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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 lerato@tips.org.za

Featured material

Just transitions and the green economy - navigating the fault lines

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

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National employment vulnerability assessment: analysis of potential climate change-related impacts and vulnerable groups

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

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Down to zero: The politics of Just Transition

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.

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Unlocking a just energy transition for SA

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

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A discussion of systemic challenges for a Just Transition towards a low-carbon economy

  • Institution / Author: WWF-SA [Scholtz, A.]
  • Year: 2011
  • Sectoral focus: Economy-wide
  • Thematic focus: Consensus building, Policy interventions / recommendations, Risk / vulnerability assessment
  • Type of analysis: Desktop research, Stakeholder engagement
  • Type of document: Research report

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.

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