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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 transition in South Africa: the case for a gender just approach

  • Institution / Author: Nokwanda Maseko (TIPS)
  • Year: 2021
  • Sectoral focus: Economy-wide
  • Thematic focus: Social Justice / Inclusive
  • Type of analysis: Policy analysis
  • Type of document: Policy / strategy / plan / accord

SUMMARY: This policy brief makes the case for a gender just transition in South Africa. It does so by: a) explaining why a gender just transition is vital by discussing the gendered impact of climate change; b) locating South African women within the broader society and within the economy; and c) providing a brief idea of what a gender just transition would look like.

KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Adapting to, or mitigating, climate change impacts and impacts from related policy responses requires resources that are largely gained through participation in formal employment and access to wealth. Women are under-represented in the paid labour force and overrepresented in unpaid care work. This leaves them without the necessary resources for survival. The transition to a green economy thus requires taking active measures to include women in the paid economy, as well as recognising the value of the unpaid care work they perform. The state needs to play a driving role in the just transition. This means addressing structural inequities in the way public funding is provided to organisations. These funds can also be used as an incentive for organisations to train and hire women. Beyond that, the transition must be accompanied by structural changes in the gender-segmentation of sectors, with quotas used when necessary to correct imbalances that serve to entrench inequality. The success of a gender just transition depends on the state, business, labour, communities and other stakeholders being included in the policy discussions on equal footing. If the conversation is controlled by those with power, existing inequalities will be made worse. 

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