Societal Solutions in a Just Green Transition (JUST TRANSITION)

The programme focuses on societal solutions essential for the green transition from the perspective of different institutions and actors. ‘Just green transition’ refers to comprehensive, long-term solutions to ecological sustainability crises that also strengthen the stability of society and support the participation of different groups in society.

The theme is premised on the societal solutions necessary to break current unsustainable trends and respond to major crises. The major crises at hand, such as climate change and biodiversity loss and their linkages to the use of natural resources, with their various interdependencies, require measures that have a significant impact on our entire operational setting, our economic structure and our lifestyles. The transition concerns the environment and technology, but requires also major societal and cultural changes, both locally and globally. The changes will highlight issues relating to the stability and security of society, and the need for foresight will increase. With change also come new opportunities. In Finland, the green transition can contribute to promoting resource and energy security and strengthening societal and economic resilience, that is, the ability to adapt to change. However, solutions can also increase inequality and conflicts. How can we identify sustainable pathways of change that reduce inequality and support the participation and inclusion of different societal groups? How do we support the fair implementation and democratic legitimacy of the green transition?

Of particular interest in the research to be conducted in the programme are structures and practices that support or prevent a just green transition in different sectors of society and in the everyday lives of people and communities. The challenges the changes bring concern, for instance, livelihoods and employment, the welfare society, the activities of businesses and communities, households, technologies and political decision-making, and their relationships. What structures and practices in society must be changed, and how, in order to achieve a just green transition? How can we assess the sustainability and fairness of different solutions? How can we ensure the resilience of societal actors in circumstances where challenges to justice arise? How are the decisions made in Finland linked to the global transformation, and how can we take advantage of the opportunities created by the transformation?

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