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Environmental Justice and Just Transition in the EU’s Sustainability Policies in Third Countries: The Case of Colombia


The European Union (EU) is globally recognised as a sustainability leader and has implemented various climate policies such as the European Green Deal. However, it is also one of the largest importers of fossil fuel resources from developing countries, as in the case of coal from Colombia. From a political ecology and environmental justice perspective, it is possible to argue that the EU has benefited for many years from cheap Colombian coal, while the local population has suffered from the related social and environmental impacts. Colombia and Europe are connected not only through ‘ecologically unequal exchanges’, but also through anti-coal activist networks, which highlights the challenges ahead for the EU and its (former) suppliers of fossil fuels in terms of sustainability transitions. Keywords: climate justice; European Green Deal; ecologically unequal exchange; Latin America