The Just Transition Research Group will use integrated and interdisciplinary research approaches and develop a national and international research network to increase knowledge and understanding to achieve a Just Transition to a low-carbon future
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of the present day. Addressing climate change requires countries to move away from the use of fossil fuels in energy production, transport, fashion, construction, petrochemicals, and other industries that are heavily reliant on fossil fuels. Such technological changes will impact the economy and society as a whole and proper guidance is required to develop policies that will reduce or ameliorate any negative impacts.
Researchers, policymakers, labour unions, civil society, businesses, and others now recognise that social justice cannot be compromised while transitioning to a low-carbon economy. The concept of Just Transition was formed to be used as a term that stands for the importance of upholding social justice tenets while formulating policies to support a low-carbon transition. Just Transition is a unifying term that brings together research, knowledge, and stakeholders associated with the social implication of the collective journey to fossil fuel-free future.
Transitioning to a low-carbon economy will require transformative changes in technology, society, human behaviour, and institutional practices. However, decarbonisation can also lead to job loss and socio-economic deterioration.
There is currently a gap in understanding how a low-carbon transition can occur that is rooted in justice and fairness so that no one is left behind and that the benefits and burdens of decarbonizing society are shared equitably.
The purpose of the UCD Just Transition Research Group (JTRG) is to build a national and international research network for promoting peer-to-peer learning of concerned, interested, and affected stakeholders for generating knowledge, debate, discussions, policy suggestions, and practical examples for a Just Transition.
This will involve integrated and interdisciplinary research, activities including a multi-stakeholder conference, and promoting good-practice and policy approaches for a Just Transition.
Principles of social justice can be embedded in both national and international low-carbon transition periods so that negative impacts on people and place will be limited and that this period is transformational in ensuring sustainable well-being of people, communities, and ecosystems for a more equitable and just world.
The Just Transition Research Group aims to develop an understanding of what a just transition to a low-carbon society would look like in Ireland and internationally. As we are building this group, we are in the process of developing an understanding of the different energy (fuel, transport) related challenges communities face, especially those who are marginalised or vulnerable in the energy transition.
The work of the Just Transition Research Group will focus on:
- contributing to the decarbonisation of our socio-economic systems
- producing knowledge to embed social justice in the transition process
- demonstrating how integrated and interdisciplinary research can contribute to solving complex societal problems
- creating, developing, and strengthening a national and international research network
- having JTRG recognised as a reference point for information on Just Transition
- Social Dialogue
- Fairness, Justice, Equity
- Leave No One Behind
- Furthest Behind First
- Interdisciplinary research
- Civil and stakeholder participation