Just Transition in the Car Industry


Combining climate change mitigation with social justice by setting a just transition of the European car industry in motion.


Cars account for about 20 per cent of Europe’s current CO2 emissions. To achieve the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, a transformation of the automobile industry is necessary. The industry accounts for almost 14 million jobs in the EU and is a key economic sector in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Therefore, pathways need to be identified that ensure the support of all affected stakeholders. Despite its urgency, this transformation is still at the very beginning.

Automated machines in a car factory.

Automated machines in a car factory. Photo: (c) Lenny Kuhne / unsplash


To advance the transformation, the project implements several measures in its five partner countries Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Hungary, and Germany. First, it sets up an exchange group between stakeholders. The project considers such exchange between all affected stakeholders the basis for the following steps towards a carbon neutral transport sector. Second, based on the exchange group’s recommendations, the project conducts co-creation workshops, in which stakeholders develop bottom-up pathways for this transition. Third, based on interviews and workshops, the project develops policy recommendations for the target countries and the EU. Finally, the projects ensures that the topics and outcomes of these measures are communicated to more stakeholders and the wider public through press articles, video clips, and a conference in Brussels.

The project constitutes a starting point for the development and implementation of just and climate-friendly transition strategies in the automotive sector. It provides impulses for politicians to act on the challenges of transition. In the long run, it influences scientific and political discourse and thus supports the realisation of climate targets through a just transition in the European car industry.

Project information

Updated: May 2021

Countries: Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia

Project duration: 09/20 - 06/22

Funding: 338,667 €

Target groups: Civil Society, Private sector, Public sector

Implementing organisation: adelphi research gGmbH

Partners: Central European Labour Studies Institute, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies (CERS), ideas into energy gGmbH, Institute for Political Ecology, Masaryk University, NELA. Next Economy Lab

Project websites:
Project page: www.justtransition.eu/
Project description: adelphi.de

Contact Person:

Mr Benno Keppner

adelphi research gGmbH

Alt-Moabit 91
10559 Berlin



This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The EUKI call for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.


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