An integrated and interdisciplinary research network
The requirement for societies to urgently decarbonise their economies has led to increased interest in the subject of Just Transition. Just Transition is a phrase that describes a just, fair, and equitable low-carbon transition in which the burdens are shared and no one gets left behind. However, while there has been much discussion on what a Just Transition is, there is little knowledge of what a good transition is and how it can be successfully completed.
As the research base of climate change analysis widens, there is a need for integrated and interdisciplinary research that brings together different analytical frameworks from various research fields. Additionally, the politicization of climate change and related topics requires that researchers must be prepared to engage with the complexities of real-world situations where climate change and social justice intersect and sometimes conflict.
Bringing theory and praxis together will require participatory research capable of developing transformative knowledge, frameworks, and processes that are contextualized and politically and socially appropriate. With the goal of a Just Transition, researchers must develop research agendas that can address complex problems without compromising the well-being of vulnerable stakeholders. By integrating different perspectives and stakeholders into research agendas while being attentive to existing power asymmetries, researchers can produce knowledge with the potential for socio-ecological transformation.
We are consequently developing an interdisciplinary research network to determine leverage points in socio-economic systems for decarbonisation with the aim of embedding the agency of those who are disproportionately affected by climate change and mitigation policies in the transition process. If we are to transform our societies, no one should be left behind. Without ensuring equity and justice are at the center of our shared future our human systems will continue to revert to states of continuous marginalisation and environmental degradation.