Just transition, sustainable equality and distributional effects of climate change: links between research and policy

Just transition, sustainable equality and distributional effects of climate change: links between research and policy

Almost 10 years ago, the successor to the international Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, known for their report Mismeasuring Our Lives: Why GDP Doesn’t Add Up, published a new report Beyond GDP: Measuring What Counts for Economic and Social Performance in which the authors put more emphasis on inequality and sustainability. Trade unions have been demanding for more than twenty years that the transition to an environmentally sustainable economy should be a Just transition, a transition that is carried by the strongest shoulders rather than the weakest. Thanks to persistent pressure by trade unions, the concept has become an integral element of global climate policies but, as a broad principle with a variety of interpretations, it needs targeted policies set into the concrete socio-economic context to become effective. This event will provide a forum to present and discuss four recent publications looking from different angles into the transition to an environmentally sustainable economy and putting the emphasis on the interrelation between research and policy.

During the first session, Gustav Fredriksson, co-author of the Bruegel publication The distributional effects of climate policies, will present their findings – the most important being that key climate policy tools such as carbon taxes for different fuels, certain mandatory standards, subsidies and regulatory tools, can make low-income households worse off relative to high-income households. Subsequently, Marcel Mersch, coordinator of the S&Ds Progressive Society will present some conclusions from the Report of the Independent Commission for Sustainable Equality, containing a new political vision rooted in sustainable development and aiming at combatting the growing inequalities in Europe.

In the second part of the event, ETUI senior researcher Béla Galgóczi will present his ILO Actrav Policy Brief, Just Transition towards an Environmentally Sustainable Economies and Societies for All, in which he demonstrates that the interrelation of inequality and climate change/climate policies can be substantially different depending on the socio-economic conditions of the country/region.  Following up on this, Monsterrat Mir, ETUC Confederal Secretary will present some recommendations for trade unions concerning economic diversification and industrial policy, skills, social protection and governance for a socially just transition, as well as give some examples of innovative projects that can inspire a more just transition from the trade union guide Involving Trade Unions in climate action to build a just transition published by the ETUC last year.

After the presentations in each session, the other two speakers will introduce the debate with the audience by briefly commenting on the presentations.



Speakers: Gustav Fredriksson, ETH Zürich and Marcel Mersch, coordinator of the S&Ds Progressive Society

Comments: Bas Eickhout, MEP Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance in the European Parliament TBC, Béla Galgóczi, ETUI senior researcher and Monsterrat Mir, ETUC Confederal Secretary


Coffee break


Speakers: Béla Galgóczi, ETUI senior researcher and Monsterrat Mir, ETUC Confederal Secretary

Comments: Gustav Fredriksson, ETH Zürich and Marcel Mersch, coordinator of the S&Ds Progressive Society


Chair: Philippe Pochet, General Director ETUI

Registration is free of charge but please register here

Venue: ITUH, Bd du Roi Albert II, 5; 1210 Brussels, Room B 1st floor
A light lunch will be served in front of the room from 12h.

Hourly Schedule

Day 1


feb 04 2019


12:30 - 16:00

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Koning Albert II-laan 5, 1210 Brussel
Room B, 1e verdiep


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Tweekerkenstraat 47
1000 Brussel

02/ 325 35 00

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