SUMMARY: The article focuses on the need to better understand how a just transition can shift development paths to achieve net zero emissions and eliminate poverty. The article begins by introducing and reviewing different theoretical approaches to theorising just transition. It builds a neo-Gramscian theory of just transition around concepts of ideology, hegemony, change agents and fundamental conditions. The coalition needs to gain broader support, establish a new cultural hegemony in support of just transitions and be able to transform the fundamental conditions of the 21st century. The article briefly considers how this better understanding can be applied to the practice of shifting development pathways. The article also presents some limitations to the study and discusses implication and further research directions.
KEY FINDINGS: The article proposes a theory of just transitions, in order to tackle the challenges of development and climate. The just transition theory is needed to shift from past development paths which brought high carbon, poverty, inequality. Building on neo-Gramscian theory, just transition is poised as an ideological element which acts as a unifying vision, around which an alliance of change agents coalesces. The article suggests that just transitions require coalitions of change agents coalescing around an ideological element - the just transition. A just transition requires organising broad front politics and finding ways to cooperate with others. This establishes a new world-view, or in neo-Gramscian terms, cultural hegemony. A just transition can provide the basis for a new social contract, ensuring human flourishing and a healthy planet.