What is a just transition?


Environmental justice, climate justice, and transportation justice are all part of a goal of a just transition. A just transition is a set of principles, processes, and practices that build economic and political power to shift from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy. A just transition has six key strategies:

  • End the Bad: Stop extractive, exploitative, and polluting industries and our reliance on them.
  • Build the New: Advance an economy that gives power to the people, making it possible for all people to have access to a dignified and sustainable life.
  • Move the Money (Divest–Invest): Divest from the extractive economy, like prisons and the fossil fuel sector, and move money into community control, investing in cooperative labor and regeneration.
  • Change the Rules: Change the rules through policy advocacy to support frontline-led economic initiatives.
  • Change the Story: Challenge the dominant worldview of White supremacy, consumerism, and militarism, and instead work toward care, sacredness, and ecological and social well-being.
  • Build a Movement of Movements: To do this visionary, systemic change, we need groups from all different movements and sectors to recognize where our interests intersect, and work together.

The transition itself must be just and equitable, redressing past harms and creating new relationships of power for the future through reparations. If the process of transition is not just, the outcome will never be. Just transition describes both where we are going and how we get there. Looking for an example? Farmworkers in the Pacific Northwest are pushing for a just transition due the worsening working and economic conditions due to climate change.

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