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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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Just transitions and the green economy - navigating the fault lines Featured

  • Institution / Author: University of Witwatersrand’s Centre for Researching Education and Labour [Ward, M.]
  • Year: 2018
  • Sectoral focus: Economy-wide, Finance
  • Thematic focus: Advocacy, Consensus building, Policy interventions / recommendations
  • Type of analysis: Desktop research, Stakeholder engagement
  • Type of document: Research report
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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.

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