This commentary summarizes a workshop held by the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on just transitions. It identifies eight topics that merit new research and practical guidance. Several of these themes center on implementation. Most case studies focus on Western countries, but case studies and guidance should account for the political, economic, social, and environmental context in the Global South. Just transitions proponents should also focus on power dynamics and political economy issues, to identify potential blockers and enablers.
The authors note that cities, regional governments, and local actors are often left out of planning processes. The commentary suggests that workers in the informal sector should have greater prominence in just transitions plans. Social protections and worker assistance should also account for the needs of women as well as indigenous people and ethnic minorities.
The commentary identifies critical questions related to financing a just transition. It notes the importance of place-based investment for affected regions, as well as the need for new financing instruments to meet the scale of the climate challenge. Although private investors have a key role to play in financing just transitions, there is more work to be done on educating investors on just transitions principles, especially in terms of social as opposed to environmental goals.