Enabling a just transition to a low-carbon economy in the energy sector

Briefing papers
December 2018
Leah Worrall, Leo Roberts and Shelagh Whitley
Charcoal-seller in Mokolo Market, Yaoundé, Cameroon. Photo: Ollivier Girard/CIFOR (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

A shift away from using fossil fuels is a key enabler for the low-carbon transition necessary to achieve climate goals, but delivering this transformation has widespread repercussions across local communities. A just transition – one that captures a social, environmental and economic approach – is crucial.

There is broad agreement on the concepts a just transition should focus on – namely jobs, social welfare, individual wellbeing and financial sustainability. However, specific policies vary depending on the sector, geography and local economy. Just transitions are relevant to all countries, yet this report focuses on progress in the energy sector in BRICS countries (i.e. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and the Next 11 emerging markets, comparing approaches to distill best practice in achieving local objectives.

The authors also identify progress indicators and essential pre-requisites for a successful just transition in the energy sector, including the need for inclusive and carefully designed social dialogue between affected actors. It is aimed at stakeholders in the just transition, including governments, businesses, investors and civil society.