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Resource Library

This library provides a curated list of resources on just transitions, to help users locate key research material and policy guidance on just transitions.

The Just Transition Initiative has summarized these resources, and these descriptions do not necessarily represent the views of the associated authors and organizations.

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Seizing the Urban Opportunity: How National Governments can Recover from Covid-19, Tackle the Climate Crisis and Secure shared Prosperity through Cities

This collaborative report examines how national governments can leverage cities to help address the triple challenge of Covid-19, sustainable development, and climate change.

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The authors discuss how national governments can harness cities to bring about a sustainable and inclusive post-pandemic economic recovery while achieving climate goals. They focus on six emerging economies to demonstrate how fostering zero-carbon, resilient, and inclusive cities can advance national economic priorities for shared prosperity.

Referencing case studies from China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, and South Africa, the authors explore three themes: 1) the need for a low-carbon urban transformation and its associated socio-economic benefits; 2) the importance of both resilience and decarbonization; and 3) the availability of resources to foster low-carbon, resilient, and inclusive cities. To inspire countries ahead of the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), they analyze how cities can help national governments not only achieve their climate goals and shared prosperity, but also accelerate the Covid-19 recovery by making them more connected, inclusive, and clean.

The authors conclude with a global call to action, urging national governments to develop climate and sustainable development strategies centered around cities. While governments are essential to implementing transformative policies, the authors urge national leadership to partner with the private sector and local climate-action groups to finance sustainable and resilient urban infrastructure.

Rybnik Transition City: A research report on the narratives of Rybnik’s inhabitants

Relying on "Deep Listening", the report presents a reconstruction of diverse perspectives of stakeholders in Rybnik, Poland regarding planned mine closures, entrepreneurship, and the quality of life, as well as portrays the city in its functioning today and its vision for the future.

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The report looks at the transitions taking place in Rybnik, Poland — one of Europe’s biggest coal regions. It is a part of the Rybnik360 project — a pilot project aimed at developing systemic innovations that support the transformation of the city from its coal mining past. This report employs the “Deep Listening” method that consists of a diagnosis of the situation through a series of interviews with Rybnik’s inhabitants. It focuses on three themes—planned mine closures, entrepreneurship, and the quality of life. Through over 100 partially structured interviews, the report evaluates changes taking place in the city over the last 30 years, perceptions of the current situation in the city, along with the challenges and opportunities related to the further development of the city.

Applying the “Deep Listening” method, the report sets out the context related to the resources and key aspects of the city functioning from the points of view of its inhabitants and opinion leaders. Furthermore, it identifies the key actors and offers a polyphonic narrative of the city within the context of the three themes that are explored through the voices of its inhabitants. Conclusions drawn by the author suggest the need for future-oriented thinking, the strengthening of a local identity, a focus on improvements in the quality of life, and efforts to increase access to accurate information. The narratives section, in particular, provides a useful and replicable approach in highlighting and framing the perspectives of various stakeholders in the city.

A Just Transition for Whom? Politics, Contestation, and Social Identity in the Disruption of Coal in the Powder River Basin

This case study on the Powder River Basin in Wyoming examines the impact of the sudden shutdown of two large coal mines on local perceptions toward the energy transition and just transition policies.

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This case study examines whether attitudes toward the U.S. energy transition and just transitions changed following the bankruptcy and closure of two large coal mines in 2019 in the Powder River Basin (PRB) in Wyoming. PBR, the largest coal-mining region in the United States, is home to highly productive and environmentally sustainable mechanized mining and lucrative mining jobs.

The author sets out to empirically determine whether conditions exist that allow for decreased opposition to the transition and increased support for government intervention. The analysis relies on interviews from 13 local individuals, including elected officials, advocates, government officials, a local reporter, and coal industry professionals—but no coal industry workers, as they declined to be interviewed.

The interviews suggest the sudden closure of two mines reinforced negative perceptions toward the energy transition. In fact, there is strong support for continuing to develop the coal mining industry, with advocates claiming that the less invasive mechanized mining used in the region means that PRB coal is an environmentally sustainable option. The transition remains heavily contested in the area because of the strong economic impact of the coal industry on the PRB and the deep cultural ties to mining in the area. Additionally, because of its remoteness and distance from transportation hubs, there is little impetus for economic diversification in the PRB.

Coal Community Sourcebook: Local Experts, Issues & Ideas from Local Voices

This resource provides information and resources on community-led efforts in coal-impacted communities in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Wyoming, including a list of local organizations with innovative approaches and ideas.

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This report is the outcome of community listening sessions held by research organizations in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Wyoming to compile data and mainstream important issues and challenges pertaining to coal-impacted communities. It summarizes local communities’ work on these issues and provides an appendix of local organizations for policymakers’ consideration. It concludes by highlighting federal programs and actions that these communities have identified as crucial.

The report examines the socioeconomic impact of the coal decline on local communities across the United States and criticizes the lack of federal support to remedy those effects. It identifies key areas—such as local water and road infrastructure, healthcare, education, social safety nets, and local small businesses—that need federal funding to boost the local economy. More importantly, it calls for communities’ involvement in designing and implementing policy to ensure their knowledge and creativity are taken into consideration.

The report further describes key federal programs and actions that can be readjusted to provide resources and technical support to frontline communities. These include miners’ pension and health benefits, the Abandoned Mine Funds (AML), the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, and the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and Small Business Administration, which provide grants to local small businesses. The report includes an appendix containing contact information for local organizations and individual leaders who can serve as resources to policymakers.

The Role of Public Benefits in Supporting Workers and Communities Affected by Energy Transition

This report examines how existing federal benefits programs can play a role in delivering transition relief to workers and communities that are heavily reliant on fossil fuel-related economic activity.

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The authors examine federal public benefits programs and discuss their role, alongside other programs, in delivering relief to affected workers and communities and helping them to thrive in a low-emissions future. While public benefits programs are not designed for energy transitions, they can be the first line of defense for struggling individuals and communities. As such, the authors recommend preserving and expanding public benefits programs to complement other, more tailored policy measures.

The authors assess existing federal programs and policies that distribute resources to smooth economic volatility and guarantee a basic level of security, health, and well-being for individuals and households. They group public benefits programs into two general categories based on eligibility criteria: social safety net programs and industry-specific benefits. Within each category, they assess the effectiveness and relevance of existing programs in the context of just transitions.

Based on this very detailed analysis, the authors share eight insights that can help inform policy to support communities affected by a long-term shift away from fossil-fuel energy. They conclude that social safety nets can contribute to fairness for fossil-fuel communities in transition despite their limitations when it comes to replacing income from employment. In addition, despite their ability to contribute to communities’ well-being and economic stability, they find that industry-specific benefits remain unsustainable in the context of industry decline. They then recommend reforming bankruptcy rules to help minimize moral-hazard risk, as well as other reforms that could increase budgets for industry-dependent programs in the context of just transition.

Supporting Just Transitions in South Africa: A Case Study

This case study explores key dimensions of just transitions and draws lessons from the Climate Investment Funds (CIF)’s contributions to the energy transition, the expansion of renewable energy, and the implications for workers and communities in South Africa.

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This case study explores key dimensions of just transition in South Africa, which has a long engagement with the concept and was one of the first countries to include an explicit reference to just transitions in its Nationally Determined Contribution. The case study reflects on the contributions of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), through its partner multilateral development banks, to the energy transition in South Africa.

The document uses the just transitions framework developed by the CIF and the Center for Strategic and International Studies to explore issues of social inclusion and distributional justice in South Africa’s energy transition. It provides a broader review of South Africa’s energy transition implications for national planning, and discusses social inclusion, financing, Covid-19 recovery programs, skills development and geographic disparities.

How (Not) to Phase-out Coal: Lessons from Germany for Just and Timely Coal Exits

This paper identifies nine key lessons learned from Germany’s coal phaseout to help guide effective and equitable coal transitions elsewhere in the world.

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This report examines the positive and negative elements of the coal transition process in Germany. The authors propose nine benchmarks for governing coal phaseouts in Europe and elsewhere. A timely and just coal phaseout requires good leadership, transparency, social inclusion, and the legal flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances, among other aspects.

Looking at the legislation shaping Germany’s coal phaseout, the authors argue that its decision to set a rigid deadline created an unstable transition process and generated conflict. They suggest that the lack of flexibility in the country’s legal framework will result in an unsynchronized coal exit with no room for “future governments to adjust the pathways and end date.” Although a national commission was created to oversee the phaseout, the authors criticize the lack of clarity regarding the implementation of its recommendations. They claim that regional and local stakeholders were not sufficiently involved in the phaseout process and call for aligning just transition measures with climate and sustainable development targets

Environmental Remediation and Infrastructure Policies Supporting Workers and Communities in Transition

This report reviews U.S. federal policies related to environmental remediation and infrastructure spending that can help support workers in fossil fuel–dependent communities.

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This report examines major federal policies related to environmental remediation and infrastructure spending, highlighting evidence of the effectiveness of these programs in terms of costs, job creation, and positive externalities. The author identifies programs that could support the communities and workers who are negatively affected by an energy transition. The author measures the cost-effectiveness of federal spending on programs to clean up “Superfund” sites, cap orphaned oil and gas wells, improve water infrastructure, construct and maintain highways, and install broadband capacity.

One section of the paper covers environmental remediation, including the closure of coal mines and nuclear or oil and gas sites. The paper notes the positive spillover effects, such as increased property values, of many environmental remediation programs. A second section covers infrastructure programs that support construction and related industries. The author notes that economists disagree on whether federal spending on infrastructure, for example highway construction, creates more economic activity or simply redistributes it.

Both environmental remediation and infrastructure programs can contribute to a just transition. However, the author warns of potential environmental justice concerns that can result from federal spending in these areas, including post-remediation gentrification and worsening air pollution in minority communities due to transportation infrastructure.

Just Transitions: Assessing Gender Dimensions

This podcast discusses the gender dimensions of just transitions and offers recommendations for policy planning and implementation.

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This podcast focuses on the gender and social dimensions of just transitions. Adrienne Cruz with the International Labor Organization and May Thazin Aung with the Stockholm Environment Institute join Sarah Ladislaw from CSIS’s Energy Security and Climate Change Program to explore gender dimensions and strategies to support gender equitable outcomes and processes.

They discuss lessons from past experiences, as well as the need for gender responsive policies that address women’s unique challenges and needs and that promote their involvement in decision-making processes.

Just Transitions: Local Lessons and Global Insights from South Africa

This Energy 360 podcast on just transitions in South Africa provides local lessons and broader global insights from a country that has a long history of engaging with just transitions in the context of high levels of unemployment, inequality, poverty, and a high dependency on coal.

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This podcast provides an easily accessible overview of the implications of just transitions in South Africa’s energy transition. The interview format allows a range of issues to be covered drawing on many years of experience within the energy sector, as well as a recent case study on just transitions in South Africa.

Topics covered include the importance of just transitions in a country that has some of the highest levels of inequality, unemployment, and poverty in the world. South Africa is also dependent on coal for the vast majority of its energy, particularly electricity, despite a substantial renewable energy procurement program. It is in this context that issues of sustainable development, social dialogue, financing a just transition, social transformation, geographic disparities, and skills development are discussed.

Economic Development Policies to Enable Fairness for Workers and Communities in Transition

This report analyzes the potential efficacy of U.S. federal policies and programs that could help fossil fuel–producing regions and workers transition to a low-carbon future.

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This report analyzes the U.S. federal programs that could help fossil fuel–producing regions transition to a low-carbon future. It divides these programs into those that target local or regional economies driven by natural resource development (including timber and agriculture as well as fossil fuels) and those with broader geographic or economic scope. The authors suggest that the former, place-based development approaches can be especially effective.

The report examines three regional economic approaches that might be successful in a just transition context: offering capacity-building programs and technical assistance, financially supporting public and community organizations, and financially supporting private firms that may otherwise struggle to access funding. The authors also indicate that such efforts would require coordination among federal, state, and local officials and that substantial scaling up would be required for them to have a meaningful impact.

The report identifies programs that target natural resource–dependent communities and highlights a handful of initiatives that could aid just transitions efforts. For example, the Economic Development Integration program coordinates multiple economic development initiatives across agencies while making deliverables more efficient, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rural development programs provide technical and financial support for public and private rural institutions. An extensive appendix in the report details many federal policies in full.

Enhancing the Role of National Development Banks in Supporting Climate-Smart Urban Infrastructure

This paper focuses on enhancing the role of national development banks in accelerating investment in climate-smart urban infrastructure.

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Because cities are essential to climate mitigation and uniquely vulnerable to climate impacts, there are compelling and wide-ranging reasons for them to invest in low-emissions and “climate-smart” infrastructure. However, cities face various barriers to implementing such changes, including pressure to address infrastructure deficits and improve basic services. In this context, the authors explore how national development banks (NDBs) can support climate-smart investments and address cities’ larger systemic challenges in their efforts to contribute to the Paris Agreement goals and broader development objectives.

The authors emphasize the comparative advantages of NDBs in supporting climate-smart urban infrastructure. They recommend several opportunities to enhance NDB support for such investments. Some of these recommendations are directed at NDBs, while others require action by national and local governments, bilateral cooperation agencies, and multilateral development banks or international financial institutions.

Insights from historical cases of transition: Background paper for the EBRD just transition initiative

The report suggests a series of considerations for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to allow for the integration of just transition considerations into its decarbonization operations, using historical evidence from other deep structural changes.

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The authors seek to offer insights into how transitions impact people, economies, and the environment, as well as the extent of the effectiveness of different kinds of responses including the impacts of not responding. Moreover, it provides useful considerations related to the needs of those who lose out in society, while addressing overall concerns about inequalities in societies affected by deep structural changes. The report was used to inform EBRD’s approach to just transitions, as set out in the document “The EBRD Just Transition Initiative”.

The authors highlight that without measures to promote a “just” transition, resistance will likely undermine its pace. They draw inferences from other deep structural transitions, such as the steel industries in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and Newcastle, Australia, as well as the gold industry in Free State Province, South Africa, to offer insights into what to expect from a green transition.

The authors suggest a series of considerations for EBRD’s operational response to a just transition in order to create viable short-term and long-term solutions for local populations who are affected. Notably, they point out the need for strategic planning for impacted communities, governance structures, and state capacity to implement just transition actions, along with a holistic approach to regional economic development.

Just Transitions: Lessons Learned in South Africa and Eastern Europe

This commentary summarizes critical elements of case studies on just transitions to help guide future research, and includes lessons learned in ongoing just transitions work in South Africa and Eastern Europe.

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This commentary summarizes a workshop held by the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on just transitions in South Africa and Eastern Europe. More case studies on sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and developing Asia could shed light on just transitions in countries with fewer economic resources and more limited social safety nets. The commentary includes a table summarizing critical elements of case studies to help identify key insights and best practices in future research.

In South Africa, just transitions are urgent because market and policy signals indicate an inevitable decline of coal, yet a transition could harm workers and communities dependent on coal mining. Policies intended to elevate renewable energy in the country have also failed to support energy access for black communities or address issues of racial injustice. The author notes that just transitions in South Africa need to address issues of inclusivity and power relations.

Central and Eastern Europe is a focal point for just transitions as many countries in the region anticipate phasing out coal and emissions-intensive industries in the coming decades. This commentary cites several positive examples of community engagement and local participation in just transitions. However, case studies indicate that more should be done to boost input at the local level.

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.

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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.

Actions to Transform Food Systems under Climate Change

This report identifies the current failures of the global food system and defines four areas in which it can be transformed to meet food and nutritional demands and combat climate change.

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“This report identifies the current failures of global food systems in eliminating food insecurity, providing nutritious food, and mitigating climate change. The global food system is currently a major contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fails to provide an adequate pathway to meet the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

To correct these food system failures, the authors recommend 11 transformative actions across four distinct categories: rerouting farming practices to eliminate GHG emissions and increase female and youth participation; de-risking farm livelihoods to increase resiliency against variable weather and extreme events; reducing emissions through dietary shifts and reductions in food waste; and realigning policies and finance to support social movements and spur innovation.

The costs of not reforming global food systems include increased food and nutrition insecurity, decreased smallholder participation, increased rural poverty, increased gender disparities and social inclusion, lost opportunities for rural youth, increased sensitivity to changing climate and extreme weather events, and loss of biodiversity.”

The EBRD Just Transition Initiative: Sharing the Benefits of a Green Economy Transition and Protecting Vulnerable Countries, Regions and People from Falling behind

This paper sets out the aims, rationale, and broad approach to implementation of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s just transition initiative.

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This paper examines how the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will support progress in the economies where it invests. The paper outlines the aims, rationale, and broad approach to implementation of the EBRD’s just transition initiative, which aims to help the bank’s regions share the benefits of a green economic transition and to protect vulnerable countries, regions, and people from falling behind. The initiative builds on the EBRD’s experience of fostering transition toward sustainable, well-functioning market economies and focuses on the link between the green economy and economic inclusion. Working with national and regional authorities, EBRD clients, and other partners, the initiative emphasizes policy and commercial financing interventions that support a green transition while also assisting workers (particularly those whose livelihoods are linked to fossil fuels) in accessing new opportunities.

The paper includes an overview of the EBRD’s emerging just transition diagnostic and metrics for screening investments. This approach helps the bank screen certain regions and industries for vulnerabilities, assess the potential for various investments to advance just transition objectives and the bank’s core goals, and develop a set of policies and investment activities. This framework is especially useful in demonstrating how development finance institutions can link individual investments with broader regional plans, including in place-based investment.

Just Transitions: Progress to Date and Challenges Ahead

This commentary focuses on gaps in knowledge and key research questions related to just transitions, identifying eight areas that merit more research and policy guidance.

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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.

Just Transition Concepts and Relevance for Climate Action

This report explains the origins and evolution of just transitions, and offers a framework to represent the range of definitions as well as underlying ideologies and approaches.

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This report outlines the origins of just transitions in the US labor movement, the later adoption of the concept by the environmental and climate justice movements, and its role in international climate negotiations. The authors note that the term “just transitions” evokes a range of responses, from enthusiasm to confusion to outright skepticism, suggesting the need for a clear definition.

The paper presents a framework to capture the range of definitions and interpretations of just transitions. One key dimension is scope, including both distributional impacts—or who and what is affected in transitions—as well as intention (the ideological preference between reforming or transforming existing political and economic systems through just transitions). The other dimension in the framework is social inclusion, or the range of recognition and procedural justice for various groups. The framework does not seek to identify a single “correct” definitions of just transitions, but rather captures a range of ideologies and approaches to the concept.

A final section of the paper suggests that the next stage of just transitions work will be to advance solutions and to apply lessons learned. The authors list several priorities for future research including concrete tools and strategies, more case studies of developing countries, more effective social engagement, and new financing methods.

Seven Principles to Realize a Just Transition to a Low-carbon Economy

This report proposes seven basic policy principles to support just transitions in response to climate change and offers concrete ways to apply these principles in practice.

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“Based on a critical review of former transitions, the authors distill seven basic principles for ensuring just transitions: actively encourage decarbonization; avoid creating carbon lock-in and more “losers” in these sectors; support affected regions; support workers, their families, and the wider community affected by closures or downscaling; clean up environmental damage and ensure that related costs are not transferred from the private to the public sector; address existing economic and social inequalities; and ensure an inclusive and transparent planning process.

These principles highlight the importance of supporting affected workers but place equal emphasis on ensuring environmental protection and restoration, diversifying industry and other economic activities, and tackling socioeconomic inequity (including gender inequality) in an active pursuit of decarbonization. The authors offer recommendations on how to implement each of these principles, arguing that the justness of a transition comes from pursuing each of these principles simultaneously and that failure to do so will result in a lack of necessary social and economic support. “

Mine Closure and Rehabilitation in South Africa: Activating Coalitions of the Willing for a Just Future

This brief discusses the outcome of two conferences organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Mining Dialogue 360 and proposes just solutions for South Africa’s future mine closures.

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This brief presents the challenges, outcomes, and suggested solutions resulting from two conferences that the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Mining Dialogue 360 held in Johannesburg and Cape Town in December 2019 and January 2020, respectively. The discussions focused on two central themes: ways to strengthen existing policies and legislation regulating mine closures in South Africa and the role of land rehabilitation in supporting a just transition.

An orderly process of mine closures and land rehabilitation in South Africa is still far from reality despite existing legislation. This brief denounces the incoherence in existing policies and the government’s inability to enforce them. The authors call for regulatory reform, greater transparency, and a strict enforcement of laws penalizing non-compliance.

The paper argues in favor of greater community inclusion to ensure transformative mine closure and rehabilitation processes that are in the best interest of the fossil fuel–dependent communities. The authors see early planning as the best approach to successfully shifting to a post-mining, sustainable economy. However, they remain skeptical that South Africa can oversee such a transformation due to the lack of basic mechanisms such as multi-stakeholder cooperation.

Who Needs a Just Transition?

This commentary introduces the just transitions concept, summarizes its importance in meeting climate and social equity goals, and emphasizes the need to define the term more clearly and increase its appeal.

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This short commentary introduces the just transitions concept and emphasizes its role in helping to meet climate and justice goals. It briefly outlines the origins of the term in the labor movement and its later adoption by the international climate community. The commentary notes that climate change will create unavoidable social and economic changes that will be distributed unevenly, underscoring the need for a proactive approach.

The authors acknowledge that the term “just transitions” is unfamiliar to many, while to others it suggests a threat to their livelihoods and way of life. A failure to better engage with labor unions, threatened business sectors, and governments has created resistance to decarbonization plans. However, the authors argue that just transitions can provide an organizing principle for dialogue and engagement, as well as a means of securing buy-in for climate action.

Finally, the commentary notes the relative lack of useful guidance on implementing just transitions, and the need for more concrete tools and strategies. A careful review of lessons learned about implementation, as well as practical plans and resources for policymakers and practitioners, will be critical in helping to advance just transitions.

Just Transitions: An Introduction

This podcast discusses the importance of a just transition in the context of climate change policies and investments and explores the impact of Covid-19 on just transitions.

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This podcast provides an accessible introduction to concept and importance of a just transition in the context of climate change policies and investments. Mafalda Duarte, head of the Climate Investment Funds, and Nick Robins, Professor in Sustainable Finance with the Grantham Institute, join Sarah Ladislaw with the CSIS Energy Security and Climate Change Program to explain the meaning and importance of a just transition in the context of their work. They move on to discuss how investors can support just transitions and close by examining the potential impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the just transition agenda.

A Systemic Review of the Key Elements of a Just Transition for Fossil Fuel Workers

This paper identifies key elements of a just transition for fossil fuel workers and characterizes these elements according to a preexisting justice framework.

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In recognition of the disparate definitions of a just transition, this paper synthesizes the scholarly literature to identify its various elements. Through their review, the authors also seek to identify the field’s theoretical and empirical knowledge gaps. They specifically focus on the effect of bold climate action on fossil-fuel workers and their communities.

The systemic literature review includes 33 articles from different academic fields. The literature tends to focus on coal workers (as opposed to other fossil fuel workers) in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries and is largely normative and descriptive. Collectively, these articles emphasize 17 key elements of a just transition. The authors briefly describe each of these elements and characterize them according to the Heffron and McCauley’s “JUST” framework of legal geography (i.e., distributional, procedural, restorative, recognition-based, and cosmopolitanism-based justices, as well as spatial scales and timeframe). They show how theoretical concepts such as forms of justice forms relate to specific strategies for just transitions.

Equity, Climate Justice and Fossil Fuel Extraction: Principles for a Managed Phase Out

This paper offers general principles and policy insights to help the international community equitably manage the social dimensions of a rapid transition away from fossil-fuel extraction.

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This paper explores how to equitably manage the social dimensions of a rapid transition away from fossil-fuel extraction within international climate politics. It analyzes equity issues related to fossil-fuel extraction and efforts to curb it in accordance with climate targets. The authors examine three common equity approaches from the literature, from which they derive guiding principles and policy recommendations for managing this global challenge.

The authors review the distributional issues arising from the phaseout of fossil-fuel extraction and argue that meeting international climate targets will require a more strategic approach to accelerating transitions in both Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and non-OECD countries. They then examine the implications of fossil-fuel extraction for employment, public revenues, and energy provision, examining how extraction activities can be both a “blessing” and a “curse.”

The authors then discuss three equity frameworks that appear in the broader climate-policy literature: allocating carbon budgets based on economic efficiency, development needs, and “fair shares” of global transitional efforts. Drawing from this analysis, they propose five principles for managing concerns related to equity and climate change, touching on questions surrounding the cost and pace of transitions, as well as the distributional impacts at various levels of government. They conclude with policy suggestions for how to apply these principles in practice.