Skip to main content

Policies to prevent and contain, wherever possible, further damage to the natural environment have been underway for over two decades. In spite of the global nature of climate-related challenges, the implementation of any action plan is riddled with uncertainty concerning both the nature of the problem as well as the actual implementation. The general consensus is that these policies will yield a wide range of benefits to society in the long-run and that, as part of this process, significant changes will be necessary in the organization of production and consumption activities. These transformations are both wide encompassing and, at the same time, uneven in the extent of their impacts. Indeed, territories are differently exposed to climate change and, also, exhibit different capacity to adapt. Likewise, some social groups are likely to bear higher costs associated with the shift to low-carbon economies depending on their status and on other individual characteristics. This project focuses on the distribution of gains and losses related to both the problem, environmental degradation, as well as the solutions that are being adopted. Since climate change is a global phenomenon with local manifestations, we take a geographic approach and propose a research plan articulated in three complementary directions. First, we seek to understand the nature of cross-regional gaps in the ability to innovate in the face of the complexity of environmental adaptation and mitigation. Second, we concentrate on distributional issues and strive to identify the sources and the effects of various forms of inequalities associated with the transition to low-carbon societies. Third, we examine existing policy capabilities in European regions, based on the implementation of policies towards the development and adoption of green technologies in recent years. The three research domains will be developed in parallel, each in an independent work package, with a view to gain a thorough understanding of the specific issues at stake. At the same time, research activities will cross-fertilize so as to ensure coherence to the overall project and, also, to exploit the full potential of the broad portfolio of expertise in the research team. Knowledge on local adaptations to environmental sustainability is still fragmented but is arguably urgent. The proposed analysis will focus primarily on European regions by means of quantitative and qualitative methods. This is a fitting context considering the radical commitment stipulated in the recent Green Deal to make the EU climate neutral by 2050. Accordingly, we envisage the results of the JUST GREEN-INN project to be relevant for a number of key stakeholders, including scholars, policy makers and non-governmental organizations engaged in this grand social challenge.