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Just a transition? No Green Society without Social Justice!

 

Transition to carbon-neutral society is a necessary and inevitable economic and political process. The question is: how just this process will be?

The Young Greens strive to see a transition to the carbon neutral society while at the same time making sure that the structural obstacles for marginalised groups are being diminished. Just transition is not only an energy transition, but the transition to the democratic and inclusive society where everyone is fulfilling their rights. In order to ensure young people’s say in the political processes leading to a carbon-neutral just society, FYEG is organising a year long project aiming to:

1. Explore the social dimension of the transition to a carbon-neutral society and its correlation with young people’s access to human and social rights in both urban and rural contexts.

2. Identify the legal and civic participation mechanisms in place that can foster the socially just transition to carbon-neutral society.

3. Equip young people with skills to take an active part in decision-making processes toward a socially just carbon-neutral society on local, national and international level.

4. Build a common vision for just transition that ensures a sustainable and socially just Europe by 2050, taking local and regional specificities into account.

 

[[ IN LIGHT OF THE COVID-19 CRISIS, the above-mentioned objectives have been adapted and redistributed across a series of online and offline events. Below, you can read the most updated version, with details on the various activities and instructions on how to take part. ]]

 

Project background

Recently, the European Parliament agreed on the goals to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 55% compared to 1990 levels by 2030 and to achieve zero-carbon economy in 2050 at the latest. However, no current plan to achieve these goals satisfactorily integrates the social and human rights dimension of this transition. If transition towards carbon-neutral society fails to address the aspects of social justice, it will disproportionately affect different groups of people - particularly young people and minorities.

Therefore, we need mechanisms to ensure that the transition we so much want to see will be young people-powered and young people-oriented. In 2020, we want to seize the momentum for creating a common European vision and ensure our say in a just transition process while actively addressing creation of conditions for gender minorities, women, young people and racial or ethnic minorities to thrive within the transition.

Therefore, the project activities ranging from workshops to seminars, field trips, conferences etc. will also form a foundation for a joint vision and produce a concrete set of actions to enhance youth participation in important decisions on mobility, infrastructure and food production while reflecting on the different contexts of urban and rural living.

 

PROJECT ACTIVITIES (updated in light of COVID-19)

 

1. ONLINE PRE-LEARNING: Just Transition Learning Labs

 

This series of webinars serves as an introduction to the concept of a just transition and as exploration of the struggles the youth faces when trying to move away from a carbon-intensive society both in rural and urban settings. We will analyse the implications this transition might have on social and human rights and what are the pre-existent problematics that have been accelerated in this time of health, social and economic crisis.

 

Following the cancellation of the two initial activities of this one-year long project, these webinars will bring young people together in a digital, brave space for learning. Participants will have the opportunity to acquire knowledge about the just transition, experience alternative online facilitation methods and tools that we can use in this time of social distancing and get ready for the following live activities. Each webinar, some including an exercise of interactive mapping or a gaming session, is envisioned as one step of this six-part online seminar. 

 

We will (1) explore the theoretical basis for a just transition and place it within a European framework, (2) share the problems and experiences of young people in both rural and urban areas from around Europe, (3) analyse the just transition from a perspective of energy, food and transport, drawing linkages between urban and rural settings and (4) gather input for compilation of the green principles for a just transition, joint vision of Young Greens in Europe.

 

Dates: May - September 2020 

Duration: 6x 1.5h-long webinars 

Location: Internet

Working language: English

Number of people: N/A

 Just Transition Learning Labs results: 

  • Just Transition initiatives interactive map. A collection of just transition initiatives from all over Europe, created thanks to the suggestions of young greens from at least 10 countries and hosted on MapHub can be found here.
  • Why do we need a just transition?A record of the digital written debate held by participants can be accessed on Tricider here. You can keep the debate going, or vote for your favorite opinions!

 

 

 2. JUST TRANSITION IN ACTION: Decentralised activities 

CALL FOR PROJECT PROPOSALS (CLOSED)

 

As a result of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the organization of international activities has become ever more challenging. Recognizing that it would be impossible to organize under the current circumstances an event which is safe and inclusive for participants from all around Europe, FYEG has decided to postpone its international activities. But as young people who will be particularly impacted by the effects of the climate crisis, the pandemic must not stop us from pursuing the change we want to see. FYEG hence redesigned its annual Just Transition Work Plan and will now focus on supporting already existing initiatives on the ground. 

 

We want to continue encouraging young people in Europe to implement a green Just Transition in their territories. In times of social and physical isolation, young greens need to strengthen relations with the grassroots and local movements. We understand that fostering JT is fostering a practical change with direct impact on the ground. This means implementing the Green Wave in the territories. Accordingly, this call is an invitation for FYEG member organizations (MOs) to submit project ideas and receive funding to implement them in their local communities during January to March 2021. 

 

With the implementation of these local projects we wish to (1) provide support to existing formal and informal initiatives for youth participation in urban and rural settings, with regards to just transition, or kick-start new ones, (2) help strengthen the ties and encourage collaboration between youth organisations and local groups working for a just transition following the topics relevant at the local level, (3) finalise the "Green Principles for a Socially Just Transition" drawing on direct experiences, campaigns, initiatives and events held at the local level and organised by a variety of youth across Europe.

 

Date: January-March 2021

Duration: Depending on the local action

Location: Europe

Working language: English

Number of people: N/A

  

The project is supported by the European Youth Foundation of Council of Europe and the Green European Foundation with the financial support of the European Parliament to the GEF.

 

 

Below, closed calls for cancelled events: 

CALL FOR PREP-TEAM (SEMINAR CANCELLED)

CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS (SEMINAR CANCELLED) 

CALL FOR PREP-TEAM (SUMMER CAMP CANCELLED) 

CONFERENCE: Green Principles for a Just Transition (CONFERENCE in Belgium CANCELLED)