Energy, Climate and the Just Transition


After successfully completing this course, the participants will be able to:


  1. Define just transition and compare it to the established concepts of climate justice and energy justice;
  2. Identify important legal frameworks governing the just transition in climate and energy in the multi-level system of Internal law, European Union Law, and Portuguese law;
  3. Critically appraise the ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) Impact of corporations on the climate and energy transition;
  4. Evaluate the role of courts and corporations in the enforcement and compliance of the just transition in climate and energy.

General characterization





Responsible teacher



Weekly - 2

Total - 24

Teaching language



Available soon


Harrington, Alexandra R. Just Transitions and the Future of Law and Regulation. 1st ed. 2022. Springer International Publishing¿: Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022.


Posner, Eric A., and David Weisbach. Climate Change Justice. Princeton University Press, 2010.


Heffron, Raphael J. Achieving a Just Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy. 1st ed. 2021. Springer International Publishing¿: Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021.


Guayo, I. del (I nigo del), Lee Godden, Donald D. Zillman, Milton Fernando Montoya Pardo, and Jos e Juan Gonz alez M arquez. Energy Justice and Energy Law. Oxford University Press, 2020.


Sovacool, Benjamin K., and Michael H. Dworkin. Global Energy Justice Problems, Principles, and Practices. Cambridge University Press, 2014.


Evan G, Phelan L (2016) Transition to a post-carbon society: linking environmental justice and just transition discourses. Energy Policy 99, 329¿339.


Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (2018). Climate change and the just transition - A guide for investor action.


Harris PG (2019) Climate justice: the urgent research agendas. In: Harris PG (ed) A research agenda for climate justice. Edward Elgard Publishing.


Healy, N. and Barry, J. (2017). Politicizing energy justice and energy system transitions: Fossil fuel divestment and a ¿just transition¿. Energy Policy, 108, p. 453.


IHRB (2020). Just Transitions for All: Business, Human Rights, and Climate Action.


Just Transition Centre (2017). Just Transition. A Report for the OECD.


Bright C, and Buhmann K (2021), Risk-Based Due Diligence, Climate Change, Human Rights and the Just Transition, 13(18) Sustainability, 1-18.


Krane, J. and Idel, R. (2021). More transitions, less risk: How renewable energy reduces risks from mining, trade and political dependence. Energy Research & Social Science, Volume 82, December 2021.


McCauley, D. and Heffron, R. (2018). Just transition: Integrating climate, energy and environmental justice. Energy Policy, 119, pp. 1-7.


Mijin Cha J. et al. (2019), A Roadmap to an Equitable, Low-Carbon Future: Four Pillars for a Just Transition (The Climate Equity Network).


Rogers J. (2021) Just Transition, Climate Change, and the Sustainable Development Goals. In: Leal Filho W., Azul A.M., Brandli L., Lange Salvia A., Wall T. (eds) Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. Springer Nature.


UNFCCC Secretariat (2020). Just Transition of the Workforce, and the Creation of Decent Work and Quality Jobs. Technical Paper.


Additional materials are indicated or posted on Moodle.

Teaching method

A mixture of theoretical-practical lessons and individual and group reflections in class, allowing students not only to acquire knowledge about the subject matter, but also to develop competences and skills relevant to their future.

Evaluation method

Students will be assessed based on a continuous evaluation model consisting of the following parts:

(a) Participation during classes - 20%

(b) Individual exercises  - 45%

(c) Group exercises  - 35%

Note regarding final exams: Students retain the right to be assessed on the basis of a written final exam, in the context of which they may have to answer both multiple choice and/or open questions on topics related to the learning outcomes described above. Final grades will be announced within two weeks of the exam day.

Subject matter

Part I - Introduction and theoretical framework

  1. What is the just transition?
  2. Climate and Energy Justice


Part II - Energy, Climate and Just Transition in a Multi-level Legal system

  1. Climate and Energy in the International law: Humans Rights, Paris Agreement and SDGs
  2. Climate and Energy in the European Union law: EU climate law, Renewables and Energy efficiency, and vulnerable citizens
  3. Climate and Energy in the Portuguese law and the municipality context


Part III - Just transition and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) Impact of corporations

  1. Just transition and supply chains
  2. Just transition and workers
  3. Just transition and sustainable finance


Part IV - Enforcement and Compliance

  1. The role of the courts in the just transition
  2. The role of business in the just transition through internal compliance mechanisms


  • the syllabus may be subject to adjustment to reflect the progress of the scheduled meetings. Students will be informed in good time in case of any changes to the syllabus. The latter will also be updated as and where necessary.