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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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Climate finance to transform energy infrastructure as part of a just transition in South Africa

  • Institution / Author: Harald Winkler, Samantha Keen and Andrew Marquard (SNAPFI)
  • Year: 2020
  • Sectoral focus: Coal, Electricity, Energy
  • Thematic focus: Finance, Policy interventions / recommendations, Project identification / promotion
  • Type of analysis: Desktop research, Primary research / data, Stakeholder engagement
  • Type of document: Research report

SUMMARY: The study discusses the just transition transaction (JTT). The JTT mobilises blended finance to fund the accelerated phase out of coal, thereby accelerating a transition from coal to renewable energy.  The study seeks to understand the JTT, its architecture and potential to catalyse changes in the complex set of challenges facing South Africa’s electricity sector. The purpose of the study is to understand the potential of a JTT to accelerate the phase out of coal-fired power and to fund development projects. The scope of the case study is national. Its focus is on mitigation and the contribution that a just transition transaction can make in South Africa’s electricity sector. The study outlines the political economy of South Africa, details on national power producer Eskom, the relevant policies on climate and development, and the electricity sector specifically.

KEY FINDINGS / RECOMMENDATIONS: The study found that community ownership is crucial for the buy-in for renewable energy, with two types being community-owned, small-scale embedded generation and community-owned mini-grid.  Significant institutional innovation is needed to integrate community ownership with Eskom, which has had a monopoly on electricity supply. Further research should focus on Mpumalanga where community ownership models are piloted, and these will require a bottom-up, community- and locally-driven process. They also point to the need to co-develop a funding strategy with local communities, workers and municipalities, which could provide guidance of the JT Fund’s spending on development projects.

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