Cross-Cutting Enablers and Collaborative Approaches

About This Opportunity

Cross-cutting enablers, such as policy coherence, stakeholder engagement, and capacity building, help empower a Just Transition across various sectors, facilitating, in turn, a holistic planning approach that considers climate justice alongside emissions reductions and supports the development of more effective and equitable climate policies. For Just Transition considerations, policy coherence can include a wide range of policies, such as social protection policies, skills development policies and schemes, active labor market policies, and enterprise policies. The aim of applying cross-cutting enablers is to ensure a Just Transition that achieves development priorities that can also drive climate ambition and resilience. For example, capacity building may be applied by investing in training to equip the workforce with skills needed for the green economy, minimizing job losses associated with the transition as well as supporting mitigation actions across multiple sectors.

In order to ensure effectiveness of this cross-cutting approach, it is important that NDCs take account of, build on and align with other commitments, conventions, strategies and plans.

The following strategies could help to implement this Opportunity:

Ensuring NDCs 3.0 adequately respond to the climate crisis, recognizing the complexity and interdependency of different economic and social sectors and processes:

Comprehensive NDCs benefit from multi-sectoral engagement and integration of sector-specific strategies. By developing detailed plans across key sectors like energy, transportation, industry, and agriculture, it is possible to consider how changes in one sector affect others (e.g., transitioning to electric vehicles requires a clean energy grid). Collaboration, communication, and mainstreaming approaches for climate and other planning processes across government and society ministries can help deliver a more coherent, consistent, inclusive, and effective policy response, including preventing conflicting policies (e.g., ensuring infrastructure development aligns with renewable energy goals). See “Opportunity: Exploring Sector-Specific Opportunities” and “Opportunity: Ensuring Effective Coordination Across Government.”

Implementing integrated approaches:

An integrated approach to NDC development can help ensure NDCs 3.0 incorporate a range of views and perspectives, which can help support Just Transition considerations. This might include multi-level governance approaches, governance structures, or coordination mechanisms. By taking an integrated approach at the local, national and international level, NDCs can better take account of linkages between stakeholders as well as coordinating with existing policies and plans. Analyzing existing plans can reveal synergies and coordination opportunities, and integrating Just Transition principles into national and sectoral budget planning can support effective allocation of resources across government departments. If not already established, countries could consider creating a single dedicated NDC or sustainable development coordination body to oversee Just Transition implementation and facilitate collaboration. Strong leadership from planning and finance ministries can be valuable, given their leading role in setting development trajectories, priorities, and budgets. A coordination body could also facilitate integrated stakeholder perspectives at all government levels, including local communities, and broader governance arrangements that include diverse societal sectors. See “Route: Mobilizes All-of-Government and All-of-Society” for more information on governance and stakeholder engagement.

Engaging with other multilateral environmental agreements:

Engaging with other Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), like the “Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) or the UN Convention to Combat Desertification” (UNCCD), can help leverage shared goals and benefits, such as sustainable development and community protection. Such goals can then provide a route to raising ambition in the NDC 3.0 in a range of areas including helping to inform NDC targets (e.g., mitigation, adaptation, sustainable socioeconomic development). Aligning strategies between Just Transition and MEAs enhances impact and promotes policy coherence, avoiding conflicts and enabling joint funding mechanisms. Using commitments under MEAs to inform NDC targets can also help raise ambition – (see “Opportunity: Setting Targets, Including Economy-Wide Targets” for more information on target setting, and “Opportunity: Exploring Sector-Specific Opportunities” for strategies to leverage at the sector level). Inclusive dialogues with non-Party stakeholders, including the private sector, Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and civil society, foster collaboration and inform sectoral roadmaps for adaptation and mitigation at all levels. See Route: Mobilizes All-of-Government and All-of-Society.

Integrating principles for Just Transitions into policy development processes:

Integrating principles for a Just Transition into the NDC can strengthen the path to equitable progress. For example, this might include the four elements of the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda: job creation, rights at work, social protection and social dialogue, with gender equality as a crosscutting objective. These building blocks of sustainable development can support strong, sustainable and inclusive growth and development where they are at the center of policy development. The Guidelines for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all (ILO) build upon this, providing a set of guiding principles for a Just Transition and acting as a central reference for policymaking and a basis for action on Just Transition (as agreed by all 187 Member States of the ILO – see “Matters arising out of the work of the 111th Session (2023) of the International Labour Conference” (ILO)). Additionally, under the Climate Promise initiative, UNDP is supporting 34 countries and territories around the world to strengthen Just Transition principles, processes, and practices through the Framework for Incorporating Just Transition into NDCs and LT-LEDS (UNDP). For more information, see “Opportunity: Frameworks for Just Transition Processes.”

Implementing integrated approaches:

NDCs can emphasize commitment to a Just Transition by ensuring that climate policies embedded within NDCs prioritize the well-being of workers, communities, and marginalized groups affected by the transition. For example, the NDC may reference plans for the creation of quality jobs in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other green sectors, as well as the need to invest in skills development and social protection. Integrating Just Transition principles across sectors and themes in the NDC helps to present a coordinated approach. Applying policies and programs across sectors that offer social protection (social assistance, social insurance and active labor market interventions), most notably income support together with retraining programs and job placement services, can mitigate adverse impacts of the transition on workers and communities.

Country Examples

Colombia explicitly acknowledges the need for a Just Transition within its NDC (and its LT-LEDs), submitted in December 2020. The NDC integrates human rights, equity, and gender equality, to advance Colombia’s development, peace, and education objectives.

The government has since developed a Strategy for the Just Transition of the Workforce, and is working to consider actions at a subnational level. For instance, targeting climate justice in coal mining regions and integrating the Just Transition concept into policies like labor laws demonstrates a systematic approach to NDC Just Transition commitments, promoting collaboration across ministries and policy platforms. The Administrative Department for Social Prosperity oversees national policies to combat poverty and promote social equity, while nine regional climate change nodes coordinate territorial efforts. Additionally, the Intersectoral Commission on Climate Change adopts a sectoral approach. In Colombia, line ministries also engage key non-Party stakeholders from their sectors in dialogue to inform national NDC planning. (Source: “Update of Colombia’s NDC,” UNFCCC).

In Ecuador, integrated and collaborative approaches have supported the integration of gender considerations into climate change activities. The Ministry of Environment, Water, and Ecological Transition and the National Council for Gender Equality co-lead an inter-institutional network called the Technical Committee on Gender and Climate Change. Eighteen institutions encompassing public sector entities, private sector firms, academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations collectively form this committee. While specific memberships may evolve, this diverse coalition underscores a commitment to inclusive, participatory governance (Source: “NDC Partnership”). The Technical Committee was established in a bottom-up fashion, based on a participatory governance model that prioritizes consensus and meets every two months. This Committee has been key in the development of the Gender and Climate Change Action Plan (PAGcc) and is currently connecting actors working on gender and climate issues at a sub-national level. (Source: “Technical Roundtable on Gender and Climate Change,” FFLA).

Further Resources

The following guidance and tools can provide further support for promoting crosscutting enablers for Just Transition in NDCs:

Guidelines for a Just Transition Towards Environmentally Sustainable Economies and Societies for All (ILO, 2015)
Prepared following an ILO Tripartite Meeting of Experts in 2015, the document reflects the views and perspectives of governments, employers, and workers’ organizations. As a globally endorsed framework, the Guidelines are both a policy framework and a practical tool to help countries at all levels of development manage the Just Transition to carbon-neutral economies and can also help them achieve their NDC and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. These Guidelines were endorsed by ILO’s 187 Member States at the 111 International Labour Conference in 2023. They present guidance related to nine key policy areas, including industrial and sectoral policies, social dialogue, social protection, and skills development.

Aligning NDCs with Green Recovery: Guidance Framework (UNDP, 2022)
This document presents a systematic framework to help countries design and assess green recovery and green economy options that build on NDC processes, incorporate climate action and integrates Just Transition principles.

Resolution Concerning s Just Transition Towards Environmentally Sustainable Economies and Societies for All (ILO, 2023)
This resolution reaffirms the need for urgent action to advance the Just Transition and outline actions governments could take to support Just Transition efforts.

ILO’s Decent Work Agenda (ILO, No date)
The International Labour Organization (ILO) has developed an agenda for the community of work looking at job creation, rights at work, social protection and social dialogue, with gender equality as a crosscutting objective.

Just Transition Policies in the Context of the UNFCCC and NDCs (UNFCCC, 2019)
This workshop by the UNFCCC, offers a framework for taking action on Just Transition in NDCs. It highlights key crosscutting enablers like stakeholder engagement, capacity building, and social dialogue.

Just Transition Policy Brief: Greening Macroeconomic Policies (ILO, 2022)
This policy brief is intended to present the linkages between Just Transition and macroeconomic and growth policies, providing stakeholders with information and recommendations for implementation.

COP28: Tracking the Energy Outcomes (IEA and UNFCCC, 2023)
The International Energy Agency (IEA), in collaboration with UN Climate Change, is closely tracking progress towards the energy objectives established at COP28. This forms part of IEA’s broader work, at the request of governments, to support the full and timely implementation of the energy promises made in Dubai by identifying pathways forwards and providing policy makers with advice on accelerating national and secure clean energy transitions.

Decarbonising hard-to-abate sectors with renewables: Perspectives for the G7 (IRENA, 2024)
This report, prepared by IRENA at the request of the 2024 Italian G7 Presidency, demonstrates the pivotal role the G7 can play in accelerating the global energy transition in hard-to-abate sectors. The report explores in detail the decarbonization status, pathways and progress of five hard-to-abate sectors; highlights cross-cutting issues, challenges and solutions; and provides concrete recommendations on how the G7 can establish the enabling conditions required to implement these solutions.

Net-Zero Public Data Utility (NZPDU) (CDSC, No Date)
This repository is made up of recommendations for the development of a unified, global, open climate data repository: the Net-Zero Data Public Utility (NZDPU). The NZDPU is designed to be integrated with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Global Climate Action Portal.

How This Links to Other Routes

Integrated Just Transition approaches naturally involve interactions with other Routes. Some important linkages include the following. Navigate to these to read more:

Route: Aligned to Paris Agreement Global Goal on Adaptation

Collaboration across sectors helps identify vulnerabilities and adaptation needs across different regions and communities. Inclusive planning ensures the voices of vulnerable populations are heard.​

Route: Technology and Capacity-Building as Needs and Enablers

A multi-sectoral and cross-government approach, which considers all relevant stakeholders, will strengthen the ability to leverage different approaches to technology transfer and identify capacity-building needs.

Route: Aligned to the Paris Agreement Temperature Goal

Strengthening collaboration among stakeholders can aid the integration of Just Transition considerations into mitigation approaches.

Route: Mobilizes All-Of-Government and All-Of-Society

Building public support is essential for the successful implementation of climate actions. Participatory processes are a key part of the development of a cross-cutting plan.

Route: Unlocks Finance

An integrated approach to NDC development helps identify investment needs across different sectors (mitigation, adaptation) and technologies.

Additional Opportunities

The following Opportunities are a non-exhaustive set of options for enhancing NDC Just Transition processes.

Support Opportunities

Support is available to countries to apply the learning from the navigator and develop ambitious NDCs 3.0.

Share Additional Resources

Contribute new guidance, tools and strategies to be reflected in the NDC 3.0.