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Foreign Policy and the Just Transition
For the global community, transitioning to a more sustainable energy system is a must. But change requires challenging existing norms, and social and economic institutions. A Just Transition acknowledges that the social, environmental and economic aspects matter, and are a crucial component of the energy transition. This Policy Brief builds a bridge between foreign policy and the underlying economic and social changes which arise as part of the challenges of the energy transition.




About the project: Just Energy Transition

Dimensions. Challenges. Opportunities.

Why we have launched “Foreign Policy and Just Energy Transition”

The transition to a more sustainable system of energy supply is happening globally. It not only supports climate protection but also offers numerous economic benefits. A transition to a carbon-neutral society will affect every aspect of how societies produce goods, provide services, travel, and consume. The Paris Agreement (UNFCCC 2015) was a milestone, where to date 185 countries have ratified the convention and committed themselves to transform their development path in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations’ (UN) Agenda 2030 provide the objectives to be achieved. However, there still is a long way to go, and there is no inevitability about the process.

Goals of the project Foreign Policy and Just Energy Transition”

Through the project Foreign Policy and the Just Energy Transition, we aimed to provide new impulses for the global energy transition as a whole. We wanted to strengthen the role of foreign policy in climate protection and social transformation brought about by the energy transition. We believe that Germany’s membership in the United Nations Security Council and the upcoming presidency of the Council of the European Union can help leverage and mainstream this debate by bringing relevant stakeholders together.

The project’s process

By means of two international workshops, the project brought together experts from academia and think tanks, energy transition practitioners, stakeholders, representatives from civil society and foreign policy decision-makers. In thematic working groups they identified relevant dimensions for action and discussed their experiences and practical solutions.


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Impressions of the Just Energy Transition project - link