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Expert Exchange: Sustainability by Design: Assessment tool for just energy transition plans

Conceptualising a just energy transition (JET) strategy and aligning climate policy ambition, energy security, and socio-economic objectives is a challenging undertaking that requires political consideration at multiple governance levels and involves various stakeholders—often with conflicting interests. 

Therefore, as policy-makers devise comprehensive JET plans under time pressure, they often face trade-offs that risk undermining climate, social, and environmental goals in the long run. Although more and more comprehensive tools have been developed by different organisations to support the JET planning process, it is often unclear how to assess whether a finalised plan’s provisions are truly sustainable.

The assessment tool for just energy transitions aims to fill this gap by providing a sustainability matrix for JET plans and guidance for policy-makers invested in safeguarding sustainability as part of JET planning endeavours. With a set of overarching principles and an intuitive traffic-light system to indicate performance, the sustainability matrix reveals at a glance which sections of a specific plan are promising and which provisions should be revised and strengthened. What’s more, the sustainability matrix strives to provide policy-makers tasked with creating a new JET plan with a set of criteria that should be included to pursue long-term climate, social, and environmental sustainability.  

This expert exchange will introduce the assessment tool for just energy transition, present its rationale and potential use cases, and discuss it with experts in the field and participants. 

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