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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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Resistance to coal and the possibilities of a Just Transition in South Africa

  • Institution / Author: Cock, J. (Society, Work & Politics Institute, University of the Witwatersrand)
  • Year: 2019
  • Sectoral focus: Mining
  • Thematic focus: Advocacy
  • Type of analysis: Impact assessment, Modelling, Policy analysis
  • Type of document: Research report

SUMMARY: The paper questions whether resistance to the expansion of coal can drive a just transition in South Africa. Transformative resistance requires creating "counter-power", which challenges coal on every level, builds new alliances that generate solidarity, and is potentially infused by imaginative visions of a "just transition". This could embed the anti-coal struggle in a social movement for an alternative development path. The paper examines oppositional agency in three social spaces: mining-affected communities, the environmental justice movement, and the labour movement.

KEY FINDINGS: Priorities differ for each social space: job losses for labour, dispossession of land and livelihoods for rural communities, and extractivism for the environmental justice movement. Anti-coal initiatives have the potential to build a "counter-power" which challenges inequality, and is potentially infused by visions of another world beyond coal. This could cohere into a vision of a just transition that is transformative.

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