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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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Socio-economic considerations for a Paris agreement-compatible coal transition in South Africa

  • Institution / Author: University of Cape Town, Energy Research Centre [Jesse, B., Marquard, A., McCall, B.]
  • Year: 2019
  • Sectoral focus: Energy
  • Thematic focus: Policy interventions / recommendations, Risk / vulnerability assessment, Skills development
  • Type of analysis: Desktop research
  • Type of document: Research report

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.

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