A just transition finance roadmap aims to articulate a new end vision for the financial ecosystem which perfectly aligns lending and investment actions to idealised government environmental and social policies which support a net zero economy. Once a final vision is articulated, the roadmap provides routes and signposts to arrive at such a destination. This first iteration of a just transition finance roadmap for South Africa, is an initial attempt to understand the nature of the challenge of just transition finance in South Africa, what a system level change to the financial eco system could look like and an action agenda for the next four years to begin moving towards such a vision.
This working paper begins the process of framing a just transition narrative in the context of the South African financial system. It provides a brief overview of the current financial system in South Africa focusing on the structural fit of the finance system to the real economy, specifically in relation to small start-up companies, new entrepreneurial activities and new (often untested) technology roll-outs which characterise climate action and social inclusion transition activity. It looks at current local thinking about the system-level demands of a sustainable transition of the financial sector at a high and conceptual level. It then presents a framework and approach to understanding the financing needs of a just transition in South Africa.
Nick Robins, Professor in Practice – Sustainable Finance, Grantham Research Institute, London School of Economics: Just Transition Welcome and Introduction
ESI Africa 20 January 2021: How to finance the just energy transition in South Africa and India
Engineering News 19 January 2021 Terrence Creamer: Project launched to define role of finance in South Africa and India's 'just transitions'
Ensuring the transition to net zero and resilient economies is just and inclusive has never been more important as climate action builds momentum and the urgent need for a green and just recovery from COVID-19 arises.
South Africa and India, two of the largest coal-dependent emerging economies, are beginning to explore how to ensure no one is left behind in the transition, particularly in coal-dependent regions, and the most vulnerable can access emerging opportunities including new quality jobs in net zero sectors.
It is clear that financial institutions have a critical role to play in helping achieve a just transition in both countries - more practical guidance is now needed to signal where financing is needed and how it can be enabled by specific policy, market and regulatory mechanisms.
The Just Transition Finance Roadmaps in South Africa and India project will build on existing local processes and encourage tangible action, particularly on the road to COP26. The following partners are involved: Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies, National Business Initiative, Observer Research Foundation, LSE Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, and Harvard Kennedy School’s Initiative for Responsible Investment, with support from the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
This project has been catalysed with funding from CDC Group.
14.30-14.40 Welcome and Project Launch: Nick Robins, Professor in Practice – Sustainable Finance, Grantham Research Institute, London School of Economics
14.40-14.50 Fireside chat: Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive Officer, CDC Group in conversation with Nick Robins
14.50-14.55 Opening remarks: What is the role of finance in enabling a just transition in South Africa? Joanne Yawitch, Chief Executive Officer, National Business Initiative
14.55-15.00 Opening remarks: What is the role of finance in enabling a just transition in India? Rathin Roy, Managing Director - Research and Policy, Overseas Development Institute
15.00-15.35 Panel discussion
Moderator: David Wood, Director of the Initiative for Responsible Investment , Harvard Kennedy School
• Amal-Lee Amin, Climate Change Director, CDC Group
• Rudi Dicks, Board member, Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies
• Royston Braganza, Chief Executive Officer, Grameen Capital India
15.35-15.55 Q&A session
15.55-16.00 Closing remarks: Suranjali Tandon, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy