Coal miners at work. Photo: Tyler Stableford / Getty Images

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.

This policy report puts forward seven principles that are essential components of a just transition. The report, which also offers ways to integrate principles into policy, is based on an analysis of related literatures and historic case studies of similar economic disruptions.

The report underscores that to achieve equity aims, all principles should be pursued in parallel, not selectively. At the same time,the authors argue that 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.