Social impacts of the sustainability transition: Evidence and policies for a Social Green Deal

Social impacts of the sustainability transition: Evidence and policies for a Social Green Deal

Tackling climate change is an urgent priority for the security of our planet and future generations. The European Green Deal (EGD) – one of the flagship initiatives of the 2019-2024 EU mandate – has provided ambitious legislation to move Europe towards a carbon neutral society. However, climate solutions – and, more broadly, sustainability transitions – need to be embedded within social justice to ensure no one is left behind during this transition.

The focus on the social dimension of the just transition has been insufficient in the last EU mandate. This is leading to a backlash from groups unable to shoulder the cost of the EGD or concerned about its impact on their standard of living, following a cost-of-living crisis fuelled by the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

At the same time, discussions around the next EU strategic agenda for 2024-2029 increasingly focus on competitiveness, productivity, industrial policies, enlargement and defence. There is a significant risk that the EGD – and even more so its social dimension – will be put on the back burner or even rolled back, which would worsen societal divisions, threaten a socially just transition and even Europe’s democracies.

In this political context, research is crucial to provide evidence and support good policymaking. The SPES (Sustainability Performances Evidence & Scenarios) project will bring together key stakeholders from international and EU institutions, civil society organisations and media in a policy dialogue to discuss SPES findings on the social impacts of the sustainability transition and what policies are needed under a Social Green Deal during the EU next mandate.


Opening presentation of SPES arguments
Mario Biggeri, SPES project – University of Florence

Elisabetta Ambrosi, Journalist for “Il Fatto Quotidiano”
Peter Benczur, European Commission JRC
Romina Boarini, OECD WISE
Laura de Bonfils, Social Platform
Lars De Nul, European Commission DG RTD
Enrico Giovannini, ASVIS
Linda Laura Sabbadini, Women20
Frank Siebern-Thomas, European Commission DG EMPL
Heriberto Tapia, UNDP HDRO

Andrea Ferrannini, SPES project – University of Florence (tbc)

The Human Development Report Launch is part of the Festival dello Sviluppo Sostenibile
The Festival of Sustainable Development is Italy’s largest initiative to raise awareness and mobilise citizens, the younger generations, businesses, associations and institutions on issues of economic, social and environmental sustainability.
The Festival dello Sviluppo Sostenibile has been held in Rome at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni (via Nazionale, 194).

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