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Just Transitions: The governance and institutional gap in the UK

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What’s on offer?

During this event, the speakers will deliver a talk lasting approximately 40 minutes, followed by 20 minutes for Q&A and open discussion

What’s it about?

Starting from October 19th, and running through the United Nations COP26 climate change summit, the Sussex Energy Group will be presenting highlights of its research in the SEG@COP26 seminar series that are relevant to the themes of these crucial global negotiations. 

What are the challenges of governance for just transitions? The notion of “just transition” is now a central feature of climate policymaking at various levels transnationally—from the local to the UN climate change negotiations, with nation states being urged to consider this policy issue in national climate policy frameworks since the 2018 Silesia Declaration at COP24. The growing calls for a green recovery from COVID-19 have placed economic inequality and climate justice at the top of the political agenda in many countries, adding pressure to COP26 delegates and policymakers to deliver  a ‘just transition’.

Yet exactly how the concept is defined, imagined and operationalized varies across socio-political and ecological contexts. This presentation reviews some popular and critical definitions of just transition, as well as some of the most prominent organizational and institutional forms of governance for just transition outcomes. We offer early glimpses of initiatives at multiple levels of political jurisdiction in Europe, the UK, the US and New Zealand, highlighting their approaches to achieving justice of distribution and procedure in the transition away from fossil fuels. We also examine some of the challenges arising from such efforts and discuss how we can, through social science, critically and constructively engage with just transition initiatives.

Who’s leading the event?

Dr Max Lacey-Barnacle, Research Fellow in Energy Justice at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU); Dr Abigail Martin, Research Fellow in the Public Acceptance of Shale Gas at SPRU

Open to


Of particular interest to

Those working on and thinking about sustainability, energy and social justice

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