April 17, 2020

As global pressure for climate action increases, several countries are beginning to create plans for phasing-out fossil fuel-based energy systems. These energy system changes would entail significant employment impacts for fossil fuel workers and their communities resulting from massive technological and infrastructural changes. Anticipating the implications of fossil fuel industry declines on workers and communities, scholars in many academic fields are focusing on both understanding and developing “just transition” strategies that aim to minimize the impact of climate policies on fossil fuel workers and their communities.

This working paper reviews articles that focus on a just transition for fossil fuel workers and their communities in the context of climate change. It describes the state of the literature and synthesizes elements of just transition that scholars in different academic fields have identified.


The Clean Economy Working Paper Series disseminates findings of ongoing environmental and clean economy work conducted by researchers from a range of disciplines. These working papers are meant to make results of relevant scholarly work available in a preliminary form. Although these papers have not undergone a peer-review process, they meet general standards of scholarly excellence. The views expressed in these working papers are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart Prosperity Institute.