Justice in the transition to a low carbon economy

Tipo de Publicação: Working Paper

Silveira, A. & Pritchard, P., (2016), ‘Justice in the transition to a low carbon economy’, University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), Working Paper 04/2016.

Transitioning to a low carbon economy represents one of the most significant and urgent challenges facing society today. There remains a pressing need to engage with the fairness of the social, economic and environmental impacts associated with the transition.

The transition will, of necessity, require the involvement and support of a diverse range of actors for whom both the outcome and the process of achieving a low carbon economy must be fair. The concept of justice takes a central place in the interactions among policymakers, businesses and civil society. In this report we consider how a justice approach could inform sustainability leaders in policy-making and business circles.

The rationale for a study on the implications of justice for the transition has grown out of Rewiring the Economy, which constitutes CISL’s ten-year plan to lay the foundations for a sustainable economy. Within this framework businesses are being encouraged to seek models of value creation that generate a fair social contribution within the natural boundaries of the planet.

In this context, the subject of this paper is to:

  • review the various conceptions of justice
  • explore how it has been taken up in key international policy and business circles
  • present well-known ´thinking tools´ that may support decision-making towards more explicitly just transitions to a low carbon economy
  • conclude with some worked examples of how such approaches might usefully inform policy and corporate sustainability strategies.