Socially Just Carbon Pricing Policies in CEE

Improving the understanding of how to price carbon in the transport and building sectors in Poland and Romania in a socially just manner.

Climate Policy Emissions Trading System (ETS) Energy Policy Energy Poverty

Geld und Erde

Project info


Germany, Poland, Romania

Project duration:

10/21 - 03/24

Target groups:

Local governments, National governments, Civil society, Non-governmental organisations, Associations, EU institutions


347,634.23 €

Contact info


Iryna Holovko

Implementing organisation
  • Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD Romania)
  • WiseEuropa - Foundation Warsaw Institute for Economic and European Studies


Energy cost increases resulting from carbon pricing have a strong social justice dimension, particularly in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries with lower household incomes and more dependence on fossil energy. Effectively identifying and compensating vulnerable groups is critical for carbon pricing to gain and maintain support. Though both Poland’s and Romania’s national policy frameworks include policies on energy poverty and efforts to address emissions in the building and transport sector, neither country is sufficiently prepared for the effects of an extended carbon price on these sectors.

Transport way

Railway transport route; Photo © pixabay


The project team addresses a varied target group consisting of national and local policymakers in climate and social politics, climatologists and civil society groups. Activities aim to enable them to start planning for extended carbon pricing in the transport and building sectors, bridge the gap between climate and social policy, and develop the according policies. First, the project team conducts a quantitative study to assess the distributive impacts that carbon pricing on transport and heat has on Romanian and Polish households. Second, it conducts individual and focus group interviews to ensure that future policies respond to citizens’ actual needs. The focus groups are then supplemented by policy labs, where representatives of the climate and social policy community gather to develop policy recommendations based on the study and the findings of the focus groups. The results are then disseminated to policy makers and experts in CEE countries through a high-level seminar, a series of three policy briefs, and an online training in carbon pricing. Furthermore, a policy workshop in Brussels ensures that the findings are made available to policy makers at the EU level. The insights from the project thereby aim to spread knowledge on options for socially just carbon pricing, increasing its societal acceptance and thus laying the foundation for more ambitious climate policy in the region.

Last update: May 2024

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