With climate change posing unprecedented threats to the planet and society, there is a growing focus on “just transitions” to help achieve the economic and social changes necessary for sustainable development, while protecting workers and communities and ensuring a more socially-equitable distribution of benefits and risks. However, there is no single, universally acceptable definition of just transitions to achieve and manage these changes. This paper seeks to explain the just transitions concept, including its origins and relevance. We offer a preliminary framework to describe the range of definitions among stakeholders and their underlying perspectives. We also identify several areas that would benefit from additional research, including more robust case studies and better tools and planning strategies for policymakers.

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