SOLIDAR calls for a Just Transition to a Social and Sustainable Europe and towards social justice globally.
SOLIDAR views ‘Just Transition’ as a powerful concept that brings the social, climate and environmental justice agendas and their respective constituencies together. It is the guarantee that the transformation processes and structural adjustments that are needed to face the climate emergency, the digital revolution and the reoccurring social and economic crises are implemented taking the needs and rights of affected workers and people in vulnerable situations into consideration, guaranteeing both social justice and sustainable development. Indeed, the transition to a green economy and a climate-neutral Europe will only be possible if it ‘benefits the whole of society and does not simply pile the costs on the least privileged’. For the transition to be possible, it needs to be supported and wanted by all, and this can only be achieved through processes of civil and social dialogue.
SOLIDAR believes that:
- Only by planning and putting into place a socially Just Transition towards a sustainable future, will we be able to tackle and face the several crises that we are now living through, as well as future ones. We need plans that are bold enough to put us on a path towards a new, sustainable normal. For this to happen, the European Union does not just have to avail the necessary funding, it needs to support a new development path, away from austerity and market-oriented solutions, towards a people’s centered economy within our planetary boundaries. It must tackle the structural inequalities that pervade our societies and consider climate action as an opportunity to strengthen the European social model.
- In order to tackle global systemic shocks and enforce the necessary structural changes to make our societies sustainable and resilient, it is fundamental to foster a strong society, with enough resources and resilient support systems, as well as organised and informed citizens and civil society organisations capable to influence and participate in decision-making processes. Therefore, we must strengthen the understanding and capacity of social movements and civil society organisations working for social rights and democracy in relation to the ongoing climate and environmental crises, and how these are collated to the unfolding social crisis.
- We must challenge the current ‘system of silos’ that prevents social movements and trade unions from participating in decisions and discussions on climate action, and climate and environmental movements from addressing social issues, and that hinders meaningful exchanges among them.
In 2021, SOLIDAR ran a pilot project titled “Just Transition for Social Justice”, which had the objective of advocating for Just Transition to be at the centre of European recovery. In the framework of the project, SOLIDAR initiated the European Alliance for a Just Transition, an informal coalition of 25+ European organisations that pledge to work together to ensure a Just Transition in Europe and calls on institutions and other stakeholders to deliver a Just Transition now. For further information on the European Alliance for a Just Transition, please visit the website https://alliancejusttransition.eu/. In addition, SOLIDAR produced three studies (‘Promoting a Just Transition in Europe and Worldwide: How Civil Society and Trade Unions are Driving the Change’, ‘The EU Green Deal in International Partnerships: An examples’ guide of EU and SOLIDAR members’ work’ and a 'Just Transition Monitor'), ran two online Training Academies on Just Transition and supported the work of its member organisations on Just Transition in several European countries, including by facilitating the creation of Just Transition alliances at national level.
This year, SOLIDAR will carry on its work on Just Transition by focusing on strengthening the social dimension of the European Green Deal, the strategy to transform the EU into the first climate-neutral region of the world by 2050.