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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 transaction in South Africa: an innovative way to finance accelerated phase out of coal and fund social justice

  • Institution / Author: Harald Winkler, Emily Tyler, Samantha Keen and Andrew Marquard
  • Year: 2021
  • Sectoral focus: Energy
  • Thematic focus: Finance
  • Type of analysis: Primary research / data
  • Type of document: Research report

SUMMARY: A just transition transaction (JTT) in South Africa aims to address complex challenges of financing a transition away from coal. Accelerated decarbonisation of electricity isessential for mitigation globally and in South Africa. However, the national utility Eskom, a state-owned enterprise, is in crisis with majoroperational, structural and financial problems, including legacy debt of €25bn. How and to what extent can a just transitiontransaction catalyse deep, structural change that is required in South Africa’s electricity system and promote social justice?

KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The architecture of the JTT needs to include a blended finance vehicle, combining international concessionary and domestic commercialfinance. Finance enables transition if it respects certain principles,promotes ambitious decarbonisation and assures compliance. A tough problem is whether such finance is provided at activity – or entity-level. The innovation proposed to fund social justice is that concessional value provides significant and predictable flow of funds into a Just Transition Fund. The JTT partially addresses Eskom’s financial challenges, and thereby the strain on the country’s fiscus against a background of increasingpublic debt. Significant mitigation on the scale of 1–1.5 Gt CO2-eq over thirty years is achievable. The transaction may be ofwider interest: Emerging economies with high coal dependenceand socio-economic risk during energy transition might translate lessons from South Africa’s JTT for their own contexts.

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