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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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Coal transition in South Africa - understanding the implications of a 2°C-compatible coal phase-out for South Africa

  • Institution / Author: University of Cape Town Energy Research Centre for The Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) and Climate Strategies [Burton, J., Caetano, T., McCall, B.]
  • Year: 2018
  • Sectoral focus: Coal, Energy
  • Thematic focus: Policy interventions / recommendations, Risk / vulnerability assessment
  • Type of analysis: Desktop research, Modelling
  • Type of document: Research report

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.

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