Global warming, extreme weather events, rising energy prices and the EU’s dependence on oil and gas make it more important than ever to make Europe and beyond a carbon-free and sustainable society and economy. However, the transition to a carbon-free Europe can only succeed if it also tackles the systemic socio-economic injustices at the root of the climate and environmental crises, such as inequalities based on income and wealth. Inequalities exacerbated by climate change and environmental degradation’s disproportionate impact on marginalised groups and people in vulnerable situations.
All actions aimed at advancing the green transition in Europe must, therefore, address environmental and socio-economic issues simultaneously and help achieve both true sustainability and social justice. Moreover, we must ensure that the transition as a process is fair, inclusive and democratic in nature. We must also ensure that it is driven by the following values and principles:
- Solidarity among all social groups, countries and regions.
- Well-being and global justice for all, not just the few, within the planetary boundaries.
- Intersectionality, to address all the dimensions of socio-economic inequalities.
- Meaningful democratic participation to guarantee the voice of all in policy-making at all levels.