Just and Sustainable Transition

© UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe | A family in Mongolia uses a solar panel to generate power for their traditional tent

There is increasing attention to the concept of a “just transition” to low-carbon and environmentally friendly economies and societies. While it is generally recognized that policies need to be designed in line with country-specific conditions, there needs to be a deeper examination of what a just transition means in the differentiated contexts of countries at different levels of development, which face different economic structures, labor market configurations and social and environmental challenges. Developing countries may require a greater focus on adaptation and resilience-building given higher rates of poverty and informality, greater vulnerability to shocks and greater reliance on agriculture and tourism, and in some cases fossil fuels. It will be necessary to address investment and technology gaps within the reality of developing countries´ macroeconomic constraints, but a just and effective transition will require an even greater emphasis on social transformation and safety nets, in a framework that leaves and pushes no one behind, and works through and across value chains to ensure respect for human rights and labor rights. There also needs to be greater understanding of the transnational impacts of just transition, for example the impacts on trade. In the exercise of its mandate to advise the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on its annual themes, in 2022-2023 the CDP will provide perspectives on what a just, sustainable or “green” transition means for developing countries.


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