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A Call to Deliver a Just Transition to a Social and Sustainable Europe

We, the undersigned organisations, movements, networks, and political parties:

  • Underline the depth, seriousness and acute nature of the ongoing climate and environmental emergency, of the social, health, and economic crises, of rising inequality and poverty, of persisting forms of discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, disability, age and other grounds, and of increasing precariousness of work and inadequate working conditions in Europe and the rest of the world.
  • Recognise the interconnectedness of these crises and have joined forces based on the realisation that none of them can be tackled in a meaningful way without simultaneously tackling the others. These parallel crises call for immediate, bold and transformative action at all levels of society for systemic change to build a sustainable and safe future for all through a Just Transition.
  • Acknowledge that taking fast and radical action now to avert catastrophic climate change, biodiversity loss, a further proliferation of pollution and an intensified social crisis is not just a moral and political imperative, but an opportunity to rethink and rebuild our societies and economies and to put people and planet at the heart of development. Ensuring a Just Transition is not altruism, it is humanity’s best survival strategy and the only way we will prosper.
  • State that climate action can act as a solution to the multiple crises that we face today. It represents a real instrument to reduce social injustice, generate opportunities for the most disadvantaged and improve people’s wellbeing, quality of life, gender equality and access to rights. For this to happen, we need a well-constructed Just Transition as a ‘whole of society’ change, as well as just transitions at all levels of society and within all sectors.
  • Emphasise that this deep societal transformation must be developed in a holistic and inclusive way, protecting and guaranteeing the rights of all. Climate action must improve the living and working conditions of all people and communities globally, including both the Global South and North, to be truly just.
  • Reiterate the need for a rights-based approach to the just transition. Enforcing universal human rights must be central to transition processes. Moreover, we stress that meaningful participation of all parts of society in the development and implementation of policy, in line with international conventions and frameworks, is essential if they are to be effective and inclusive. Ensuring intergenerational justice and youth participation is essential in the development and implementation of actions taken to achieve a Just Transition.
  • State that all actions must be in line with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius as per the Paris Agreement, the international human rights standards, the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, and shall take into consideration the ILO guidelines for a Just Transition.
  • Recognise the European Green Deal as the central framework through which we can drive a Just Transition in Europe and that this can only be possible by strengthening its social dimension. A process that must be defined by a comprehensive implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and a strong connection with it, also through and beyond its Action Plan. The European Green Deal’s international dimension must be strengthened to contribute to the Just Transition globally, by increasing international climate and development finance and ensuring policy coherence for sustainable development for countries in the Global South.
  • Highlight that the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic taking place at national and European level should be characterised by social progress and innovation and bring deep societal change. There is a risk that the fall in CO2 emissions that resulted from lock-downs across the world will be a short-lived pause in the unsustainable trajectory called the Great Acceleration, with emissions rising exponentially again as economies reopen. Instead, emissions reduction must happen in a planned and fair manner that benefits all.
  • Believe that, for the Transition to be Just, we must:
    1 Re-shape our economies to be more equal, inclusive, transparent, democratic, diverse, feminist, collaborative, circular, and sustainable.
    2 Create a new world of work that offers decent, high-quality, decarbonised and sustainable jobs for all.
    3 Plan and act locally to rebuild sustainable and resilient economies, sectors, communities, and cities.
    4 Tackle inequalities and the unequal access to human rights and essential services from an intersectional perspective.
    5 Ensure that Just Transition permeates all EU and national policies and programmes.
    6 Recognise the role and importance of formal, non-formal and informal education in the process of ensuring a Just Transition.
    7 Deliver global climate justice and increase international support and global cooperation.
    8 Base and assess all policy proposals and progress on existing human rights frameworks and the best available science.

We have come together from civil society, social and environmental movements, and political parties to unite behind this call to action. To deliver on a truly Just Transition, we pledge to work together, sparing no efforts or energy, until the sustainable transformation has been won, leaving no one behind.

We, the members of the European Alliance for a Just Transition, call on the institutions of the European Union, national governments and other authorities to act now for a Just Transition for all. This starts with, through participation and social and civil dialogue, integrating a strong social dimension into all policies and ensuring that they are delivering on the climate and biodiversity objectives.

We call on civil society organisations, political movements, and other like-minded actors at all levels to gather in Alliances that demand a Just Transition, as only by working together will we ensure that the transition to a climate-neutral Europe will lead to fairer, more resilient, sustainable, and prosperous societies.

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