Leaders and laggards in the pursuit of an EU just transition

Darren McCauley*, Kerry A. Pettigrew, Iain Todd, Christine Milchram

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The just transition from coal, oil, and gas to renewable energy sources involves commitment from all EU states. But who is leading, or lagging? We apply an innovative DeePeR framework to identify these states, using open-access quantitative global data from multiple sources, by evaluating the energy and equity dimensions of Distributive, Procedural and Restorative justice. Using rank percentile scores, we assessed EU nations' level of fossil fuel dependency (including both energy and financial dependency) and distributional inequality, their fossil fuel CO2 emissions, climate finance pledges and a calculated procedural justice score, and their commitment to modern renewable electricity output and rankings on fair and renewable jobs. We find that EU states' performances on just transition are distinct across four broad regions; Scandinavia, eastern Europe, western Europe, and the Mediterranean. We discuss the nuances of fossil fuel embeddedness in the EU. This is followed by reflection on the importance of embedding fairness in the deployment of new renewable jobs. Finally, we consider the implications for a better-targeted financial mechanism for just transition alongside a fossil fuel divestment strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107699
JournalEcological Economics
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Horizon project PROBONO (GA 101037075) and Solidar as part of the Frameowrk Partnership Agreement No 101059002 RSE4ALL and the European Commission under the Employment and Social Innovation Programme, grant number G-2110-62857.

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© 2022 The Authors

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