Policy Brief / 2022-06-27
Rethinking ‘Just Transition’: Critical reflections for the Global South
Pedro Alarcón, Nadia Catalina Combariza Diaz, Julia Schwab, Stefan Peters
Due to the epistemological power of the Global North, the dominant narratives on "just transition" are derived from a Eurocentric point of view. To avoid this co-optation, it is necessary to incorporate a broader, more global perspective. Given the need to contextualize the pathways of "just transition," we conclude that multiple definitions exist and must exist that act not only in parallel but intersect with each other. To achieve this, a first step is to recognize "just transition" as an organic and therefore dynamic concept that includes more than just the energy transition. The tendency has been to reduce the concept to it alone because, on the one hand, fossil fuels are crucial for national energy supply and even for financing the energy transition in many countries of the Global South and are therefore strongly linked to the idea of "development". On the other hand, critical minerals are becoming increasingly (geo)strategically important for the energy transition in the energy transitions of the Global North. However, it is necessary to understand the transition as broader socio-political projects that go beyond debates on technological change and even conventional wisdom on environmental policy.