Seven principles to realize a just transition to a low-carbon economy
Authors: Aaron Atteridge, Claudia Strambo
• The “just transition” concept captures a full sweep of issues that raise fundamental questions
about matters of fairness surfacing in the global shift to a low-carbon economy – particularly
for people and regions that now depend on carbon-intensive industries and sectors.
• Based on an analysis of related literatures and historic case studies of similar economic
disruptions, this policy report presents seven principles of a just transition. It suggests
ways to implement these principles in practice, so that regions facing decarbonization can
prepare for inevitable change on the horizon, with critical investments, policy reforms and
• International financial and technical support for transition should prioritize those regions with
low capacity, lower responsibilities for historical emissions, or high dependence on carbon-intensive
• To achieve equity aims, all principles should be pursued in parallel, not selectively. At the
same time, nothing justifies postponing the first principle: the decarbonization imperative.
Delays that leave regions behind as decarbonization accelerates across the globe are
inherently unjust – as are the ramifications of unchecked climate change itself.