This brief discusses structural problems in South Africa’s economy and proposes an alternative model that can support the country’s sustainable development and environmental goals.
Economic diversification/restructuring > Economic development plans, Other
Employment > Job creation and/or equality, Skills
Government intervention > Regulation
Inequality and/or poverty > Gender inequality, Other
labor intensive industrialization
developmental state model
gross domestic product (GDP)
economic growth indicators
Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME)
World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
Non-profit organization/civil society organization
This brief presents a conceptual definition of a “just transition” and related concepts within the context of the current South African political-economic model. The author highlights the structural dysfunctions of this model and how it is failing to achieve developmental and environmental sustainability. The author discusses the opportunity for a new developmental approach centered around just transitions and highlights policy questions that are important to ensuring climate adaptation and mitigation efforts to promote economic democracy.
The author proposes that South Africa abandon its current market-led economic model and adopt a new one led by the state. The new model would involve labor-intensive industrialization that moves away from extractive models and addresses the needs of local and regional markets. The author examines potential strategies and enabling conditions for ensuring that economic activities support a just transition and overcome various challenges in the context of South Africa. The brief concludes with a call for a new economic growth indicator—one that can measure growth through education, housing, health, access to services, or happiness and well-being.
Academic paper/Guidelines, Strategies and Recommendations
This paper identifies four enabling factors for successful implementations of green fiscal reforms in Central and South America, examining why recent reform efforts have either succeeded or failed.
Government intervention > Carbon pricing, Regulation
Inequality and/or poverty > Other
green fiscal reform
Michael Jakob, Rafael Soria, Carlos Trinidad, Ottmar Edenhofer
Academic/research institution or journal
The authors of this paper identify and discuss important factors for successful implementations of green fiscal reforms in Chile, Mexico, Colombia, Belize, Venezuela, and Ecuador. When taken into consideration, these factors can help increase the technical and political feasibility of green fiscal reforms.
The authors draw on academic literature and expert knowledge to provide insights into the possibilities for—and limitations of—green fiscal reforms. Based on their analysis, they identify key factors for the successful introduction of green fiscal reforms, emphasizing the importance of favorable political conditions, comprehensive reform planning, and the gradual sequencing of reforms. They also emphasize the need to address distributional impacts on low-income households through social protection schemes based on stakeholder consultations with all relevant social groups. Their inclusion in the decisionmaking process should alleviate concerns about disproportionate adverse impacts on any single group.
The authors conclude by highlighting the international community’s important role in supporting green fiscal reforms through knowledge sharing and financing the macro-economic costs of reforms (such as by tying results-based payments to the introduction of a price on emissions or the de-risking of investments in clean energy and energy efficiency).