Global efforts to mitigate climate change are ramping up, with a rising numbers of countries, companies and financiers taking action to tackle climate change. At the same time, climate changes, such as temperature and weather changes, are increasing, with dramatic impacts on populations. These are having material impacts on the economy and society. In the short term, dealing with this transition has materialised primarily in a focus on the decarbonisation of the energy systems. In the medium to long term, this will extend to virtually all sectors and segments of society.
In this context, the just transition agenda has taken centre stage. It aims to lower the risks faced by the most affected and vulnerable stakeholders, such as working people, small businesses and low-income communities, while providing an opportunity to maximise the development of new opportunities and redress historical injustices.
Establishing a credible fact base is paramount for designing and implementing an evidence-based just transition. To allow easy access to a growing body of work on just transition, TIPS has curated relevant content into an open knowledge portal. This provides short summaries as well as key findings and recommendations from a diversity of reports, strategies, videos and podcasts. The knowledge portal focuses on South Africa but will be extended to other areas in the future.
The portal is a living initiative. Should you know of additional resources which could be added or spot any errors, please contact Lerato Monaisa at email@example.com.
SUMMARY: The framework spells out a social compact between government, business, labour and community, in which each constituency has identified steps to be taken and through which all contribute to resolving the energy crisis, promote labour stability in Eskom to ensure an efficient, reliable and affordable supply of electricity and address the concerns of workers, including the stabilisation of Eskom to support job maximisation across the South African economy, while enabling inclusive economic growth.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The social compact identifies a long list of short-, medium- and long-term interventions. Short-term interventions pertain to: managing current load shedding / electricity shortages; procurement of additional electricity generation capacity; managing tariffs; debt recovery and illegal connections; clean governance and management; tackling corruption; and Eskom’s operating model. Medium-term interventions target: Eskom’s financial viability; and impact investment. Long-term interventions deal with: Just Transition package; long-term security of supply; and the regulator.
SUMMARY: This details Sasol’s work programme to address the company’s climate change risks and incorporates Sasol's updated strategy and emissions reduction roadmap to 2030. It is aligned with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The report sets out a roadmap for achieving Sasol’s 2030 target. The target, set in 2019, is to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions from its South African operations by at least 10%, off its 2017 baseline. The company is in the process of defining a 2050 reduction ambition and roadmap. The roadmap outlines Sasol’s plan for emission reductions to be achieved via energy and process efficiency, the introduction of renewable energy, asset disposals, and the replacement of coal with natural gas as a feedstock for the liquid fuel business.
SUMMARY: Geologist and academic, Arjan Dijkstra discusses the raw materials that we need for wind turbines, solar panels and electric cars and how these materials are impacting the energy transition. He emphasises the need for a circular economy to secure the supply of critical raw materials for future generations.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Dijkstra recommends that countries and consumers look at their electronic devices in a new light and that investments in recycling of e-waste need to be strengthened to access those raw materials needed for the energy transition.
SUMMARY: The case study explores the key elements of Just Transitions in South Africa and draws lessons on how Climate Investment Fund (CIF) investments affected Just Transitions. The study explores the diverse perspectives and approaches of the key actors involved in South Africa’s Just Transitions. It reflects on the CIF’s contributions to the energy transitions in South Africa and highlights the importance of considering both the distributional effects of climate action and recognising marginalized groups by including them in discussions and decision-making processes. The report also examines the role that CIF and Multilateral Development Banks MDBs can play and identifies in supporting Just Transitions in South Africa.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Recommendations include, et al: •Transparent and participatory socio-economic modelling; •Cross-sectoral dialogues, social inclusion and participation; •Concessional finance, critical at the early stages of innovation for de-risking initial investments; •Skills development; •Adopting a regional focus that supports repurposing and rehabilitating coal mines, economic diversification, and investments in built and ecological infrastructure.
SUMMARY: This book analyses South Africa's low-carbon transition debate and process. Theoretical insights, including new models and concepts, and praxis through illustrations from South Africa’s growing landscape of sustainable development policies and programmes, are summarised. It assesses whether these transition pathways are beginning to reconfigure the system-level structures hindering the country’s goal of “ensuring environmental sustainability and an equitable transition to a low-carbon economy”. The book raises the question of whether South Africa’s policy and programme interventions sufficiently incorporate justice and inclusivity.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Sustainability transitions offer new ways of shifting South Africa’s resource-intensive economy towards low-carbon pathways linked to the country’s transformative development agenda. The book calls for inclusive approaches to greening the South African economy, catering for the most vulnerable in society and ensuring the benefits of sustainability innovations reach all South Africans.
SUMMARY: The research looks at the economic costs of transition from coal. The authors use secondary data and conduct surveys on coal companies to calculate costs related to the transition over a period of 20 years.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The paper estimates the cost of coal worker protection over 20 years in two scenarios. In scenario 1, an 82% attrition rate is calculated, with 6 600 coal workers needing retraining and re-employment over 20 years. In the second scenario, about 75% of electricity will be decommissioned by 2043 and 32 920 (1 646 per year) workers will need retraining. The estimated cost of a Just Transition for coal workers over 20 years is R6 billion: salaried compensation costs up to R1.2 billion, retraining at R621 million, relocation costs of R100 million, and regional development and rehabilitation costs of R4 billion.
SUMMARY: The report calls a post-Covid Just Recovery plan, which ensures that economic systems are people centred and take into account the intersecting factors that cause inequalities and large-scale ecological damage. The paper outlines how we got to the current climate crisis through the emphasis on market fundamentalism, prioritisation of profits and financialisation, privatisation and the hollowing out of the commons, globalisation, extensive corporate and labour deregulation, over-reliance on fossil fuels, privatisation of social reproduction and care work and how we measure human development and economic growth..
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The report proposes rebuilding public services to promote public affluence by public investment; complementing the green economy with the ecofeminist purple economy through investments in social infrastructure; transitioning to a low-carbon energy system and integrating this into this new economy; pursuing structural transformation not structural reforms; changing ownership structures throughout the economy to reconfigure power relations by ensuring community ownership or worker control; and building a new internationalism which reconfigures global inequalities that threaten the economic, social and political environments of the global South.
SUMMARY: The report puts forward the case for a new Eskom and discusses the damaging misconceptions in the current discourse on energy transition in South Africa, the problems associated with the Eskom debt crisis, the challenges associated with the transition towards renewable energy, and the Independent Power Producer system and its contribution towards Eskom’s death spiral. The report aims to open the door to a fresh assessment of South Africa’s energy crisis and the longer-term challenges of transition.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The report recommends a forensic audit of Eskom’s debt, repudiating odious debt, investing funds from government institutions like the UIF and GEPF in Eskom and halting any plans to unbundle Eskom; moving towards a socially owned renewable energy sector of which Eskom is a driving part, building global cooperation around renewable energy technologies, ending the REI4P programme and focusing instead on building/rebuilding skills, competencies and technologies for the rollout of renewable energy; and basing governance on using public financing to build a public system and a future Eskom according to key public ethos principles, not subsidising a for-profit system.
SUMMARY: Professor Mark Swilling discusses the global renewable energy revolution, the public sector’s role in investment in renewables and how renewable energy has the potential to change social politics and economic power.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Prof Swilling believes community ownership of renewable energy is important. Countries such as Denmark and Germany, he notes, have had their renewable energy revolution driven by cooperatives. Policy shifts have occurred in favour of cooperatives. In South African what is lacking is community-based, public and inclusive ownership. A Just Transition will depend on the directionality of the renewable energy revolution, crucially an alternative to the corporate-driven ownership now taking place in South Africa and elsewhere.
SUMMARY: The article examines the feasibility of an energy transition from a fossil-dominated system to a system based on renewable energy. The authors present five energy transition scenarios. Using an energy transition model and linear optimization, the authors model the scenarios to show how demand is met in each scenario and at what cost. The article investigates the optimal investment and generation technology mix needed to meet South Africa’s energy demand from 2015 to 2050. It is recommended that South Africa’s energy policy should be revised to factor solar PV and wind energy in its future electricity system.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The article finds that a 100% renewable energy system is feasible in South Africa and is more cost competitive. The best policy scenario (BPS) would rely on solar power supplying about 71% and wind energy 28% of demand. Water consumption for electricity could fall by 99% by 2050 and a renewable energy system could be 50% cheaper when factoring in greenhouse gas emission costs. The number of direct energy jobs in the BPS could grow from around 210 000 in 2015 to nearly 408 000 by 2035, steadily reducing to over 278 000 by 2050 as growth rates stabilise, while RE can supply 95.6% electricity by 2050 .
SUMMARY: The report provides an annual review of Sam Tambani Research Institute (SATRI) activities for the period 2018 to 2019 (the 5th financial year in existence) on the socio-economic welfare of workers (and their communities) in the Mining, Energy, and Construction sectors in Southern Africa. SATRI has been sensitive to workers’ interests in influencing the country’s energy policy direction . The realisation was that the energy sector is a key employer and pivotal sector of the South Africa’s economy.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The energy sector has important linkages with almost all other economic sectors of the country including mining, trade and industry. The concern is that the wrong energy policy could lead to direct job losses in the energy, mining and other sectors and limit government ability to use energy as a development tool in the quest to achieve National Development Plan objectives.
SUMMARY: The document sets out actions to overcome the crisis at Eskom and put it on a new path of sustainability, in the form of a roadmap. Key steps in transforming the electricity supply system include the energy sources proposed by the 2019 Integrated Resource Plan. Actions to restore Eskom’s finances include government support. Measures are identified to reduce Eskom’s cost structure to enable provision of affordable electricity. Processes are outlined through which the restructuring of Eskom will take place, and through which a new transmission entity will be established.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The reform of Eskom, through retiring end-of-life power stations and diversifying primary energy sources, will minimise the impact on the utility’s workers and in related industries and communities. In managing the transition, alternative economic activities will be implemented to economically sustain communities dependent on the power stations and associated coal mines. The reforms require capable leadership and personnel at Eskom and greater transparency in the governance of both Eskom Holdings and the subsidiaries. The roadmap notes “tough decisions will have to be made” and all institutions, organisations and citizens will have to play their part in achieving a sustainable electricity supply system.
SUMMARY: The report provides a high level overview of the IPPPP and IPP Office activities for the latest available reporting period, including the contribution of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The IRP 2019 calls for 37 696 MW of new and committed capacity to be added between by 2030 from a diverse mix of energy sources and technologies as ageing coal plants are decommissioned and the country transitions to a larger share of renewable energy. By 2030, the electricity generation mix is set to comprise 33 364 MW (42.6%) coal, 17 742 MW (22.7%) wind, 8 288 MW (10.6%) solar photovoltaic (PV), 6 830 MW (8.7%) gas or diesel, 5 000 MW (6.4%) energy storage, 4 600 MW (5.9%) hydro, 1 860 MW (2.4%) nuclear and 600 MW (0.8%) concentrating solar power (CSP).
SUMMARY: The Integrated Resource Plan is an electricity infrastructure development plan based on least-cost electricity supply and demand balance, taking into account security of supply and the environment. The plan is a living document and is revised regularly. The promulgated IRP 2010–2030 identified the preferred generation technology required to meet expected demand growth up to 2030. It incorporated government objectives such as affordable electricity, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduced water consumption, diversified electricity generation sources, localisation and regional development.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Actions to be taken include undertaking a power purchase programme to help acquire capacity to supplement Eskom’s declining plant performance and to reduce the extensive use of diesel peaking generators in the immediate to medium term; extending Koeberg power plant’s design life by another 20 years; converting existing diesel-fired power plants to gas; and preparing for a nuclear build programme of 2 500 MW.
SUMMARY: The study analyses the employment impacts of different plans for expanding electricity generation in South Africa’s power sector. The report assesses the skill attainment levels required for energy transition, and the potential for workers to transfer from the coal sector to the emerging renewable energy sector. Four scenarios, which consider two timelines, are presented. The short-term 2030 timeline is based on the expected electricity generation mix to meet the rising demand in the country and which is aligned with the National Development Plan 2030. The long-term timeline is based on electricity generation mix predicted to meet the projected growth in energy demand up to 2050, and considers the predicted decommissioning timeline of coal power plants.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The study finds among other things that increasing the share of renewables can raise employment by 40 % (580 000 job years) in the period 2018 to 2030; with the shift from IRP 2016 to IRP 2018 an additional 1.3 million jobs are created economy-wide by 2050, 17% in the power sector by 2050; most job creation in renewable power generation is within the high-skilled labour group (educational attainment level above Grade-12), although employment is also created in other skill groups; and declining global demand for coal is the largest impact factor for coal mining employment.
SUMMARY: This book looks at the anticipated impact of climate change and the experiences of millions of people who are facing a climate disaster, focusing on Southern and South Africa. It takes its perspective from fenceline communities who have varying interests in a Just Transition. The book also recalls the Million Climate jobs campaign, discussing where the climate change jobs will materialise. Lastly the book examines the implications of a chaotic and unplanned transition out of coal, experienced around Arnot and Hendrina, two of the six power stations slated for decommissioning before 2030.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The book recommends in broad terms that we should rapidly reduce fossil fuel burning to cut emissions to zero; look to the survival of the people through our democratic organisation and common control of resources; restore the land and its capacity to absorb and store carbon, including through the way we grow food; and c laim the climate debt owed by north to south and rich to poor.
SUMMARY: The report looks at climate action policy and the developmental challenges South Africa faces in its approach to energy transition. These include high and rising unemployment and poverty levels in coal-dependent communities like Mpumalanga, education and skills deficits, lack of integrated industrial policy to boost labour-intensive sectors, and infrastructure constraints. To attain the objectives of the Paris agreement, total installed capacity must be 113 GW by 2030 and 240 GW by 2040 for electricity generation from wind and solar power, and renewable energy technologies should account for 67% of electricity by 2030 and 99% by 2050. .
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: South Africa is dependent on fossil fuel for energy, particularly coal. Due to the Paris agreement, net investment in the coal sector has declined at a rate of 10% a year as coal becomes increasingly uncompetitive. Considering the possible effects of the transition on employment and economic activity, the report suggests creating worker transfer programmes and integrated multipurpose retraining programmes, as well as diversifying industry outside of the coal industry to boost the attractiveness of the region and increase opportunities for economic linkages into other areas.
SUMMARY: The report draws on the experiences of various countries, including China, Canada, Indonesia, Germany, Asia, and South Africa, and the EU to analyse energy transitions and the future of thermal coal. The paper investigates the decline of thermal coal in the EU and USA and its dominance in China, and the experiences in Germany’s transition process, highlighting the need for region-specific agendas and policies cognisant of different markets. In exploring the transition, the paper looks at the structural changes and measures needed to ensure smooth and effective coal transitions.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Coal has become a risky and unfavourable area of investment in comparison to renewable energy due to economic and environmental pressures. As the demand for coal exports decline, many coal-dependent economies will begin to prioritise domestic industries and guard against international price fluctuations, leaving coal exporters exposed to downward market trends and the national energy policies of international partners.
SUMMARY: The report offers an analysis of the current energy system and its dynamics in employment, the current international shift from coal to renewable energy, the drivers of an energy system change in South Africa such as the falling cost of renewable energy, climate change, coal production, addressing socio-economic challenges, and the urgent need to reform Eskom. It emphasises the importance of a transparent and people-centred Just Energy Transition led by social dialogue and consultation, ensuring equality in all forms.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The main drivers for coal transitions are related to strengthening global climate action in line with the Paris agreement and pressures for emissions reduction, local climate-change policies, and lessening stress on the environment. A Just Energy Transition could lower electricity prices, increase energy access to remote communities through off grid renewable energy, lead to greater job creation, and reduce health and environmental costs if it is managed properly. South Africa can adopt lessons from other countries on the importance of stakeholder engagement to emphasise the economic argument for an energy transition, and proactive and efficient planning to manage the transition.
SUMMARY: The report examines the risks associated with a transition towards a low-carbon economy for South Africa’s government, municipalities, companies and financial institutions. The analysis not only quantifies the risks of South Africa’s transition but tries to forecast some potential benefits. The report also outlines the measures that South Africa and its partners can take to reduce climate-transition risk and avoid potential economy-damaging risk concentrations, and in so doing reduce the costs associated with the decarbonisation of the South African economy.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Several significant findings emerge, et al, the cumulative impact of a global low-carbon transition between 2013 and 2035 could be more than $120 billion in present value terms; 75% of the risk and potential impact is due to factors, policies, and events, beyond the control of the South African government; but South Africa can still mitigate much of the climate-change risk if it urgently develops the fiscal, financial and policy tools required to shift transition risk away from parties without the capacity to bear it and to capture transition-related upside.
SUMMARY: A Sector Jobs Resilience Plan (SJRP) is needed for the tourism value chain because it will likely be significantly affected by climate change. A downturn in tourism would hit low-income workers, small businesses and communities that depend on it for jobs and livelihoods. The report’s proposals focus on the workers in catering and accommodation, who depend principally on tourism. On average, they are poorly paid and have low levels of formal education, making it more difficult for them to find work if they lose their employment or livelihoods as a result of climate-change related impacts.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The proposed SJRP for tourism centres on, among others, clarifying responsibility for implementation of the SJRP within government; maximising diffusion of technologies that can limit the extent of job losses and income declines resulting from climate change for people and businesses that depend on tourism; where job loss is unavoidable, helping tourism workers to transition to new livelihoods; providing income support to tourism workers who have to transition to new employment as a result of a climate-change-induced downturn in the value chain.
SUMMARY: Climate-change especially through higher temperatures, more frequent and severe droughts and heavier rainfall have already battered the agriculture sector and will continue to do so. A Sector Jobs Resilience Plan (SJRP) is needed for the agricultural value chain because climate change will have a severe impact on low-income households in the value chain. The report reviews the main dynamics in the agricultural value chain, in particular trends in production, climate-change related impacts, and the nature and resources available to the vulnerable groups. It then lays out the proposals for the SJRP, in each case providing an initial impact assessment and the main implementation phases and risks, which are derived from the underlying theory of change.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The proposed SJRP for the agricultural value chain centres on, first, clarifying responsibility for implementing the SJRP within government; second, maximising the diffusion of technologies that can limit the job losses and income declines resulting from climate change for agricultural workers; third, promoting economic diversification in communities that rely disproportionately on farming including helping farmworkers transition to new livelihoods and providing income support and drought relief during severe droughts to farmworkers, emerging farmers and gardeners in the historic labour-sending regions.
SUMMARY: Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transport will most likely affect employment through a shift from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric and hybrid vehicles. The effects on employment will depend in part on the time required to move to electric vehicles in South Africa and abroad. The extent to which people within the value chain are vulnerable to job losses is influenced by the time frames for the transition to new automotive technologies, which remain highly uncertain. Vulnerable groups identified are: mechanics, partly because of their location in the informal sector, their median age, and a general lack of formal qualifications; workers in the auto industry; and taxi owners and drivers.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The paper outlines three proposals, accelerating measures to incentivise adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles; enabling taxi owners to adopt dual-fuel technologies to reduce emissions and their carbon tax costs, and ultimately to shift to electric vehicles; promoting active labour market policies, especially retraining, to assist auto mechanics to transition to new occupations if necessary.
SUMMARY: The transition to a low-carbon world will reshape the metals value chain from shifting demand for specific metals to the methods of production to access to essential inputs, such as energy and water. Climate-change impacts will likely affect both supply-side and demand-side dynamics. The most vulnerable groups comprise miners, their communities, and small businesses that supply goods and services to the dominant companies or to miners’ households. Because mining and refining are highly concentrated, nine districts are most vulnerable to changes in the metals value chain as the communities relying on the value chain are rural towns.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Among proposed interventions are extending the Social and Labour Plans to smelters and refineries; promoting technological innovation to reduce long-run job losses; supporting municipalities in the platinum belt to diversify their economies and build long-term resilience and sustainability; strengthen active labour market measures to help miners transition to other livelihoods; providing income support for vulnerable workers and communities during the transition to new livelihoods.
SUMMARY: Due to the environmental impact of coal, emerging cleaner and cheaper technologies and decline domestic and foreign demand, the coal value chain faces significant long-term threats. The report highlights where the employment risk in the value chain lies. The analysis identifies four vulnerable municipalities in Mpumalanga namely eMalahleni, Steve Tshwete, Msukaligwa and Govan Mbeki, and notes that coal miners are the most vulnerable in the value chain, as a result of their lack of financial resources, relatively low skills and limited mobility in the labour market.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The report presents proposals to implement the Sector Jobs Resilience Plan for the coal value chain; revise guidelines for Social and Labour Plans to give communities and workers more voice; diversify local economies to create more sustainable economic activities; identify skills and needs of vulnerable workers; help vulnerable workers transition into new, sustainable activities; and provide income support for workers and communities during the transition.
SUMMARY: The report provides a detailed analysis of the capacity of vulnerable communities, workers and businesses to adjust to climate change-related impacts in the coal, metals, transport-based petroleum, agricultural value chain and tourism sectors. The report assesses the literature on vulnerability in South Africa and provides a review of the available data, primarily for the affected workers and, where relevant, communities and small businesses. It contributes to Sector Jobs Resilience Plans (SJRPs) by indicating both where developments warrant a programmatic response, and the needs of vulnerable groups as they seek a viable adjustment.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The report identifies four key dimensions of vulnerability: income and financial assets; physical assets; human capital; and social capital. It then explores potential impacts around climate-change and identifies vulnerable groups within each value chain. It reviews climate change risks and policies aimed at mitigating them. Potential impacts on the value chain are analysed and the number, nature and location of livelihoods that stand to be threatened as a result. The report identifies the vulnerable groups within the value chain and analyses their scope in responding to potential effects on their jobs and businesses.
SUMMARY: Consensus between stakeholders resulted in a common vision to 2050 that places the Just Transition and the transition to a low-carbon future as central. Disagreements arose around ownership of infrastructure and the whether a zero carbon or carbon-neutral goal was appropriate.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Three key recommendations are put forward. The first calls for the investigation of vulnerable jobs across sectors and formulating plans to absorb job losses. The second involves negotiating labour and social plans for decommissioning coal-fired power stations. The final recommendation is to implement two Just Transition pilots in Mpumalanga (energy) and Free State (agriculture).
SUMMARY: This report explores the main challenges associated with the likelihood that South Africa’s coal production will plunge over the next five to 10 years. The report highlights some of the key issues that need to be thought through and discussed as part of ensuring a Just Transition to this future.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Coal mining communities face a broad variety of impacts. Risks to livelihoods may become a political barrier, exacerbated by institutional dynamics and union resistance. Local stakeholders are more concerned about the local impacts than nationally focused stakeholders, indicating a difference in priorities. The current environmental and mining governance landscape is inadequate for addressing the social and environmental impacts of mining activities.
SUMMARY: The report questions whether resistance to the expansion of coal can drive a Just Transition in South Africa. Transformative resistance requires creating “counter-power” which challenges coal on every level, builds new alliances that generate solidarity, and is potentially infused by imaginative visions of a Just Transition. This could embed the anti-coal struggle in a social movement for an alternative development path. The paper examines oppositional agency in three social spaces: mining-affected communities, the environmental justice movement, and the labour movement.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Priorities differ for each social space: job losses for labour, dispossession of land and livelihoods for rural communities, and extractivism for the environmental justice movement. Anti-coal initiatives could build a “counter-power” which challenges inequality and is infused by visions of another world beyond coal. This could cohere into a vision of a Just Transition’ that is transformative.
SUMMARY: The power sector provides employment in three categories; direct jobs in the power generation project, indirect jobs in the supply of goods and services to the power generation project, and induced jobs in the provision of goods and services to meet consumption demands of additional directly and indirectly employed workers. However, no current accurate measure of jobs or total employment in these categories exists. Current metrics do not provide accurate insight into employment creation in the sector.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The report notes et al that the coal mining sector is the biggest absorber of unskilled labour and employs approximately 87 500 people. The Renewable Energy Power Purchasing Programme has created tens of thousands of direct jobs, with many more expected in future, as well as induced and indirect jobs. Some studies anticipate greater job losses in coal mining than will be created in RE, nuclear, or gas, while others anticipate a more positive effect in job creation in these activities.
SUMMARY: The Chamber of Mines Coal Leadership Forum, consisting of coal executives, commissioned a report to determine what needs to be done to increase the profile of the coal mining industry in the face of seemingly ineluctable negative public opinion around the use of coal in industrial processes. The report draws attention to the three industries and sectors (electricity sector; liquid fuels manufacture and basic iron and steel industry) that will be adversely affected by enforcement of strict environmental laws in South Africa. The report also considers the impact on coal exports. Domestic constraints are outlined, including factors likely to result in reduced demand for, and supply of, coal.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Four scenarios (2016-2050) with associated coal demand growth rates are presented, from a 1% decline in total coal demand, with nuclear power and renewables supplanting coal as the main primary energy source and environmental and water regulations suppressing coal use, through to a 5% increase in demand growth due to a leap in clean coal technologies, and increase in export demand leading to higher investment and government policy supportive of the industry.
SUMMARY: This report promotes an ecosystems-based approach to promote environmental sustainability and addresses the challenges outlined in the National Development plan. It puts forward forming a Just Transition taskforce driven by the presidency to support the transition process. Several proposals are made to offset the risks of job-losses and support employment creation and intensification in the transition process.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Among proposals for job creation/intensification are, in mining, absorbing laid-off miners in infrastructure development, and repurposing abandoned mine shafts for pumped storage of electricity and for other economic activities; in manufacturing capitalising on the construction, installation, and operation of clean energy technologies including green transport vehicles, localising where the country can compete with imports manufacturing renewable energy technologies and localising production of water treatment and water conservation technologies and manufacture; and in energy enabling Eskom to invest in renewable energy.
SUMMARY: The brief looks at funding opportunities available for South Africa’s key manufacturing sectors. Particularly, it highlights the different dynamics and constraints in the financing spectrum of these sectors and offers recommendations on how SA can address challenges such as employment and job creation. The brief also proposes ways in which DFIs can secure additional funding, for example through taxation from individuals and large corporations. It further highlights the risks associated with sourcing additional funding through tax and offers possible risk-mitigation strategies
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Because of their high-risk nature and low short-term profit opportunities labour-intensive manufacturing sectors in South Africa suffer from inadequate financial support. Current funding models limit the ability of DFIs to fully fulfil developmental mandates. The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) need government guarantees and stable, low-cost sources of funding. South Africa needs to create an export-import (EXIM) bank to boost the competitiveness of exported goods and services. The IDC needs to be redirected to target labour-intensive, high value-added sectors, rather than sectors that are already commercially viable and have private bank financing.
SUMMARY: As part of the Draft IRP 2016, the CSIR engaged in the public consultation and submitted comments primarily related to establishing a Least-cost Base Case, technology new-build limits (on solar PV and wind) and aligning costs to the latest Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPPP) Bid Window outcomes. The CSIR submission is a contribution to better understanding and improving on the current Draft IRP 2018.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The CSIR recommends, among others, transparency in all input assumptions, models and outcomes, comprehensively and consistently published; establishing annual technology new-build limits. In the interim, annual new-build limits on any new-build technologies should be removed until further investigations establish the need for them; explicitly including economic impacts of scenarios in future IRP iterations. At the very least, employment impacts should be analysed and published.
SUMMARY: The reflection paper provides the basics of a Just Energy Transition (JET) in South Africa, highlighting the reasons a JET is needed. The paper investigates ownership of the national Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REI4P) projects so as to access the distribution of local versus foreign ownership for these projects. This was done to address the concern that financial benefits from these projects do not stay in South Africa. The paper outlines the type of community ownership which can drive JET and outlines international success stories for community energy ownership, the considerations and issues that could affect community energy in South Africa, and the next steps for REI4P in the context of community ownership.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The paper notes among others that clarity is needed about how the structure of Eskom would be compatible with community energy; political interference and vested interests in coal are raised as a concern; policy uncertainty exists in the energy sector; feed-in tariff is currently illegal in terms of Treasury regulations. Funding should be relocated to local manufacturing of renewable energy and development of the sector; municipal finance models need to change to accommodate community energy.
SUMMARY: The book looks at how South Africa moved from cheap, abundant, and unconstrained energy to its current state. The authors explore ways to allow South Africa to return to an era of cheap and abundant electricity. It seeks to show the advantages of a renewable energy-led electricity mix, looking at the costs, job creation, and how an energy transition can lead to a more competitive industrial economy, create new trade opportunities, accelerate economic development, and re-establish South Africa as a preferred electricity investment destination.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The book reckons a coal-based energy system is no longer economically viable. Cheaper alternatives such as solar power and onshore wind have proven more competitive and a feasible alternative. The low cost of a renewable energy system with solar and wind energy will enable SA to host a power system mix of renewable energy technologies and progressively pursue a large “electrification of just about everything.” However, wholesale privatisation of generation assets may not be politically feasible in South Africa and significant changes in the supply mix can only be expected 10-20 years down the road.
SUMMARY: The report highlights the impact of coal mining on the Mpumalanga Highveld. The research presented focuses on social, gender, worker and environmental justice. The report is written from a legal and campaigning perspective and speaks about what is wrong on the Highveld while presenting possible ways forward.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The book recommends for a Just Transition for coal regions, et al: building a new energy system based on socially owned renewables, with jobs in manufacturing as well as construction and operations; rehabilitating individual mines and the mining regions; encouraging people’s food gardens as a first step towards creating a healthy food system; reconstructing settlements in anticipation of the extreme weather conditions associated with climate change.
SUMMARY: The future of coal is uncertain. The paper analyses the factors driving the fall in demand for thermal coal, presents scenarios on the global coal consumption for 2010-2050, as well as the potential impacts of declining global demand scenarios on major coal producers, consumers and investment. The scenarios on which the paper builds are based, on top-down information on global and regional energy system development, as well as on bottom-up national energy sector information made available to the project team.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Even without more stringent climate policy, the balance of risks and opportunities for the global coal market appears significantly on the downside. Factors such as the decreasing energy intensity of “late mover” developing countries’ growth pathways, local air pollution and technological advances reflected in the quickly increasing cost competitiveness of renewables can plausibly drive a significant decline in global coal demand. The scenarios explored in this report suggest that it is time for governments to begin to implement credible transition policies. A first step for policy makers to manage these uncertainties is through a focused dialogue on the future of the sector in their respective countries.
SUMMARY: The report explores pathways to implement coal transitions and summarises key findings from case studies in six countries (China, India, Poland, Germany, Australia and South Africa). The report also draws from findings in earlier phases of the project, including global analysis of the impact of coal transitions on steam coal trade and analysis of past coal and industrial transitions in over 10 countries, as well as political economy aspects of coal.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Coal transitions are already happening. Due to both climate and non-climate policy factors, global coal consumption is likely to reverse in the early 2020s. The analysis of the techno-economic scenario required to stay below 2°C temperature increases for all six countries showed that by 2040-2050 coal can be replaced with a portfolio of alternative energy sources. Coal transitions can strengthen global climate action and deliver other social and economic objectives. In South Africa, diversification from coal in the power sector would help reduce the cost of supplying electricity while limiting the risk of cross-subsidisation of the power sector by the coal export sector.
SUMMARY: The report looks at the risks of a development strategy that continues to rely on coal for energy security, employment, and growth. Three pathways are identified. The first, the least-cost energy pathway, assumes no climate-change mitigation policy is implemented beyond a gradual phasedown of coal power as stations reach their end of lives or become uncompetitive, a scenario in which South Africa would meet its nationally determined contribution (NDC) by 2025 and 2030 in terms of the Paris agreement on climate change. The second and third scenarios look at the impacts on the coal sector of South Africa meeting the lower range of its domestic climate change-mitigation objectives.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Moving from the NDC scenario to the scenario with emissions consistent with a low peak, plateau, and decline trajectory will require an accelerated phase out of large emitting infrastructure. The economic results show that meeting climate change targets and growing the economy is possible. Large investment in new renewable energy will have positive spin-offs, including net positive employment impacts in the electricity sector. While results are positive workers at coal-fired stations, mines, and the communities remain at risk if there is no orderly and properly resourced transition.
SUMMARY: This book looks at ways to solve the environmental and the joblessness challenges from the perspective of social justice and Just Transition to a low-carbon economy. The One Million Climate Jobs Campaign (OMCJC) of South Africa is reviewed to share lessons learned. Lessons learnt from the South African campaign are presented and possibilities of scaling up the national campaign are analysed.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Among other things, building up new, climate-friendly industries will be needed to sustain employment and investment. The campaign proposes producing electricity from wind and solar power; reducing energy use through energy efficiency in industries; reducing energy use in homes and buildings by constructing energy efficient new buildings and by retrofitting existing buildings; reducing the use of oil in transport by improving and expanding the public transport system; producing food through organic small-scale agro-ecology; and protecting water, soil and biodiversity resources.
SUMMARY: The paper frames the Just Transition from a moral and business perspective. It assesses how much responsibility companies and organisations should have for the impact their clients have on climate change and asks to what extent the processes and products of the businesses can influence their clients’ behaviour. The paper considers the history of the notion of Just Transition, the tensions or fault lines evident within the concept, and the implications that an engagement with the concept may have for companies and organisations. The paper also explores different interpretations of notions such as Just Transition, the green economy and value creation.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: A transformative or deep Just Transition must not only address the unemployment crisis in our society, but demand redistribution of power and resources to challenge the conventional understanding of economic growth, and mobilise for an alternative development path. One of the fault lines within the business case discourse is the difference between instrumental and transformative approaches. Instrumental approaches tend to focus only on those transitions that will generate profit for a company. Businesses should recognise that significant transformation is possible through engaging with the societies and ecosystems within which they operate.
SUMMARY: Carbon Brief’s interviewed Samantha Smith, director of the Just Transition centre. Smith discusses the concept of Just Transition, which sectors are most likely to be affected, the cost of a Just Transition and how countries can transition towards a low carbon economy
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Smith outlines what is required for people to have security and opportunity while jobs and sectors transition: Social protection – unemployment insurance and access to health care, education and pensions; decent work; liveable minimum wage; and reskilling and upskilling.
SUMMARY: The report provides an overview of the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) and its outcomes from bidding windows 1-4. Also discussed are the policy implications of the REIPPPPs and the report draws on the experiences from South Africa to make recommendations in RE in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Among lessons from South Africa are an enabling policy and set of targets is important to establish a clear roadmap for RE development; an integrated resource plan is useful for establishing long-term RE targets within the overall energy mix; and a policy favouring competitive tenders or auctions rather than feed-in tariffs can be more effective in attracting investment in grid-connected renewable energy.
SUMMARY: This booklet aims to help workers and unions to grapple with climate change and its challenges. It explains the causes and effects of climate change, and its impacts on workers and the poor. It unpacks international negotiations about a global climate deal. Solutions are introduced and analysed, and suggestions made for unions to take the work forward. Included is: COSATU’s Policy Framework on Climate Change and a carbon footprint checklist for unions, with strategies for COSATU affiliates.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Cosatu’s positions on climate change recognises serious challenges for the working class and it also points out the gender dimension – women, as the administrators and labourers of households, are bearing the brunt of the impacts of climate change. The framework requires fleshing out in practice. To this end, COSATU affiliates are called to begin to develop their policies, research and education capacity on climate change to inform their sectoral engagements on the issue.
SUMMARY: This study deals with sustainable energy sector transformation in South Africa. The report aims to give a high level overview of some of the key aspects that should allow the country to take progressive steps towards an improved energy sector that respects human rights and planetary boundaries. The study examines the status quo of our current energy system. This includes the key players and stakeholders, along with effects on impoverished and marginalised communities. The paper also identifies the key criteria for the transformation process and discusses the main areas of change for energy sector transformation.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The report urges that the Integrated Resource Plan and Integrated Energy Plan should be developed in an open, logical and unbiased manner. Government must also develop a dedicated policy for energy sector transformation. It recommends energy production include large, medium, and small-scale shifts to low-carbon production; the energy supply focus should be on should be on electricity: alternative access, pricing reform and Eskom restructuring; energy use must focus on efficiency and fuel switching; meaningful public participation should feature in policy making, and policy updates must ensure policy alignment; and steps must be taken to attract financing for energy sector transformation.
SUMMARY: The booklet makes a case for a project to address the waste and pollution legacy of mining in the Witwatersrand basin with a clear linkage between the potential for revenue generation through materials reclamation and comprehensively addressing the entire rehabilitation challenge, with the participation of all stakeholders. The paper sketches the background and the extent of the challenge, the legislative and regulatory context, and the imperatives for urgent action, then focuses on the Tweelopiespruit wetlands area for a potential pilot project.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Gold and uranium mining in the Witwatersrand gold fields has resulted in contamination and destruction of wetlands, as well as negative impacts on biodiversity and on soil, groundwater and air quality. Pollution from Witwatersrand mines poses hazards to surrounding communities. The main pathways are: the airborne pathway, where radon gas and windblown dust disperse outwards from mine site and the waterborne pathway, either via ground or surface water or due to direct access, where people are contaminated and living in settlements directly adjacent to mines or living in settlements on the contaminated footprints of abandoned mines.
SUMMARY: The paper reconceptualises the relationship between development and sustainability. The paper endeavours to fuse the core conceptual concerns of the developmental state and sustainability transition literatures. The difference between South Africa’s dual developmental and environmental trajectories and the East Asian experience is presented.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The paper adopts a pessimistic outlook on a Just Transition in South Africa, arguing that South Africa is an institutionally weak state that has not broken the power of the Minerals Energy Complex within the socio-political regime, not promoted employment-creating industrialisation and has facilitated accelerated financialisation. At the same time a myriad of environmental and resource challenges have emerged, without an adequate paradigmatic framework to ensure full understanding of what is going on within the socio-political regime.
SUMMARY: This case study examines the 100 MW Eskom (CSP) power tower plant in Upington being developed by Eskom. The report analyses in detail what worked and what did not in the project’s financial, political and technological risk management and aims to inform the efforts of public entities such as national governments and Climate Investment Funds (CIFs) to design national and international public finance programs to deploy CSP and other emerging technologies
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The report notes , among other findings, that the Eskom CSP project in South Africa is one of the most ambitious and technically challenging CSP projects in development outside the US both in its proposed technology choice (power tower), generating capacity (100 MW), and the 9-12 hours of storage. Eskom relied on political support and concessional lending from international financial institutions to develop the CSP. However, foreign debt implied additional risks for the utility. Public sources of finance are essential to bridge the viability gap between CSP power towers and cheaper alternatives.
SUMMARY: The report provides a segmented view of the net direct job creation expected in the formal economy across a wide range of technologies/activities that may be classified as green or contributing to the greening of the economy. The report aims to contribute to strategic planning. It highlights implementation challenges to unlock the green economy`s potential. It brings to the fore the importance of stakeholder interventions to develop competitive advantage in specific green areas. The report covers 26 industries including the energy generation, energy and resource efficiency, emission and pollution mitigation, and natural resource management sectors.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Recommendations for greening the economy should result in expansions of productive capacity and service delivery across a wide spectrum of economic sectors, although contractions may be experienced in others. This should be progressively supported by investment activity and result in meaningful employment creation. A growing green economy should also translate into opportunities for localisation of production, either by using existing production capabilities, or the establishing new capacity.
SUMMARY: The briefing paper aims to give clarity to the terminology “Just Transition” and related concepts like “growth”, “economic democracy” and “second generation rights” within the context of the current South African political economic model. The paper notes the structural dysfunctions of the South African economy and how the economic model is failing to achieve South Africa’s developmental and environmental goals of sustainability. The paper identifies the challenges and opportunities of achieving a Just Transition to a low-carbon economy and the key issues which need to be mainstreamed in policies and negotiations to ensure that adaptation and mitigation interventions promote economic democracy.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The paper presents the developmental state as an economic model to support a Just Transition and highlights enabling conditions provided by the International Trade Union Confederation and the Confederation of South African Trade Unions. These include Investing in environmentally friendly activities that create decent jobs that pay living wages, meet health and safety standards, promote gender equity, and that are secure; putting in place comprehensive social protections for the most vulnerable; researching the impacts of climate change on employment and livelihoods; and developing skills and retraining workers to ensure that they can be part of the new low-carbon development model.