To date, policies to realise a so-called ‘just transition’ mostly focus on technological changes, fostering economic diversification and compensation schemes for workers. We argue that this will not be enough to realise a just transition in a way that is fair for all – it would overlook already existing and anticipated future injustices that are interconnected to the impacts of the fossil fuel industry itself, the transition and the societal system that is in place today. The ‘Just Transition Readiness Evaluation Tool’ (JT:READY) presented in this paper aims to enable policy- makers and practitioners in coal and carbon-intensive regions in Europe to understand and use a whole-system approach to just transition and learn how it can be subsequently translated into local action. The tool is designed following a step-by-step logic, starting at the very beginning of why there needs to be a transition in the first place and what exactly ‘just’ means, and then subsequently arguing how the principles of just transition can guide the identification of goals, levers and policy fields. At the core, the tool provides a comprehensive overview about the themes and topics that play a role for just transition policy development and suggestions and examples for policy responses. Based on a whole-systems understanding of just transition, it takes into account distributional, procedural and recognitional justice considerations combined with a clear focus on striving for ecological prosperity and showcasing how sub-national policies can support that process. In that sense, the tool enables practitioners in the regions to identify levers and triggers for starting deep structural change processes that can kick off the much-needed transformational dynamic to realise a just and in-time transition to climate-neutrality.