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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: It’s Not Just A 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






2. JOINT SEMINAR: It’s not just a transition: Youth in Urban and Rural Areas


Replacing both the Summer Camp and Seminar from the previous plan, this international seminar will focus on solutions to the problems identified in the webinars. It will incorporate a comparative approach to learn about the similarities and differences in struggles for young people in a rural versus urban context. It facilitates a space for young people to gain knowledge about the social aspects of a transition to a carbon-neutral society in rural and urban settings and to gain campaigning skills to engage others with their vision.


The seminar will bring 50 young people together from across Europe to use this comparative approach and find solutions to the roadblocks facing a just transition, with a special focus on the role and potential of cities to move towards a carbon-neutral, inclusive and socially just society.


During the seminar, we will (1) explore how access to hard (e.g transport system) and soft infrastructure (e.g institutions) in rural and urban areas correlates with young people’s access to rights, community resilience, inclusion of minorities and gender equality, (2) support young people’s involvement in reclaiming access to their fundamental rights by providing a platform to exchange with existing formal and informal initiatives for youth participation in shaping their localities, such as squats, energy collectives, young farmers and agricultural cooperatives, (3) explore and exchange good examples and use of legal and civic mechanisms in various European contexts that involve youth in rural decision-making processes in relation to access to their rights and (4) equip young people with advocacy and dialogue skills for them to organize outreach activities at their local level that encourage young people’s active participation in local life.


Date: 24-29 October 2020

Duration: 6 working days (excluding travel)

Location: to be confirmed

Working language: English

Number of people: 50




3. CONFERENCE: Green Principles for a JUST Transition


This conference is a two and a half days gathering of 80 people that will include elements of a seminar, public conference and training in its program. The final part of the program will be open for public and will gather various stakeholders of the Just transition - from the Young Greens, environmental NGOs, think-thanks, social justice and environmental justice advocates to other international youth organisations, political party youth organisations, Green Parties and Members of the European Parliament. 


The Conference will be a platform for finalising, adopting and presenting the ,,Green Principles for Just Transition'' - our vision on how to ensure a socially just transition, particularly focusing on young people and the importance of their involvement in decision-making in this process, leading up to 2050. 


The Conference will also take into account the lessons learned from COVID-19, paving the way for a future workplan on an integrated response to rebuilding society and the climate crisis.


Date: January 2021 (dates TBC)

Duration: 2,5 working days

Location: Brussels, Belgium

Working language: English

Number of people: 50


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: