CALL FOR PROPOSALS - Contribution to the Conference "A Green Deal for the Globe: European Union external action and the international Just Transition" (21-22/06)

The Energy & Climate Governance Nest at the College of Europe in Natolin welcomes proposals for research to be presented at the conference "A Green Deal for the Globe: European Union external action and the international Just Transition". The deadline to submit an abstract is 31 March 2021.

"A Green Deal for the Globe: European Union external action and the international Just Transition"

The conference will take place on 21 and 22 of June 2021 at the Natolin campus in Warsaw. The conference will provide an interdisciplinary platform, where researchers and representatives from across the energy, climate and environment spectrum can discuss topics related to the European Union’s external actions and the Just Transition in its broadest sense; offering a critical analysis of the EU’s climate and energy-related action abroad to date, its impact on foreign countries and international organizations, including the EU’s Neighbourhood Policy, and providing perspectives on possible alternatives or further actions.

After the careful peer-review of submitted research papers, undertaken by the conference’s committee of academics and practitioners, we aim to publish a selection of conference papers in an academic publication in order for the conference to be of lasting value to the European community.

Manuel Marín (2018/2019) students at the COP24 in Katowice

In the year of COP26 and at a time when COVID-19 is exacerbating global inequalities, there is a need for furthering our understanding of the European Union’s role and responsibilities as a global climate actor. By bringing together researchers from a range of backgrounds and perspectives, this conference aims to facilitate knowledge sharing as a means of progressing in the debate on what a Just Transition entails and how the European Union can help secure it domestically and internationally. 

Background to the Conference

The end of 2019 marked the start of the European Green Deal, the plan agreed by the European Union to make the bloc carbon neutral by 2050. Often described as the most ambitious supranational commitment in the world, the Deal sets a mid-term target of reducing the 1990 carbon emission levels by 55% by 2030, so the clock is already ticking.

But more than just a simple commitment to decarbonisation, the Deal also sets itself up to usher in an era of ‘Just Transition’, highlighting the social and political issues at the heart of the fight against climate change. These issues don’t just apply to the domestic agendas of the EU27: the proposal for a carbon border tax on imports will have significant impacts on job creation and sustainable development in emerging economies. With developed countries so far failing to meet their commitment to mobilise $100 billion a year for climate action in developing countries, and global adaptation finance falling woefully short, the question of how the European Union can mobilise states and private actors both in the EU and internationally remains central to achieving a truly Just Transition.

H.E. Mrs Patricia ESPINOSA at the College of Europe in Natolin

This is just one example of the issues surrounding the Green Deal, raising the question of how economic relations, ethical considerations and international obligations might come to play a greater part in the EU’s external action in the age of climate crisis. A lot has changed in the world since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, not least in the EU. For one, the climate emergency is climbing up domestic and international political agendas. This year, COP26, recovery from COVID-19 and a new US President present huge possibilities for leaders to make ambitious commitments. It is more important than ever to understand and assess Europe’s global position and foreign policy as it relates to climate change, review its achievements so far and discuss what challenges and opportunities the EU may face in the coming years.

Conference Objectives

This conference will focus on analysing the use of diverse EU foreign policy instruments in furthering the Just Transition and assess the EU's influence in global climate governance. It will also consider the role of the EU’s Sustainable Finance agenda, its banking sector and private capital in supporting climate action. This will involve looking at the EU’s action at home, in its neighbourhood and further afield. It will seek to address not only the issue of decarbonisation and climate change mitigation, but also the role of resilience and adaptation across societies and ecosystems.

The conference will provide an opportunity to consider the EU’s role in addressing global climate and energy issues by bringing together academics and experts from a range of disciplines, and in doing so create space for a constructive discussion. The conference will seek to reflect on how the European Union’s external action has contributed to the fight against climate change and pursued a Just Transition so far, while also providing recommendations for the future of EU climate diplomacy, international development, and economic policy.

Conference Committee Members

  • Ms Katarzyna SZWARC, London School of Economics, Grantham Institute Policy Fellow, Conference Committee Co-chair
  • Ambassador Artur LORKOWSKI, Special Envoy to COP24, Conference Committee Co-chair
  • Dr Matthew AGARWALA, University of Cambridge, Bennett Institute for Public Policy
  • Prof. Christian EGENHOFER, College of Europe, Centre for European Policy Studies, Energy Climate House
  • Prof. Suranjali TANDON, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy 
  • Ms Vonda BRUNSTING, Program Manager, Harvard Kennedy School, the Hauser Institute for Civil Society 
  • Prof. Dirk BUSCHLE, Chairholder of the Energy Policy Chair, College of Europe, Energy Community Secretariat

Who can participate?

Manuel Marín (2018/2019) student at the COP24 in Katowice

The conference will aim to bring together expertise from various academic backgrounds, as well as experts from other sectors including policy-makers, think tanks, representatives of NGOs etc. In this way, we hope to facilitate an engaging and relevant discussion, considering the real-world challenges and implications of the questions to be addressed. Interdisciplinary dialogue proves essential in order to contribute to current research and offer mutually useful insights.

The conference will be open to attendees from all fields, with a particular focus on early-career researchers and young professionals working on climate and energy issues and with an interest in the EU’s international affairs. We anticipate participation from students from the College of Europe both in Natolin and Bruges, as well as from Poland and neighbouring countries.

Call for Proposals

In order to select conference speakers, we are inviting authors to submit their abstracts before 31 March 2021. Abstracts should be around 250-300 words, including a preliminary title and the main thesis of the proposed paper. The full paper (or an advanced draft) will then need to be submitted in early June 2021, ahead of the conference.

We are seeking papers relating to a wide range of topics of relevance to the area of Just Transition and EU climate action, including, but not limited to:

  • Fossil Fuels and Energy Security
  • Mining, Rare Earth Minerals and Natural Resources
  • Social aspects of energy and climate transition policies
  • COVID-19 and its impacts on climate diplomacy
  • Sustainable Finance and the role of financial organizations
  • International climate finance and international development policy
  • Adaptation and Resilience Measures
  • International supply chains
  • Climate and economic diplomacy
  • Renewable energy sources
  • Environmental and Ecological Impacts
  • EU Foreign Policy and Geopolitics
  • EU Neighbourhood Policy and ENP Energy/Climate issues
  • Climate Justice and Climate Ethics
  • Energy technologies and innovation

After the submission of abstracts, the conference’s scientific committee will evaluate each abstract based on its relevance, significance, clarity, and originality. Following the conference, we expect to include a number of the papers in the conference’s publication, which is scheduled for publication in 2022. More details on the publication are outlined below.

We would like to emphasize that authors from all backgrounds are invited to submit abstracts, in order to support our interdisciplinary approach which will foster a synthesis of ideas and bring together a range of perspectives to enable a valuable and unique discussion.

Submission Instructions

Please submit 250-300 word abstracts by 31 March 2021 to:

We expect to inform successful authors by 20 April 2021, with a provisional date for the submission of a full draft paper on 31 May 2021. Full papers should be around 7000-9000 words, to be considered for inclusion in the publication.

Contact Us

Natolin Energy & Climate Governance Nest
College of Europe in Natolin
Nowoursynowska 84
02-797 Warsaw, Poland