The road to a just transition

A comparative analysis of Territorial Just Transition Plans

Policy Brief


Territorial just transition plans define the territories in which the Just Transition Fund will be used. The identification of these territories is carried out through a dialogue with the Commission. These plans set out the challenges in each territory, as well as the development needs and objectives to be met by 2030. They identify the types of operations envisaged and specify governance mechanisms. The approval of the territorial just transition plans opens the doors to dedicated financing under the other two pillars of the Just Transition Mechanism.

This policy brief analyses the Territorial Just Transition Plans (TJTPs) of seven countries (Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Sweden) with the aim of understanding the envisioned just transition in these regions. The brief scrutinises and evaluates the economic, environmental and social aspects of the plans to map the kind of justice to be expected from their implementation. It finds that the TJTPs primarily direct funding towards economic policies, with the aim of supporting SMEs and large corporations to decarbonise and generate or maintain employment opportunities in the regions. There are lesser investments in environmental policies, mainly focused on the decontamination of polluted land, and social policies, such as elderly and childcare.

The TJTPs can be grouped into three categories. The first group has a relatively balanced approach in dividing investments among economic, social and environmental policies. The second group focuses mostly on economic policies and decarbonising large corporations and SMEs. The last group mostly focuses on environmental policies.

The envisioned justice in the TJTPs is primarily directed towards employment opportunities; this poses the risk of benefitting people and organisations that already receive support from the European Commission. A different kind of justice, one focused on improving social conditions, could be better positioned to help those who are typically left behind.

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