vachon

Varieties of Just Transitions: Lessons from the Just Transition Listening Project (US)

Sprache: EnglischSeiten: 15-36https://doi.org/10.20446/JEP-2414-3197-39-3-15
  • Abstract
  • Literatur
  • Keywords

Since 2015 there has been a proliferation of just transition policies and initiatives. As part of the Just Transition Listening Project, launched by the Labor Network for Sustainability in early 2020, we identified seven distinct just transition cases in the USA. The diversity of these cases calls for an analytical scheme that can differentiate amongst just transitions by recognising that a policy, such as a national or transnational Green New Deal, may be promising, but only for some within a country and the world political economy and at the expense of others. This research advances our understanding of the varieties of just transitions currently pursued in one country, the US, but also offers useful and pressing analytical insights into the study of just transitions, whether these transitions are local or transnational. 

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just transition, ecosocial coalitions, labour environmentalism, climate justice, community research 

 

 

Rosa Lehmann, Pedro Alarcón

‘Just Transition’ in the Global South: Mission Impossible? The Perils of the Transition in Mexico and Ecuador

Sprache: EnglischSeiten: 37-61https://doi.org/10.20446/JEP-2414-3197-39-3-37
  • Abstract
  • Literatur
  • Keywords

Historically, ‘ just transition’ speaks to concerns of workers of ‘ dirty industries’ in the Global North in the light of environmental regulations and (possible) impacts on their working conditions and job positions. Increasingly, the concept is used to highlight issues of social justice in transitions to a low-carbon economy based on renewable energy sources. Focusing on the juncture triggered by the current climate change-driven stage of global capitalism, we emphasise the tension that arises between the notions of ‘national development’, ‘global sustainability’, and a ‘ just transition’, and argue that current transition politics and pathways tend to (re)produce extractivist and rentier logics as well as socioecological conflicts in the Global South. We illustrate our argument by delving into the political economy and political ecology of contemporary Mexico and Ecuador, where we also identify the perils of following transition pathways that limit a ‘ just transition’. 

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Mexico, Ecuador, climate change, rentier societies, extractivism, political economy, political ecology 

 

 

Kristina Dietz, Louisa Prause

Gerechte Verkehrswende global – ein Analyseansatz

Sprache: DeutschSeiten: 62-82https://doi.org/10.20446/JEP-2414-3197-39-3-62
  • Abstract
  • Literatur
  • Keywords

Um bis 2050 klimaneutral zu werden, setzt die EU auf den Ausbau der E-Mobilität. Hierfür werden große Mengen Rohstoffe wie Kupfer, Kobalt oder Lithium benötigt, die vorwiegend aus dem globalen Süden importiert werden. Wie kann die Verkehrswende unter Berücksichtigung dieser globalen Dimension gerecht ausgestaltet werden? Anschließend an die „just transition“-Debatte entwickeln wir in diesem Beitrag einen theoretischen Rahmen zur Analyse der globalen Gerechtigkeitsdimensionen der Verkehrs- wende. Wir schlagen eine doppelte Erweiterung des „just transition“-Ansatzes vor: erstens, durch ein mehrdimensionales Konzept von Gerechtigkeit und zweitens durch eine räumliche, multiskalare Perspektive mittels des Ansatzes der globalen Produktionsnetzwerke. Unser Ziel ist so die transnationalen Risiken und potenziellen (Un-)Gerechtigkeiten der E-Verkehrswende sichtbar zu machen. Wir illustrieren unseren Ansatz anhand von drei Beispielen von Gerechtigkeitsforderungen im Zusammenhang mit dem Abbau von Kobalt, Kupfer und Lithium im Globalen Süden. 

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Zografos, Chistros/Robbins, Paul (2020): Green Sacrifice Zones, or Why a Green New Deal Cannot Ignore the Cost Shifts of Just Transitions. In: One Earth 3 (5), 543-546. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2020.10.012

just transition, Verkehrswende, globale Gerechtigkeit, grüner Extraktivismus, globale Produktionsnetzwerke 

 

Mikuláš Černík, Martin Černý, Patrik Gažo, Eva Fraňková

Beyond a Czech-The-Box Exercise: Proposals for Meaningful Stakeholder Participation in the Just Transition

Sprache: EnglischSeiten: 83-112https://doi.org/10.20446/JEP-2414-3197-39-3-83
  • Abstract
  • Literatur
  • Keywords

The post-carbon transition presents an opportunity to address the inequalities in economic and political power faced by (semi-)peripheral regions. One such opportunity is the European Union’s (EU’s) just transition policies. However, the EU’s policies fall short in terms of questioning existing socio-economic and power inequalities. Their implementation often relies on technocratic measures and selective expert advice. Particularly in the semi- peripheral regions of Central and Eastern Europe, meaningful – as opposed to ‘pro forma’ – participation of all stakeholders in formulating just tran- sition policies is lacking. Using the Czech Republic – a major brown coal producer in the EU – as an illustrative case, we examine the existing obstacles to such meaningful participation and propose how to achieve it. We suggest that meaningful participation requires the direct involvement of diverse, espe- cially underrepresented groups, such as workers in the industries at risk of job losses, and the shifting of the role of experts from a position of privilege to an equal position with non-expert stakeholders. We conclude that involving all affected stakeholders through deliberative methods opens a space to diverse just transition policies. Such policies would create an opportunity to challenge the dominant development narrative proposed by core countries and institutions. 

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Alves Dias, Patricia/Kanellopoulos, Konstantinos/Medarac, Hrvoje/Kapetaki, Zoi/ Miranda-Barbosa, Edesio/Shortall, Ruth/Czako, Veronika/Telsnig, Thomas/ Vazquez-Hernandez, Cristina/Lacal, Arantegui Roberto/Nijs, Wouter/ González-Aparicio, Iratxe/Trombetti, Marco/Mandras, Giovanni/Peteves, Efstathios/Tzimas, Evangelos (2018): EU coal regions: opportunities and chal- lenges ahead. JRC Publications Repository. https://publications.jrc.ec.europa. eu/repository/handle/JRC112593, 15.08.2023 

 

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Bendtsen, Elise Broe/Clausen, Lauge Peter Westergaard/Hansen, Steffen Foss (2021): A review of the state-of-the-art for stakeholder analysis with regard to environmental management and regulation. In: Journal of Environmental Management 279, 111773, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.111773 

 

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just transition, meaningful stakeholder participation, coal phase-out, semi-periphery, post-normal science 

 

Martin Černý, Sebastian Luckeneder

Undermined Efforts? The Ambiguous Role of Mining Jobs in a Just Transition

Sprache: EnglischSeiten: 113-138https://doi.org/10.20446/JEP-2414-3197-39-3-113
  • Abstract
  • Literatur
  • Keywords

In finding alternatives for workers currently employed in the fossil fuel industry, just transition policies can ultimately undermine environ- mental concerns and efforts to redress inequalities. For example, it is suggested to create jobs in other extractive industries to meet the material requirements of renewable energy technologies. We focus on this ambiguous role of job preservation as a key demand of just transition and review selected national trans- formation strategies from the Global North and the Global South. Comparing qualification requirements of coal mining jobs with other alternatives, we propose to complement current strategies with jobs outside the extractive sector value chains. Fostering these can work towards realising social and environ- mental goals in synergy, rather than pitting one against the other. We conclude that finding work opportunities that minimise extraction requirements and benefit local communities can help level global and regional inequalities by allowing mining regions to escape from their current positions in global value chains. 

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just transition, mining, jobs, green services, global value chains 

Karin Küblböck, Ines Omann

AdJUST: Potential Pathways of a Just Energy Transition in Europe

Sprache: EnglischSeiten: 139-145https://doi.org/10.20446/JEP-2414-3197-39-3-139
  • Literatur

Abram, Simone/Atkins, Ed/Dietzel, Alix/Jenkins, Kirsten/Kiamba, Lorna/Kirshner, Joshua/Kreienkamp, Julia/Parkhill, Karen/Pegram, Tom/Ayllón, Lara. (2022): Just Transition: A whole-systems approach to decarbonisation. In: Climate Policy 22(8), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1080/14693062.2022.2108365 

 

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Heyen, Dirk/Menzemer, Luisa/Wolff, Franziska/Beznea, Andreea/Williams, Rob (2020): Just transition in the context of EU environmental policy and the European Green Deal. Freiburg: Institute of Applied Ecology. www.oeko.de/fileadmin/oekodoc/Just-Transition-Issue-Paper.pdf, 10.10.2023. 

 

Maestre-Andrés, Sara/Drews, Stefan/van den Bergh, Jeroen. (2019): Perceived fair- ness and public acceptability of carbon pricing: a review of the literature. In: Climate Policy 19(9), 1186-1204. https://doi.org/10.1080/14693062.2019.1639490 

 

Sovacool, Benjamin/Bell, Shannon/Daggett, Cara/Labuski, Christine/Lennon, Myles/Naylor, Lindsay/Klinger, Julie Leonard, Kelsey/Firestone, Jeremy (2023): Pluralizing energy justice: Incorporating feminist, anti-racist, Indigenous, and postcolonial perspectives. InL: Energy Research & Social Science 97, 102996, 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2023.102996 

 

Wang, Xinxin /Lo, Kevin (2021): Just transition: A conceptual review, Energy Research & Social Science 82, 102291, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j. erss.2021.102291 

Johannes Korak

Book Review: Jens Kastner: Dekolonialistische Theorie aus Lateinamerika. Einführung und Kritik. Berlin: Unrast 2021.

Sprache: DeutschSeiten: 146-148https://doi.org/10.20446/JEP-2414-3197-39-3-146
  • Literatur

Brumlik, Micha (2021): Postkolonialer Antisemitismus? Achille Mbembe, die palästinensische BDS-Bewegung und andere Aufreger: Bestandsaufnahme einer Diskussion. Hamburg: VSA Verlag. 

 

Harvey, Fiona/Lakahni, Nina/Gayle, Damien (2022): COP27: is it right to talk of ,reparations‘? In: The Guardian, 18.11.2022. www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/nov/18/cop27-is-it-right- to-talk-of-reparations, 13.12.2022. 

 

Kastner, Jens (2022): Dekolonialistische Theorie aus Lateinamerika: Einführung und Kritik. Münster: Unrast. 

 

Korak, Johannes (2023): Zugänge dekolonialistischer Gesellschaftskritik. Zu: Jens Kastner: Dekolonialistische Theorie aus Lateinamerika. In: polylog. Zeitschrift für interkulturelles Philosophieren 49, 115-116.

 

Roberts, J. Timmons/Parks, Bradley C. (2007): A Climate of Injustice: Global Inequality, North- South Politics, and Climate Policy. Global environmental accord. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press. 

 

Robinson, Cedric J.(2021[1983]): Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition. With a New Foreword by Robin D. G. Kelley and a New Preface by Damien Sojoyner and Tiffany Willoughby-Herard. Revised and Updated Third Edition. Dublin: Penguin Books. 

 

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