JUSTDECARB Socially Just and Politically Robust Decarbonisation

JUSTDECARB aims to contribute knowledge on how climate change can be made socially just and politically robust. 


Photo: Lars Sandved Dalen, NIBIO

Project details

Start and end date
1.12.2020 - 30.11.2023 (project has ended)


JUSTDECARB brings together leading researchers in philosophy, law, economics and political science from four countries (Norway, Great Britain, the Czech Republic and Austria). The project has two main objectives:

1. Contribute knowledge on how low-carbon transitions be made socially just and politically robust, with a special focus on inclusive processes and redistributive measures.

2. In consultation with policymakers and civil society stakeholders, the project will develop a “toolkit for policymakers”. This will describe recommended steps, and methods to use for steering transition processes in a socially just and politically robust low-carbon direction.

The project should help in understanding the “winners” and “losers” from low-carbon transitions. We explore which actors are vulnerable to adverse impacts from decarbonisation and in what ways, and how they could benefit from opportunities created by the transition. This will involve multi-disciplinary analysis of

(i) basic conceptual and normative questions associated with classifying and assessing transitional losses and gains (philosophy: wide reflective equilibrium);

(ii) the jobs and skills vulnerable to such transitions and needed in low-carbon sectors (economics: micro-econometric analysis); and

(iii) the political resistance from actors affected by the transition, and the potential for alternative transition strategies to alleviate such resistance (political science: case studies and statistical analysis of survey data).

The project will contribute to the design of socially just and politically robust decarbonisation policies and processes. Drawing on the interdisciplinary research described above, we explore the institutional design needed to steer socially just and politically robust transitions. We will develop further insights—from political theory and law—needed for such crucial institutional design tasks. Specifically, we assess what democratic theory and environmental law can tell us about just and effective processes for the design and implementation of climate policy (e.g. which actors should be included in which processes, and how their inclusion could shape both individual perceptions and aggregate outcomes of low-carbon transitions), and we will develop multiple criteria to evaluate substantive climate policies.

Project participants: 

Dr Håkon Sælen, CICERO Center for International Climate Research

Prof Guri Bang, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Noragric

Prof Aurélien Saussay, London School of Economics, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change

Prof Lukas Meyer, University of Graz, Philosophy and Field of Excellence, Climate Change Graz

Larissa Houston, University of Graz, Philosophy and Field of Excellence, Climate Change Graz

Miriam Hofer, University of Graz, Philosophy and Field of Excellence, Climate Change Graz

Dr Hana Mullerova, Institute of State and Law of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Centre for Climate Law and Sustainability Studies

Prof Eva Schulev-Steindl, University of Graz, Institute of Public Law and Political Science Faculty of Law

Dr Misato Sato, London School of Economics and Political Science, Grantham Research Institute

Dr Fergus Green, University College London, Department of Political Science.

Dr Kirsti Stuvøy, Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Prof Oliver Ruppel, University of Graz, Philosophy and Field of Excellence, Climate Change Graz

Dr Monika Feigerlová Philosophy and Field of Excellence, Climate Change Graz