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Towards Socio-Ecological Justice for Wrokers and Communities: Assessing the promise of Just Transition

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Mar 14, 2024
Thu

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Kelowna Downtown Library

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#downtownkelowna

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Free

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How exactly is “just transition” from fossil fuels understood and operationalized in specific contexts? What is just about the transition as it is being envisioned and designed by policymakers, and what are we to transition towards? By drawing on examples from my research in Brazil and Canada, I position the debate on just transition against the backdrop of historic and ongoing injustices on which settler colonial states and racial capitalist economies rest. These injustices include the dispossession of Indigenous peoples and others pursuing traditional land-based livelihoods, but also socio-environmental harms faced by racialized communities and workers who supply labour in most essential yet least valued economic sectors – for instance, farm labour, care work, etc. I maintain that unless we shape just transition as an opportunity for a more fundamental change away from the status quo, transitional measures might very well reproduce existing inequalities, and they will fail to challenge the extractive racial/colonial capitalist systems that have led us in the first place to the socio-ecological crisis we are currently trying to tackle, and the burdens of which are already so unevenly distributed.