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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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A just energy transition to facilitate household energy access and alleviate energy poverty

  • Institution / Author: Nthabiseng Mohlakoana (Centre for Sustainability Transitions), Peta Wolpe (Urban Energy and Climate Change Practitioner)
  • Year: 2021
  • Sectoral focus: Energy
  • Thematic focus: Energy Access
  • Type of analysis: Policy analysis
  • Type of document: Policy / strategy / plan / accord

SUMMARY: Many in the Global South and some in the Global North cannot afford clean and sustainable energy, and many live in a state of energy poverty. A just energy transition is a chance for economies to start again with a clean slate and do things differently. In the Global South, where many cities are growing and where generation is inadequate, the opportunities abound. This policy brief argues that energy poverty and access must be brought boldly into the Just Transition debate. It offers an overview of current understanding of what constitutes a just energy transition and what is meant by energy poverty and access by giving a snapshot of the European Union and Sub-Saharan Africa context. 

KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: A just energy transition demands an integrated energy approach that is driven by protecting not only the environment but ensures that no one is left behind and that all have equal opportunities. This approach paves the way for new energy and technological systems that can be locally produced and owned and are supported by regulations that open spaces rather than closing down opportunities. It requires strong governance and political will to drive the transformation. Renewable energy industrialisation should take centre stage in ensuring future energy security and creating sustainable employment, especially for those that will be losing their jobs in the coal and electricity value chains. 

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