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Guidelines for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all

  • Published on April 11, 2023

It follows a multi-sectoral approach with the following recommendations to governments and social partners (workers and employers’ organizations):
a) Set goals for the continuous improvement in the social, economic and environmental sustainability of the sectors and design sectoral policies and programmes, in line with specific conditions of each sector and type and size of enterprises;

 b) Foster effective social dialogue at the sectoral level to promote consensus building and social acceptance for the successful implementation of social, economic and environmental policies including climate change;

 c) In consultation with other stakeholders establish incentives, mandates and, where necessary, regulations to stimulate demand, investment and development of markets for goods and services in sectors and subsectors that are relevant for the greening of economies;

d) Use policy instruments for market creation and incentives in a stable, predictable and transparent manner, give clear signals to investors, minimize market and price distortions, encourage innovation and ensure effective use of public resources;

e) Pay special attention to the industries, regions, communities and workers whose livelihoods might experience the hardest impacts of the transition;

f) Undertake steps and design measures to facilitate formalization and promote decent work, particularly in, but not limited to, the waste management and recycling sectors



It works to support nine key policy areas to address environmental, economic and social sustainability simultaneously:

  1. Macroeconomic and growth policies
  2. Industrial and sectoral policies
  3. Enterprise policies
  4. Skills development
  5. Occupational safety and health
  6. Social protection
  7. Active labour market policies
  8. Rights
  9. Social dialogue and tripartism

Item Assessment information

Needs addressed

  • c-check Developing strong governance and policies
  • c-check Adopting SCP norms, technologies and practices

Leaving no one behind

  • c-check Addressing SCP needs of the national population (including vulnerable groups)
  • c-check Promoting equal women/men participation and development with SCP
  • c-check Enhancing SCP practices and collaboration between key stakeholders (public and private)


  • c-check Tested
  • c-check Implemented
  • c-check Applicable multiple countries


  • 12.1
  • 12.2
  • 12.3
  • 12.4
  • 12.5
  • 12.6
  • 12.7
  • 12.8
  • 12.a
  • 12.b
  • 12.c

How does the tool make an impact on SDG12?

The guidelines are cross-sectoral and inclusive. They promote the implementation of SDG12.1, as it fosters the development of strategies and policies on the green economy and also to a low-carbon circular economy. Thereby, ensuring sustainable policies for consumption and production.

How does the tool make an impact across SDGs?

This tool mainstreams the Decent Work Agenda. While, it supports all SDGs, it directly contributes to the progress of Global Goal 8 to promote sustained inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

How does the tool promote and/or make an impact on MEAs?

The tool supports Multilateral Environmental Agreements. The Paris Agreement on climate change adopted in 2015 notes the imperatives of a just transition and the creation of decent jobs in national contexts and circumstances as essential aspects of responses to climate change

Explanatory video