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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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Three ways to improve net-zero emissions targets

  • Institution / Author: Joeri Rogelj, Oliver Geden, Annette Cowie and Andy Reisinger
  • Year: 2021
  • Sectoral focus: Economy-wide, Energy
  • Thematic focus: Consensus building, Policy interventions / recommendations
  • Type of analysis: Desktop research, Primary research / data
  • Type of document: Journal article

SUMMARY: The article discusses how net-zero emissions targets are vague and provides three ways to fix this. The details behind net-zero targets differ: some outline the reductions in CO2 emissions while negating other GHG emissions while others focus on direct emissions as opposed to supply chain emissions. Clarity on net-zero targets is essential because without more clarity, strategies behind net-zero targets cannot be understood; nor can their impact be evaluated. The article outlines three aspects which nations, companies and researchers need to clarify, these are their scope (which emissions sources and gases are covered); how they are deemed adequate and fair; and concrete road maps (which includes milestones an implementation plan and strategy to achieve and maintain targets) towards and beyond net-zero.

KEY FINDINGS: The article outlines a check list for rigours and clear net-zero plans:
Scope: What global temperature goal does this plan contribute to (to stabilise global temperature, or see it peak and decline)?; What is the target date for net zero?; Which greenhouse gases are considered?; How are greenhouse gases aggregated (GWP-100 or another metric)?; What is the extent of the emissions (over which territories, time frames or activities)?; What are the relative contributions of reductions, removals and offsets?; How will risks be managed around removals and offsets?
Fairness: What principles are being applied?; Would the global climate goal be achieved if everyone did this?; What are the consequences for others if these principles are applied universally?; How will your target affect others' capacity to achieve net zero, and their pursuit of other Sustainable Development Goals?
Roadmap: What milestones and policies will support achievement?; What monitoring and review system will be used to assess progress and revise the target?; Will net zero be maintained, or is it a step towards net negative?

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