The world has seen many transitions in the past, from automation to the decline or relocation of entire industries, leading to job losses and economic hardship. This has created a fear that future transitions will be 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.
Early action on a just transition can minimize the negative impacts and maximize positive opportunities. The Paris Agreement on climate change includes just transition as an important principle. Just transition is not a fixed set of rules, but a vision and a process based on dialogue and an agenda shared by workers, industry, and governments that need to be negotiated and implemented in their geographical, political, cultural, and social contexts. It is implemented with a set of guiding principles, such as the International Labour Organization's guidelines for a just transition.
We May Be in Uncharted Waters, But We Aren’t Lost at Sea
When the financial crisis of 2008 hit, governments around the world began structuring stimulus plans. We can learn a lot by looking back at how effective these turned out to be.
We Need a Managed Wind-Down of Fossil Fuel Production
To meet climate goals and avoid further market chaos, governments need to plan the decline of coal, oil and gas production, with support for workers.
How Will the Circular Economy Impact Jobs?
New research digs into some of the possible job impacts if a country like Finland fully embraces a circular economy model.
Five Key Principles for a Fossil-Free Recovery
Lourdes Sanchez, lead author of Achieving a Fossil-Free Recovery, explains how the COVID-19 pandemic has created a window of opportunity to fund a green recovery, along with five principles to do so.
Achieving a Fossil-Free Recovery
This report lays out concrete options for governments to achieve net-zero and sustainable development goals by using recovery spending to support the transition to clean energy and a resilient, fossil-free economy.
The Sustainable Use of Natural Resources: The Governance Challenge
Over-exploitation of natural resources harms the health of ecosystems and the livelihoods and wellbeing of people, but there are fair policy options.
Building Momentum for a Just Transition in Canada
This report examines how civil society groups in Canada can align their work to achieve just transition goals.
Power by All: Alternatives to a privately owned future for renewable energy in South Africa
This report explores new models for renewable energy development that create a greater role for public and community ownership in South Africa.
IISD Trade and Sustainability Review, Volume 1, Issue 2, March 2021
This second edition of IISD's Trade and Sustainability Review features analytical pieces and commentaries that focus on a series of transitions in the realm of trade and sustainability development.
Investing for Tomorrow, Today: How Canada's Budget 2021 can enable critical climate action and a green recovery
Without additional funding, Canada risks losing a critical opportunity for green recovery.