Blogs and Think Pieces
The Just Transition(s) Online Forum is an initiative of the Just Transition Research Collaborative that collects stories on the Just Transition to low-carbon development. Bringing together a range of experts working on different aspects of this transition, it showcases different case studies, narratives and approaches to the Just Transition and their implications for equity and social justice.
We have recently entered a period of deep contestation over the ownership and meaning of Just Transition. It is, therefore, important to think about it systematically so that we can, at the very least, differentiate initiatives that co-opt and dilute its promise from initiatives that contribute to a global politics of social and ecological emancipation.
If a productive, equitable outcome for all workers is the goal of a Just Transition, then we must look beyond the immediate impacts on fossil fuel workers and consider who else may be vulnerable. Failing to put equity considerations first can result in Just Transition policies that ignore the people most in need of support.
Some effects of climate change — such as extreme weather, including droughts or flooding — are unavoidable, even if greenhouse gas emissions are reduced. Adapting to these effects, rather than suffering them, is a necessity. Trade unions should be more aware of climate change adaptation, and should include it when they bargain with employers or the state.
Societal transitions towards a new energy regime are underway in order to shift society back towards a more sustainable state of functioning. However, this pathway is not without trade-offs and equity challenges, related not only to the future distribution and production of energy from renewable energy sources, but also for communities that have supported the prior energy regime.
We are living in a time of rapid change, driven by increasing digitization and disruption of many of the institutions and relationships around which we structure our societies and our lives. In this first think piece in the From Disruption to Transformation? Linking Technology and Human Rights for Sustainable Development series, Kelly Stetter reflects on the role of international human rights frameworks in addressing these challenges and ensuring that no one is left behind.
In today’s increasingly digital, networked society, there is a pressing need for a feminist interrogation of the melding of new technology with personal, social, cultural, economic and political life, and the power structures that are reproduced and redefined in the process. In particular, this Think Piece points a critical lens at questions of autonomy on the internet and in an age of big data, asking how these technologies can empower women and queer persons to fully exercise and enjoy their rights, both on- and offline.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes the role that journalists play in ensuring fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of expression and access to information. SDG 16 in particular calls for the effective monitoring of crimes against journalists as an indicator to measure progress towards promoting peaceful and inclusive societies. Despite this, threats against journalists and media personnel are on the rise, and an accurate and comprehensive measurement system is still missing. Technology can help us to address this gap, and this Think Piece proposes a way forward.
Not long ago, the internet and social media were heralded as creating new spaces for democracy and freedom of expression. Today, we are seeing increasing levels of state censorship and surveillance on the internet, and rather than serving as a new public forum, social media “echo chambers” exacerbate people’s natural biases and diminish opportunities for healthy debate. This Think Piece discusses how IT threatens democracy, and considers the road ahead to address these threats.
Long-standing configurations of power and privilege result in the poorest and most vulnerable people facing the greatest risks from climate change. Ethnic and racial minorities are overrepresented among these populations, and are disproportionately impacted by pollution and extreme weather events, both globally and within individual countries. But does environmental injustice affect poor communities because they are non-white, or does it affect non-white communities because they are poor? Focusing on examples from the United States, this Think Piece explores this interconnection and how it relates to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.