The Just Transition Collaborative (JTC) engages in community partnerships to advance social and environmental justice in the transition from fossil fuels to a renewable-based economy and in response to climate change. We work to support the inclusion of underrepresented groups to foster more equitable energy, climate and employment practices and policies, and to produce community-relevant research.

Strengthening representation of marginalized communities in policy processes is particularly important in the current national political climate, where basic rights, safety, and respect for human dignity are threatened. Educating those with social and economic privilege about the intersection between environmental policy and social justice is also increasingly important in this context.


Launched in July of 2016, the JTC is led by University of Colorado Boulder faculty, staff and students in environmental and environmental justice studies, environmental communication, public engagement studies, and sociology, and with partnership with the Latino Task Force of Boulder County and other community-based organizations. We are poised to address the complex challenges of a just energy, climate, and cultural transition for Boulder County with a collaborative, interdisciplinary, and engaged approach.

As our first major accomplishment, the JTC successfully incorporated input from diverse constituents to advise the City of Boulder to incorporate social justice objectives in its landmark Climate Commitment. These include strengthening community leadership and policy inclusion of under-represented constituents, generating socially just economic and employment opportunities, and promoting equity in energy costs and ownership of green technologies.

Guiding principles:

  • Ground social change efforts and research in community partnerships
  • Strive to make policy and planning processes more public and representative
  • Prioritize those most impacted
  • Respond to systemic barriers to social and environmental justice, including racism, sexism and other systemic forms of oppression and exploitation
  • Work to challenge dominant ideas that are harmful and offer viable alternatives


  • Expand policy spaces related to climate, energy, and employment to be more public and inclusive of disproportionately impacted and marginalized individuals and groups
  • Build long-term partnerships with community-based organizations to enhance their capacity, leadership and representation in just transition processes, policies and research
  • Build a network of partners with diverse expertise to produce community-relevant research to inform, guide and assess a just transition
  • Ensure that related policies contain targets, measurement criteria, funding allocation, and community empowerment practices related to social and environmental justice
  • Transform the local, state and national dialogue on climate and energy to advance opportunities for a just transition 
  • Capture compelling stories of success and best practices for advancing a just transition, and reach diverse audiences
  • Foster just transition literacy, leadership and scholarship in university and K-12 programs