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Professor Minas Authors Policy Report on EU and International Climate Law; Discusses Report in European Parliament

Assistant Professor Stephen Minas, a scholar of climate change governance, technology transfer and transnational legal structures, recently authored a policy report for the Foundation for European Progressive Studies on “Framing a Just Transition Mission – Mainstreaming an All-Encompassing Approach”.  In his report, Professor Minas offers a new approach to mainstream the “just transition” agenda with the aim of accelerating climate action, creating new quality jobs and empowering communities.  “Just transition” refers to the aim of switching to climate-friendly energy while actively addressing the employment and social outcomes for fossil fuel-dependent workforces and communities. There is no single process capable of delivering a just transition and international, European Union and domestic law and policy are all relevant to achieving desirable outcomes.

Following is an excerpt from the Introduction of Professor Minas’s report:

The just transition agenda aims to manage overarching societal change in the broad context of responding to climate change. The goal of preventing dangerous climate change demands rapid and far-reaching changes in sectors such as energy, transport and industrial production. As climate policies are increasingly put into practice, the economic and social consequences of climate action for workers, communities, regions and whole countries are multiplying and becoming increasingly potent.

The aim of this paper is therefore to build on recent discussions and provide an analysis of the broader and ongoing developments in the agenda on just transition, which is being pursued at both EU and international levels. Central to the approach proposed in this paper is to mainstream the just transition agenda, by reframing just transition from a component of the climate policy response (of greater or lesser priority) to an overarching ‘mission’ that can include, mobilise and empower diverse actors at EU, regional, Member State and local levels.

On March 20, Professor Minas discussed his report in a series of consultations at the European Parliament and other Brussels-based institutions.  The dialogue was an initiative of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS).  During the day’s sessions, Professor Minas and colleagues from FEPS’ Young Academics Network examined opportunities to strengthen the EU contribution to transnational economic governance, including in the areas of climate change, tax/base erosion and global supply chains.  The European Parliament has made tackling climate change and its consequences one of its key priorities.

Photo courtesy of the Office of Karoline Graswander-Hainz MEP