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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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Pathway towards achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2050 for South Africa

  • Institution / Author: Ayobami Solomon, Oyew Arman, Aghahosseini Manish Ram, Alena Lohrmann, Christian Breyer
  • Year: 2019
  • Sectoral focus: Coal, Electricity, Energy
  • Thematic focus: Policy interventions / recommendations, Risk / vulnerability assessment
  • Type of analysis: Desktop research, Modelling, Primary research / data
  • Type of document: Journal article

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 .

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