Real People, Real Change: Strategies for just energy transitions
Energy transitions are about people—workers, consumers, businesses, communities, taxpayers and voters—who make decisions that lead to transitions and are ultimately affected by them.
The world has seen many transitions in the past, from automation to the decline or relocation of entire industries that led to job losses and the economic decline of regions. This has created a fear of future transitions being similarly painful. Low-carbon energy transitions are already happening in many countries, often due to economic factors or health concerns, but also supported and accelerated by climate change policies. Nevertheless, the actors involved, including governments, businesses, workers and communities, have a tendency to protect the status quo and keep carbon-intensive industries alive. Inaction can be costly. Experiences with past transitions have shown that prolonging the lifetime of declining industries often leads to subsidies, higher costs for worker retraining and unemployment, health and environmental costs, and missed opportunities for the diversification of an economy.
Early action on a just transition can minimize the negative impacts and maximize positive opportunities. The Paris Agreement on climate change includes a just transition as an important principle. A just transition is not a fixed set of rules, but a vision and a process based on dialogue and a tripartite agenda shared by workers, industry and governments that needs to be negotiated and implemented in its geographical, political, cultural and social context. It is implemented with a set of guiding principles, such as the Guidelines for a Just Transition of the International Labour Organization.
Energy transitions can seem daunting, making it difficult to act early. This report aims to support governments of both developed and developing countries in their endeavour to make energy transitions just. It brings together political and communications strategies for a just transition, building on research and case studies of energy transitions that have happened or that are happening in Canada, Egypt, Indonesia, India, Poland and Ukraine.
You might also be interested in
OPINION: Can India afford a green stimulus during the pandemic?
A deeper look at fossil fuel subsidies and renewable energy solutions suggests that green stimulus could be India’s most economically viable path to recovery.
Stop using taxpayers' money to fund pollution
In May, The WHO released its “Manifesto for a healthy and green COVID-19 recovery.” It is in many ways an astonishing document, because it speaks briefly and plainly to the many global problems we face.
Canada's Pandemic Response Sends $16 Billion to Fossils, Just $300 Million to Clean Energy
Canada’s pandemic response to date has sent just C$300 million to clean energy, compared to more than $16 billion to fossil fuels, according to new data released this week by Energy Policy Tracker
Part 2 – How Can India’s Energy Sector Recover Sustainably from COVID-19?
From IISD and CEEW, Part 2 of a three-part commentary series takes a deep dive into how India’s energy sector is coping with the impacts of COVID-19 and what this means for the sustainable energy transition.