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What is "Just Transition"?

Electrifying the ‘eighth continent’: exploring the role of climate finance and its impact on energy justice and equality in Madagascar’s planned energy transition

The study looks at Madagascar’s history of energy transition in the context of various financing instruments and actors as well as identifies the potential impacts on social equity.


Through an analysis of projected energy finance flows and key financiers’ financing strategies, this paper shows a shift from grant-based climate finance to financial instruments with clear return profiles, such as concessional loans and private capital. It finds that the choice of financial instrument does impact the provision of complementary social services in rural electrification schemes. While grants are associated with higher investments in complementary social services, private financiers are focused on innovation and scale. Electrification projects that are financed purely privately were found to negatively impact social cohesion by increasing the inequality in access to energy.

The authors identify that apart from the financing gap of USD13 billion identified in the national plan as the main roadblock to successful implementation, there exist a whole set of interrelated, mutually reinforcing barriers to successful electrification, such as low institutional capacity, a lack of human capital and technical knowledge, corruption, and a dysfunctional utility. The authors use stakeholder maps and case studies from three rural electrification projects as part of the analysis.

The study concludes that, if only commercially viable energy projects were to be financed going forward, up to 19 million Madagascans might be excluded from future electrification efforts. Thus the paper recommends the need to promote climate finance literacy and the use of multiple electrification pathways. The author provides some examples, such as “grid extensions” through concessional loans, “scalable innovation” using private capital and risk guarantees, or grant-based “social mission” programs. The author suggests that the findings are relevant not only to Madagascar, but to most, if not all, least-developed countries (LDCs) aiming to decarbonize their economies.

Green Fiscal Reform for a Just Energy Transition in Latin America

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.


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).

Coal Transition in the Netherlands

This report presents the Netherlands’ successful attempt to exit coal and explains how the oil crisis in the 1970s subsequently led to an energy-mixed economy.


This case study examines the coal transition in the Netherlands from 1965 to 1990 in the region of Limburg and discusses the reasons for the transition as well as its socioeconomic impacts. Due to market competition from oil imports and the domestic discovery of natural gas, the country decided to reduce its economic dependence on coal in favor of other energy sources.

The authors focus on the factors that made the transition possible, including the cooperation of labor unions, the presence of alternative employment opportunities (such as in the chemical sector), and particularly the conservative view of then Prime Minister Joop den Uyl, who was convinced that mining was inhumane. The unions foresaw an unfavorable future for coal miners and reached an agreement with state-owned companies for alternative employment. The study analyzes the effect of the measures adopted to accompany the transition. The authors focus on the government’s redevelopment strategies—such as the restructuring of the coal sector, with major mining companies transforming into chemical companies—and the development of new businesses.

The last two sections of the study discuss the return of coal as an imported energy source in the mid-1970s due to the oil crisis, as well as the country’s current struggle to stop coal consumption, which accounts for 12% to 13% of national energy consumption.

Low-carbon Transitions in West Sumatra, Indonesia: Gender and Equity Dimensions

This brief provides community perspectives on renewable energy projects, focusing on gender and social equity concerns in low-carbon transitions in West Sumatra, Indonesia.


This brief provides snapshots of community perspectives on renewable energy projects in West Sumatra, Indonesia, and suggests that customized approaches are needed to address local gender and social equity concerns effectively in low-carbon transitions.

West Sumatra was selected for this study due to its high potential for renewable energy generation and diversity of possible renewable energy sources. The authors reviewed four development sites in West Sumatra as transition examples: two geothermal projects, one micro hydro project, and an oil palm company that produces biofuel and also uses waste as biomass for energy production. They conducted interviews and focus group discussions that illuminate local gender and social equity implications, which often related to customary land management practices and gender roles. They also explore lessons learned from Indonesia’s subsidy program for liquified petroleum gas.

The authors argue that policymakers should adopt a gender-sensitive approach to renewable energy decision-making to identify potential policy repercussions that could worsen existing inequalities. This approach will produce results that benefit more people and satisfy the needs of more interest groups.

A Socially Equitable Energy Transition in Indonesia: Challenges and Opportunities

This report explores the challenges and opportunities for a socially just energy transition in Indonesia and offers recommendations for the Indonesian government.


“This study seeks to determine whether a just energy transition in the context of climate change is socially and politically feasible in Indonesia. It identifies potential partners for overcoming strong government support for continued fossil fuel extraction and accelerating a transformation toward renewable energy.

As a significant producer of oil and gas, Indonesia struggles to balance its energy sources despite the decline in its fossil fuel reserves. To better understand the barriers to an energy transition in Indonesia, this paper examines its social aspects, including public perceptions. Potential barriers include a lack of funding, bureaucratic inefficiencies, and a culture of corruption among central and subnational governments.

To overcome these obstacles, the authors recommend increasing public and private sector investment in renewables, including fiscal support and better coordination across ministries. They advocate establishing new performance indicators and frameworks to monitor and evaluate these objectives. They also suggest using larger public campaigns to promote renewable energy, increased energy efficiency, and conservation efforts.”